Gun ownership by state

Ross Wilmoth writes:

Thanks for the stats Tim. Do you think that the reduction between the
1975 and 1989 surveys could be due to them being either side of the
registration legislation?

In 1975 it wasn’t illegal to own a gun so long as you were licenced
(in states which had licencing) but in 1989 Victoria at least had
registration and so people with unregistered guns may have kept quiet
about it.

Of course those “few quiet ones” would be illegal but do you think
it’s the reason for the difference?

Unlikely. Victoria has only about 1/4 of the population, so a change
there won’t affect national figures that much. Nonetheless I will
pull out the state by state breakdowns and see what that tells us.

% gun ownership by state
     1975  1989
NSW  25.4    16
Vic  27.4    19
Qld  28.9    23
SA   26.5    23
WA   19.5    27
Tas  31.7    44

The 1989 survey was only of 2000 people, so the numbers, especially
for the smaller states are rather uncertain (e.g. for Tas the 95%
confidence interval is +-16)

The results seem rather ambiguous. NSW had the largest fall, and
while NSW did not have registration in 1989, Unsworth’s attempt to
introduce it the previous year may have had some effect on the
reporting rate.