Principal Firearms Incidents
Mass shootings in New Zealand, 1990- 1997, plus Port Arthur and Dunblane
1. 1990 ¾ Aramoana (Gray)
Date13- 14 November 1990
Number of Victims 14 (including police shooting of Gray)
Firearms Used .223 Norinco semi-automatic AK47 lookalike
.22 Remington S semi-automatic rifle
Licence Status Licensed firearms holder for eight years
Mental History No history of mental illness. The Police were unable to find anyone who thought him capable of violent action. Considered a lonely, reclusive man.
2. 1992 ¾ Paerata (Schlaepfer)
Date 20 May 1992
Number of Victims 6 plus suicide of Schlaepfer. 4 victims shot. 2 others died as a result of stab wounds
Firearms Used Double-barrelled 12-gauge shotgun
Licence Status Held a class A licence issued in 1984
Mental History No previous history of mental illness nor of domestic violence.
3. 1994 ¾ Dunedin (Bain)
Date 20 June 1994
Number of Victims 5
Firearms Used .22 semi-automatic rifle
Licence Status David Bain was a class A licensee and the owner of the firearm used in the homicide
Mental History David Bain had no history of mental illness nor any previous convictions.
4. 1996 ¾ Dunblane (Hamilton)
Date 13 March 1996
Number of Victims 18 (including suicide of Hamilton)
Firearms Used 2 semi-automatic pistols. Used one to shoot victims and the other to shoot himself
Licence Status Licensed firearm holder
Mental History Did not have a mental illness. Two psychiatrists at the Inquiry expressed the view that it was unlikely that any psychological or psychiatric
examination of Hamilton would have alerted the examiner to his dangerousness. All the experts agreed that, though he did not have a mental illness, he suffered from a personality disorder which manifested itself in lack of empathy, fascination with weapons and habitual suspiciousness.
5. 1996 ¾ Port Arthur (Bryant)
Date 28 April 1996
Number of Victims 35 killed. 21 injured
Firearms Used 2 military style semi-automatic rifles
Licence Status Never held a firearms licence
Mental History At trial both psychiatrists considered that Bryant did not suffer from a mental illness, but that he did have a significant personality disorder which left him with limited capacity for empathy which enabled him not only to contemplate mass destruction, but to carry it through.
6. 1997 ¾ Raurimu
Date 8 February 1997
Number of Victims 6
Firearms Used 1 single-shot shotgun
Licence Status Had held a licence which had been revoked the previous year
Comments In this instance a young man with a psychiatric history which had earlier resulted in the revocation of his firearms licence has been charged with killing his father and four guests at the family lodge, and a neighbour, using a single-shot shotgun. As he still awaits trial on those charges it would be improper to attempt any further analysis of the incident at this time.
Incidents Leading to Call for Review
7. 1995 ¾ Invercargill (Gellatly)
Date26/27 September 1995
Number of Victims 1 (Gellatly) shot by police
Firearms Used Numerous shotguns and rifles removed from dealers premises
Licence Status Unlicensed
Mental History A long-standing chronic mental illness diagnosed in 1984 as paranoid schizophrenia. It was accepted in the PCA report and in the Coroners findings that the behaviour of the deceased was greatly influenced by his mental instability.
8. 1995 ¾ Whangarei (Radcliffe)
Date 20 November 1995
Number of Victims 1 (Radcliffe) shot by police
Firearms Used 30-30 rifle removed from dealers premises
Licence Status Licence and firearms had been removed in June 1994 as a police officer believed Radcliffe not a fit and proper person by reason of his mental illness, but his licence had not been revoked at time of fatality
Mental History Radcliffe had a previous mental history though diagnoses of his condition were not clear or uniform. One psychiatrist who saw him 11 days before his death said that he could not reach any firm diagnosis and that when he saw Radcliffe there was nothing to suggest he was a danger to himself or anyone else.