Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten has written a fiery letter to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, calling the claim gun reform led to an increase in rape, "offensive and incorrect".
Speaking on conservative talk radio earlier this week, Texas senator Ted Cruz ridiculed Australia's gun buy-back scheme by linking it to assaults on women.
"And as you know, Hugh, after Australia did that (gun buyback), the rate of sexual assaults, the rate of rapes, went up significantly, because women were unable to defend themselves,' he said.
Shorten took it upon himself on Thursday to write a personalised letter to Cruz laying out why his comments were "offensive" to Australia.
The claim from Cruz comes from statistics which appear to show sexual assaults went up in the ten years after the implementation of the gun buy-back scheme.
But in a widely shared 'fact check' of the claim from the Washington Post, experts point to an increase in reporting for the change.
"The rates didn't go up 'significantly' after the buyback and there's no evidence changes to gun laws in Australia affected sexual assault rates or jeopardised the ability of women to protect themselves," said the report.
That final line again:
Cruz' comments follow the U.S. gun lobby's recent campaign against "Australian-style bans" which have included several YouTube videos.
Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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