Citation(s) from the literature library

Bricknell, Samantha. 2008 ‘Criminal Use of Handguns in Australia: Source of handguns for criminal use.’ Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice (361), p. 5. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. 14 October

Relevant contents

Source of Handguns for Criminal Use

Illegally sourced firearms come from a combination of illegal importation of complete firearms or their parts, illegal domestic manufacture and the reactivation of firearms. The main supply route of firearms from the legal to illegal sphere is through diversion (Kerlatec 2007; Qld CMC 2004)…

Illegal firearms sourced via diversion are supplemented by firearms stolen from private dealers and owners, the security industry, police, and the military.

Firearms theft data from between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2006 found that 162 handguns were reported stolen to police, representing six percent of all reported stolen firearms in that period.

Two of the 162 stolen handguns were subsequently known to have been used to commit a crime -- a murder and an armed robbery respectively. Both handguns had been stolen from security guards -- one outside a club and the other outside a bank. In the former incident, the security guard was subsequently murdered by the assailant.

Handgun theft as a percentage of all firearm theft has fallen since the mid-1990s, when an estimated 14 percent of firearms stolen between 1994-95 and 1999-2000 were handguns (Mouzos 2002). The exact factors driving this decline are currently unclear.

Sources cited:

- Kerlatec J 2007. Illegal firearm trafficking - a NSW perspective. Australian police journal 61(4): 158-160

- Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (Qld CMC) 2004. Organised crime markets in Queensland: a strategic assessment. Crime bulletin no. 6. 00000005/content/56473001141598820222.pdf

ID: Q1020

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