Citation(s) from the literature library

Australia. 2012 ‘Assessment of the Illegal Firearms Market.’ Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market. Canberra: Parliament of Australia. 29 June

Relevant contents

In February this year the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, Jason Clare, asked the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) to undertake a national intelligence assessment of the illegal firearms market…

The final report… reveals that:

- There are more than 2.75 million registered firearms in Australia held by more than 730,000 individual firearm licence holders;
- A conservative estimate is that there are more than 250,000 long arms and 10,000 hand guns in the illicit firearms market; and
- The durability of firearms ensures that those diverted to the illicit market remain in circulation and are available for use by criminals for many decades – the oldest firearm traced by the Australian Crime Commission was a functioning revolver manufactured in 1888.

The illegal firearms market is sourced from:

- Firearms that weren't surrendered or registered after the Port Arthur massacre;
- Firearms that are stolen from legitimate owners;
- Firearms that are diverted by crooked firearms dealers;
- Illegal imports; and
- Firearms that are made or reactivated by backyard operators.

The Australian Crime Commission has undertaken a tracing analysis of 3,186 weapons seized by Australian law enforcement agencies.

This tracing analysis revealed:

- 44 per cent were not surrendered or registered after the Port Arthur massacre;
- 12 per cent were stolen or the subject of staged theft - an average of 1,500 firearms per year have been stolen from licensed firearms holders in the past five years;
- Deactivation accounts for 3.3 per cent;
- Interstate transfer accounts for 1.5 per cent;
- Backyard manufacturing accounted for 1.3 per cent of weapons;
- Illegal importation accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of the firearms traced; and
- Unknown method of diversion (33.5 per cent of requested traces) as there was insufficient information available.

ID: Q11823

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