Citation(s) from the literature library

Australia. 2016 ‘Domestic Illicit Firearms Market.’ Illicit Firearms in Australia, p. 7. Canberra: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. 21 October

Relevant contents

Domestic Illicit Firearms Market

[T]he ACIC [Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission] conservatively estimates there are 260,000 firearms (250,000 longarms and 10,000 handguns) in the domestic illicit market.

This estimate is based on a range of intelligence sources, including firearm importation figures and seizure trends over time.

The exact extent of the Australian illicit firearms market cannot be determined as no historical data is available on its size prior to the implementation of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) of 1996.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates the global illicit market contains the equivalent of approximately 10 to 20 per cent of the number of firearms in the licit market.(1)

If this ratio is applied to Australia's illicit firearm market, it would contain somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 firearms.

[Editor's note: The UNODC rule of thumb was calculated to encompass all nations, including developing countries. In industrialised states with a tightly regulated firearm market such as Australia the lower, 10% end of the UNODC range seems more likely to apply].

Source cited:
1) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2011, The Globalisation of Crime, UNODC, viewed 18 May 2015,

ID: Q13159

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