Citation(s) from the literature library

Australia. 2016 ‘Firearm Diversion - Historical Diversion Methods.’ Illicit Firearms in Australia, p. 8. Canberra: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. 21 October

Relevant contents

Firearm Diversion

The ACIC's National Firearm Trace Program (FTP) was developed to ascertain the history and diversion methods of seized firearms. The FTP data collected to date reveals that firearm enthusiasts with no previous criminal involvement can also influence demand, by sourcing rare or specialised items from the illicit market that are not available through licit avenues. (2)

Firearms are diverted to the illicit market in various ways and these diversion methods can generally be categorised as either historical or contemporary (see Figure 1).1 While it should be possible to associate all illicit firearms with one of these diversion methods, a substantial number of firearms are untraceable and cannot be determined with any confidence to have entered the market by either means.

Historical Diversion Methods

Diversion methods used in the past are referred to as historical diversion methods. Due to changes in practice and regulation, the number of firearms diverted by these methods should not increase; but firearms already diverted through historical methods may remain in the illicit market for the life of the firearm. Identified historical methods of diversion include:

- the grey market (3)
- technical loopholes in legislation and regulation
- the reactivation of previously unaccountable deactivated firearms.


2) More information on the Firearms Trace Program is at Appendix A.
3) The grey market consists of illegally held longarms which should have been registered or surrendered under the 1996 National Firearms Agreement but were not. There are also a small number of black powder handguns in the grey market, which at one time were not required to be registered in some jurisdictions.

ID: Q13167

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