Citation(s) from the literature library

Australia. 2008 ‘Small Arms and Light Weapons UN Report.’ National Report of Australia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), p. 5. New York, NY: Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations. 1 July

Relevant contents

Marking and Tracing

Australia is currently reviewing its marking practices in the context of taking the steps necessary to ratify the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Firearms Protocol) and the international instrument on marking and tracing of small arms and light weapons.

Australia has a very low rate of firearms manufacture. Governments are reviewing the approach to regulation in this area.

All imported firearms manufactured after 1900 must bear a unique identifying mark (i.e. serial number). The Australian Customs Service monitors compliance with this requirement as a part of import procedures.

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) undertakes the tracing of located firearms within the criminal market. In 2007 the ACC and the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, (ATF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the sharing of information in relation to firearm trafficking issues.

The ACC has a strong relationship with both the national and international firearms industry which supports the timely tracing of illicit firearms. Gathering historical records, the ACC is establishing a database of firearm transaction records which indicate if a located firearm was ever in the licit market. This identifies those firearms as being legally imported into Australia where no factory records exists. Some 700,000 historical records have been entered into the ACC firearms database in 4 years.

The ACC is also establishing a firearm serial number structure guide, which will aid investigators and registry staff in identifying firearms make and model by a serial number. Some 10,000 serial number types have been included so far with the release of the first book expected in January 2009.

ID: Q1736

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