Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Bricknell, Samantha. 2012 ‘Commonwealth Amendments.’ Firearm Trafficking and Serious and Organised Crime Gangs; Research and Public Policy Series No. 116, pp. 19-20. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. 1 June
Together with the changes to state and territory firearm and weapons laws, which absorbed the bulk of these reforms, were amendments to Commonwealth law, specifically the import and export of firearms and the cross-border trafficking of firearms.
In 2000, the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) was amended by the Customs Legislation Amendment (Criminal Sanctions and Other Measures) Act 2000 (Cth) to introduce special criminal offences relating to the import and export of Tier 1 and Tier 2 goods (ss 233BAA and 233BAB respectively). Offences relating to the importation and exportation of restricted firearms (as specified under s 4F of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (Cth), Tier 2 goods) were now made punishable on conviction by a penalty of up to $250,000 fine and/or 10 years imprisonment.
Restrictions on the importation of handguns and handgun parts were introduced first with the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2000 (No. 7) (Cth) so that handguns were 'released into the community on an 'as needs' basis [only] and once a legitimate end user ha[d] been established' (Explanatory Statement: np). The Regulations also ensured that only a limited number of handguns, as well as Category C firearms, could be imported as dealer stock for the purposes of testing and demonstration. The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 4) (Cth) imposed further controls on the importation of handguns and handgun parts, specifically prohibiting the importation of handguns (and handgun parts) for models with a calibre greater than .38", a barrel length of less than 120mm for semi-automatic handguns and less than 100mm for revolvers and single-shot handguns, and/or a magazine/shot capacity exceeding 10 rounds.
The firearms provisions of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (People Smuggling, Firearms Trafficking and Other Measures) Act 2002 (Cth) amended the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and commenced on 16 January 2003. The changes to the Act established a criminal offence, in the course of trade or commerce between any states and territories, to illegally dispose of or acquire a firearm, or to take or send a firearm from one state or territory to another, intending that the firearm will be disposed of illegally (see Division 360 Part 9.4 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty on conviction for either offence is 10 years imprisonment, a fine equivalent to 2,500 penalty units or both.