Australian Institute of Criminology

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Firearms theft in Australia

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 230

Jenny Mouzos
ISBN 0 642 24265 8 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2002


This paper examines the incidence of the theft of firearms in Australia from 1994 to 2000; the types of firearms stolen (in order of frequency, rifles, shotguns and handguns); and the location of firearms theft, which is most commonly residential premises. The paper also provides statistics on firearms ownership in Australia and discusses the policy question of how to reduce the number of firearms stolen yearly, thereby reducing the possible contribution of stolen firearms to the pool of illegally held firearms in Australia. With this in mind, the paper highlights the benefits of an enforcement regime to ensure compliance with safe storage requirements by firearms licence holders.