Firearms theft in Australia 2005-06


Stolen firearms represent a very real source of weapons for diversion into the
illegitimate firearms market and hence, potential use in criminal activities.
Over the past ten years, the Australian Government has introduced legislation
regarding the prohibition of certain categories of firearms, trafficking of
firearms, and the licensing, registration and storage of new firearms.
Furthermore, the Australasian Police Ministers' Council identified the
need for long-term monitoring of firearms theft in Australia. The National
Firearms Theft Monitoring Program (NFTMP) was subsequently established at the
Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), funded by the Australian Government
under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for a period of four years, starting 1 July
2006. The purpose of the NFTMP
is to provide relevant and timely information on
the nature and characteristics of firearms theft occurring in Australia. This
report represents the first in the NFTMP series, and builds on earlier AIC
research on firearms theft. It provides information on all incidents of firearms
theft reported to police in Australian states and territories for the period 1
July 2005 to 30 June 2006. The report examines the characteristics of stolen
firearms, circumstances of the theft incident, modus operandi of offenders,
storage arrangements and compliance with firearms laws and regulations, recovery
of firearms, prosecution of offenders, and use of stolen forearms in subsequent
illegal activities.