Illicit FirearmsResearch

Illicit Firearms in Australia


DATE: 2016


Based on available data, the ACIC conservatively estimates there are 260,000 firearms (250,000 longarms and 10,000 handguns) in the domestic illicit market. This estimate is based on a range of intelligence sources, including firearm importation figures and seizure trends over time.

The exact extent of the Australian illicit firearms market cannot be determined as no historical data is available on its size prior to the implementation of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) of 1996. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates the global illicit market contains the equivalent of approximately 10 to 20 per cent of the number of firearms in the licit market. If this ratio is applied to Australia’s illicit firearm market, it would contain somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 firearms.

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