Australians are encouraged to provide information they have about illegal guns by sharing what they know with Crime Stoppers. Criminals often go to great lengths to obtain a firearm illegally, and it’s unlikely that they go to that effort unless they are prepared to use it.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has conservatively estimated that there are 260,000 illicit firearms on the streets of Australia. That estimate is based on a range of intelligence sources, including firearm importation figures and seizure trends over time. The use and trade of illicit firearms by criminals is a serious problem that impacts every Australian and affects the safety of our community.
The demand for illicit firearms is driven by organised crime groups right through to low-level individual criminals, who want and use firearms to protect their interests and commit violent acts. No single organised crime group dominates the sale and supply of firearms in the Australian illicit market, although organised crime groups and illicit firearms are intrinsically linked. In addition, technological advancements have seen individuals and organised crime increasingly able to purchase illegal firearms and components anonymously facilitated through the use of darknets, encrypted communications and digital currencies.
One of the ways that Crime Stoppers has previously helped to remove unregistered and unwanted guns from the community was by supporting a national amnesty in 2017. A total of 57,324 firearms and 2,432 firearms parts or accessories and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition were handed in – equivalent to 630 firearms every day for the three months of the Amnesty period. Items of note included 2,497 fully-automatic or semi-automatic guns and a high-powered rifle, a rocket launcher, Browning machine gun, a home-made machine gun, as well as non-firearms related items and prohibited weapons, such as crossbows, tasers, swords, daggers, knuckle dusters and knives.
If you have information about an illegal firearm, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers and share what you know, and you can make a report anonymously by calling 1800 333 000 or making an online report at www.crimestoppers.com.au