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Entering a Firearm or Firearm Part for Export from Australia

Entering a firearm or firearm part for export from Australia is an offence under section 361.3(4) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You entered an item for export from Australia
  2. The item was a firearm or firearm part
  3. You did so intending to traffic the item
  4. Entering the item was prohibited under the Customs Act 1901 unless certain requirements were met, and
  5. You did not meet one or more of those requirements.

A ‘firearm’ is a device designed or adapted to discharge shot, bullets or other projectiles by means of an explosive charge or a compressed gas, whether fitted with a magazine or other feeding device designed to be used with it or not.

This includes:

  1. A deactivated firearm
  2. A blank-fire firearm, or
  3. A flare gun or signalling device, other than on designed for emergency or life-saving purposes.

It does not include:

  1. A nailing or stapling gun
  2. An explosive-powered fixing tool
  3. A line-thrower
  4. A hand-operated device that uses blank cartridges to propel objects for retrieval in connection with the training of dogs
  5. A tranquilliser gun
  6. A gun that operates a captive bolt for the slaughter of animals
  7. A device for the casting of weighted nets
  8. A large calibre armament, weapon, launcher, thrower or projector, designed for grenades, bombs, rockets or any other missile, ammunition or substance
  9. A sidewall core gun designed for geological purposes, mining purposes, or both, or
  10. An expandable casing perforation gun designed for geological purposes, mining purposes.

A ‘firearm part’ is any of the following, whether or not complete, damaged, temporarily or permanently inoperable, or unfinished:

  1. A gas piston, friction ring, action bar, breech bolt or breech block
  2. A firearm barrel
  3. A trigger mechanism
  4. A frame or receiver
  5. A slide
  6. An upper or lower receiver
  7. A revolving cylinder
  8. A bolt carrier
  9. An adjustable, detachable or folding stock, or
  10. Anything that includes one or more of the items mentioned above.

To ‘traffic’ an item is to:

  1. Transfer it
  2. Offer it for sale
  3. Invite offers to buy it
  4. Prepare it for transfer, or package or separate it, intending to transfer any of it, or believing another intends to transfer any of it
  5. Transport or deliver it intending to transfer any of it or believing another intends to transfer any of it
  6. Guard or conceal it intending to transfer or assist another to transfer any of it, or
  7. Possess it intending to transfer any of it.

You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’:

  1. That you were under a mistaken but reasonable belief that your conduct was justified or excused by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory, and
  2. That if your conduct had been so justified or excused, it would not have constituted an offence.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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