Trafficking prohibited firearms or firearm parts into Australia is an offence under section 361.2(1) 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:
- You imported a firearm or firearm part
- You did so intending to traffic the item, and
- The importation of the item was prohibited under the Customs Act 1901.
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.
- A deactivated firearm
- A blank-fire firearm, and
- A flare gun or signalling device, other than on designed for emergency or life-saving purposes.
It does not include:
- A nailing or stapling gun
- An explosive-powered fixing tool
- A line-thrower
- A hand-operated device that uses blank cartridges to propel objects for retrieval in connection with the training of dogs
- A tranquilliser gun
- A gun that operates a captive bolt for the slaughter of animals
- A device for the casting of weighted nets
- A large calibre armament, weapons, launchers, throwers and projectors, designed for grenades, bombs, rockets or any other missile, ammunition or substance
- A sidewall core gun designed for geological purposes, mining purposes, or both, and
- 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:
- A gas piston, friction ring, action bar, breech bolt or breech block
- A firearm barrel
- A trigger mechanism
- A frame or receiver
- A slide
- An upper or lower receiver
- A revolving cylinder
- A bolt carrier
- An adjustable, detachable or folding stock, or
- Anything that includes one or more of the items mentioned above.
To ‘traffic’ an item is to:
- Transfer it
- Offer it for sale
- Invite offers to buy it
- Prepare it for transfer, or package or separate it, intending to transfer any of it or believing another intends to transfer any of it
- Transport or deliver it intending to transfer any of it or believing another intends to transfer any of it
- Guard or conceal it intending to transfer or assist another to transfer any of it, or
- 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’:
- 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
- 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.