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SSAA clarifies 100 weapons-a-day Customs seizure claims

Claims that firearms are a key item among more than 100 weapons reportedly being smuggled into Australia per day actually accounts for less than five per cent of all seizures and includes parts. The SSAA obtained the real figures from the Australian Border Force (ABF) following a Channel 7 “exclusive” story that portrayed firearms as a major illegal import.

A spokesperson from the Department of Immigration and Border protection confirmed around 35,900 weapons were detected in the 2016/2017 financial year. This figure was described as “more than 100 weapons a day” in the Channel 7 story, with the reporter saying, “There is almost no limit to the types of weapons people have tried to bring into Australia: knuckledusters, knives, laser pointers, extendable batons and, most of all, firearms.”

However, the SSAA has clarified that the ABF detected 1712 undeclared firearms, parts and accessories in the same period. This equates to less than five percent of all weapons detected. The ABF spokesperson also said other weapons included electric shock devices, nunchakus, slingshots and crossbows.

The SSAA cautions against sensationalising figures, but also points out the unsafe handling of the firearm by the reporter in the story. As law-abiding firearm owners know, keeping a firearm pointed in a safe direction at all times, regardless of whether it is unloaded or inoperative, is a fundamental firearms safety rule.

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