Monday, September 04, 2017

Illicit Manufacture of Handguns in Australia

More than 10% of Firearms Seized in Australia are Homemade

Australia has one of the strictest firearms regulatory schemes in Western Civilization. It has not appreciably changed their overall murder or suicide or accidental death rates, which were already low and falling when the scheme was implemented.

As Australia is a continent considerably separated from the rest of the industrialized world, it is a near ideal test case for the efficacy of gun control schemes.  A figure from an Australian government report on sources of illegal guns shows that when guns are tightly regulated, criminals find ways around the regulation.

 Image from

Guns are basically 14th century technology. A first world country, with access to the normal run of the mill hardware store power tools, can make guns easily.  Most crime is committed with handguns.  In Australia 13.7% of the handguns traced were of domestic manufacture. All of those were illicit. Australia does not have any known legal manufacture of handguns. That is twice as many illegally manufactured handguns as of handguns smuggled in.

Some correspondents doubt that the 30.8% theft number is accurate. They say that the storage requirements are so tight that theft of handguns is to difficult to make the 30% figure. The chart does not tell us how many "30.8%" is. It might be hundreds. It might be dozens. One authority says that remote residences are targeted because they are likely to have several guns. Without more detail, it is impossible to verify the official report, or to discredit it. My experience with Australian authorities is that they are careful to perform their functions as required by law. It seems unlikely that they would misinform their superiors on the number of stolen handguns.  We do not know where they were stolen from. Perhaps some were stolen from military stocks or from the police?

I suspect that many of the illicitly manufactured handguns are sub-machine guns. They are one of the easiest of repeating firearms to make, and there have been a number of reports of their manufacture associated with organized crime.


Sometimes they include a silencer and extra magazines.  From
Backyard arms trader Angelos Koots admitted making up to 100 of the perfectly constructed MAC 10 machine guns - more commonly seen in war zones and believed to have been used in Sydney gang shootings - at his Seven Hills house.

The guns, sold with two magazines and a silencer, were of such quality that during "Mythbuster" style tests alongside a genuine MAC 10 they fired 600 rounds a minute.
This link is one internet site that gives detailed instructions on how to construct a MAC-10.

It is not clear if the Australian authorities count cut down or sawed off rifles and shotguns as "handguns".

This pistol was called a "shortened rifle" in the media report. It seems likely that it was designated that by police.

Australia has an incredibly low crime rate. That crime rate existed before the extreme firearms regulatory scheme was implemented in 1996. It has not stopped criminal's access to firearms.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

the stats on hand-gun theft are bogus....
the storage security necessary for hand-guns with a pistol license is very heavy!
it is highly unlikely that hand-guns could be stolen from licensed pistol shooters or gun-shops.....
most illegal hand-guns are imported.....less than 10% of the one million sea-tainers entering AUstralia annually are properly checked;
the link to the Daily Tele' contains quotes from Sam Lee, head of GCA;
she is a known and proven liar !

Anonymous said...

Yes, I totally agree, the statistics are made up. The vast majority of handguns used in crime are illegally imported, not stolen as the stats would lead us to believe. Gun Control Australia strikes again! The article brings up a few good points though. Any laws imposed on law abiding firearm owners will have no effect on reducing criminal access to guns.

Anonymous said...

Governments do not fear criminals with guns. Governments fear citizens with guns.

Anonymous said...

I went a different direction with this read... Where can I get the specs for a mac10, I want to DIY one just to say I did

Dean Weingarten said...

The MAC-10 Construction Guide