Illegal firearms seized in joint operation in Sydney

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A 57-year-old Sydney man has been charged with a number of firearms offences, following a joint operation on Sydney’s northern beaches between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and New South Wales Police Force.

Earlier this year, ABF officers at the Sydney International Mail Gateway facility, identified 14 consignments of firearm parts being imported without a permit.

Following further investigation by the ABF, a search warrant was executed by ABF officers at a home in Frenchs Forest yesterday (Thursday 2 August 2018).

Detectives from the NSW Police Force’s Drug and Firearms Squad also conducted a firearms audit at the location.

During the search, officers located 21 unregistered rifles, four unregistered prohibited firearms, including an SKK rifle and a crudely manufactured rifle (similar to a Mac-10); an unregistered air pistol, eight registered firearms, three registered handguns, large quantities of ammunition, and various firearms accessories.

Police suspended the male resident’s firearms licence and seized all the firearms for forensic and ballistic examination.

The man was arrested and taken to Manly Police Station, where he was charged with 22 counts of possess unregistered firearm, four counts of possess unauthorised prohibited firearms, three counts of possess prohibited weapon, and aggravated unauthorised possession of prohibited firearms.

He was refused bail to appear via audio visual link at Parramatta Bail Court today (Friday 3 August 2018).

Inquiries are continuing and further charges are expected.

ABF Investigations Superintendent Garry Low said the detection highlights the commitment of the ABF and partner agencies to removing potentially dangerous firearms from the community.

“We have significant capabilities at the Australian border to detect imports of firearms and accessories and through our investigations we have located a number of other serious weapons” Superintended Low said.

“Any firearm in the wrong hands can be extremely dangerous. This is why we work closely with our state police partners to ensure any firearms coming into the country are imported and kept in accordance with the law.“

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Jason Weinstein, said this is a timely opportunity to remind the community about the NSW Firearms Amnesty. “The Firearms Amnesty is an opportunity to legally dispose or register an unregistered firearm or firearm-related item without penalty until 30 September 2018,” Det A/Supt Weinstein said.

“The maximum penalty for possessing a prohibited firearm is 14 years imprisonment, and an unregistered firearm is five years, so now is the time to hand them in.

“Just one firearm in the wrong hands could be fatal, so I urge any member of the community, who is in possession of unregistered firearms or parts, to surrender or register the items as soon as possible.”