The following is a SA police media release, originally headlined "Seized military-style firearms raise concerns of illegal firearm imports".
A Modbury North man has been arrested and charged with numerous firearms offences following an investigation by Serious Firearm Crime Investigation Section.
Detectives searched a house at Modbury North where they located a number of illegal firearms including:
- A M72 66 millimetre light armour weapon tube which did not contain a projectile. This military-grade weapon is a prescribed firearm, even though it is used by the military as a single shot weapon which had been expended. The maximum penalty for possessing a prescribed firearm is 10 years imprisonment or a fine up to $50 000;
- Six unregistered firearms and two regulated imitation firearms;
- Four firearm conversion kits - one of which had converted a legally owned 'Ruger .22 calibre Charger' handgun into a different looking firearm. These specific type of conversion kits are prohibited imports (Customs Act). It will be alleged they were purchased over the Internet and illegally imported
An array of military ordinance including:
- The incomplete and expended body of a AIM9 Sidewinder missile which did not contain any explosive material;
- Seventeen grenades which were inert;
- Numerous artillery rounds which were inert and one 20mm high explosive round.
The 51-year-old man will face court charged with:
- Six counts of possessing an unregistered firearmSix counts of failing to appropriately secure a firearmTwo counts of possessing a firearm with no licenceThree counts of possessing a dangerous article Three counts of unlawful possessionOne count of breaching the conditions of a firearms licence
- Eighteen counts of possessing explosives ($5,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both)
In addition, police will prepare a report for the DPP to consider offences contravening the Australian Customs Act for the importation of prohibited imports and the importation of Tier Two Goods without approval. This carries a maximum penalty up to $275,000 or imprisonment for 10 years, or both.
Police also seized eleven rifles and eleven handguns which were legally in the man's possession. The man's firearm's licence has been suspended and an application has been sought to have it cancelled.
Police believe the arrested man was a collector of firearms and ordinance, however will continue investigating any possible links to criminal associations.
"Police support legal possession of firearms and continue to partner with legitimate stakeholders within the state's firearm community to improve public safety. We acknowledge that the large majority of firearm owners are responsible," Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dickson said.
"However, possession of weapons and ordinance like those we seized in this investigation means some are still willing to operate outside of the law.
"My message to those willing to take these risks is: police are watching and will targeting you, but so too will criminals looking for firearms to use in unlawful activities.
"It's a matter of who finds you first, and neither option is pleasant. The recently established Serious Firearm Crime Investigation Section has already had some great success, including this arrest.
"This is just one example of SAPOL's continued efforts to prevent the diversion of firearm into the illegal market. This is proactively addressing concerns about the potential for illegal firearms falling into the hands of criminals," he said.
If anyone has information about illegal firearms please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Firearms (Gun) General Amnesty 31 August – 31 October 2012
South Australia Police is conducting and managing the gun amnesty which runs until the 31 October 2012.
The aim of the Firearms (Gun) General Amnesty is to make South Australia a safer place by removing unwanted, unregistered or illegal guns, ammunition or gun parts from the community and making it harder for guns to fall into the wrong hands.
Guns, gun parts (including silencers) and ammunition can be surrendered at any police station. Now is the time for people who possess illegal firearms to hand them in to police.
The following link provides all the information you need in relation to firearm types and laws surrounding the legal possession of firearms: http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/services/firearms_weapons.jsp
SAPOL urges you to choose your firearm carefully - you might be breaking the law.