Police have broken a machinegun making operation that they allege had provided guns to criminals involved in the illegal drug market.
A South Australian man is facing 15 years in jail for allegedly making the sub-machineguns after police seized two completed ones and nine incomplete ones, as well as blueprints and tooling.
A number of 32-round magazines were also found along with ammunition.
“Let me make it clear; these firearms cannot be possessed legally, they can only be for the illegal market,” SA police assistant commissioner Linda Williams said.
Police also say that two days earlier, during a drug bust at Port Adelaide, they recovered a machinegun made by the man.
The alleged gun maker, who apparently does not have a firearm licence, was also found in possession of a home-made 12-shot .22 revolver and the blueprints to make it, a 9mm pistol, two silencers, a shotgun, an air-rifle and an air-pistol.
Police say the 55-year-old was making the firearms at his Marleston, SA, home.
“This is a very sophisticted operation compared with others we have seen, so it does rank up there in the very serious category,” AC Williams said.
She said police firearms branch members described the machineguns as of “significantly high quality”.
One of the guns found at the man’s house belonged to a licensed firearm dealer, who has now been charged with illegally supplying a firearm and had his firearms seized.
The dealer faces up to seven years in jail for the offence.
Police expect to make further arrests.
Meanwhile, police have arrested a man they allege was in possession of a number of firearms stolen during the armed robbery of a naval patrol boat in Darwin last week.