How Border Force is stopping illegal weapons coming into Australia

Illegal weapons from overseas are being smuggled into Australia at the rate of more than 100 a day.

It means border protection authorities are going high-tech to step up the fight against prohibited imports and the people buying them.

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.

Some of the weapons people have tried to smuggle into Australia. Source: 7 News
Many guns come in from the US, where access is easier. Source: 7 News

Australia's tough gun laws, coupled with the rise of global online shopping, makes the buying of illegal weapons impossible for some to resist.

Some weapons arrive in bulk, others in pieces, making detection more difficult.

"You might get a barrel in one consignment and some springs or other component in another consignment," Australian Border Force Inspector Geoff Harrison said.

Geoff Harrison says weapons can arrive either in one piece or in separate components. Source: 7 News
Mobile squads have been set up to find anything illegal that slips through the net. Source: 7 News

Australia's Border Force is now rolling out its own mobile squads to find anything illegal that slips through the net, turning up anywhere unannounced to seize and examine suspect parcels on the spot.

Their vans come equipped with mobile X-ray scanners and highly trained pairs of eyes.

In the past year, 36,000 separate consignments of illegal weapons have been stopped and seized by Australia's Border Force.

36,000 separate consignments of illegal weaponry have been seized in the past year. Source: 7 News

The easy availability of guns in the United States is reflected in the high number that arrive on our shores.

But it doesn't matter which country the illegal weapons come from - if it is a prohibited import it will end up being destroyed.

If they hadn't been intercepted, these guns might have been destined for use in robberies, even murders.

These guns may have been used in robberies or even murders. Source: 7 News

Border Force authorities rely heavily on gathering and sharing intelligence with agencies like the Federal and State police, but the eyes, ears and cooperation of the community remains among their most valuable assets.

"We get some very, very good tip-offs that lead to some excellent results," Inspector Harrison said.