$25m to beat illegal gun traffickers

THE Federal Government has announced $25.4 million over three years to crack down on guns.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the funding would help increase the Australian Federal Police's forensic and intelligence capabilities to detect and disrupt the smuggling of illegal firearms.

The funding would expand the AFP's work within its National Forensic Rapid Lab that was established in 2013.

Since the lab was established, more than 10,000 postal packages containing almost two tonnes of illicit drugs had been discovered. Now the lab's capabilities will be extended to include forensics for guns and firearm parts and accessories.

Mr Keenan said every year there were 1800 illegal firearm detections and 90% of these came through the international mail system.

The funding will go towards establishing a new team of specialised forensic scientists, criminal intelligence analysts and software to help collect intelligence data to identify previously unknown links between traffickers and suppliers and customers.

Mr Keenan said it was a constantly evolving fight and that it was important the government's capabilities kept up with the capabilities of organised crime.


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