Victoria Police have told the Coroner’s Court of Victoria that an estimated 101,821 guns are currently reported by police as either lost, stolen, or destroyed without record in the Australian state.
The figures were released by Victoria’s coroner, Judge John Cain, as part of his findings from the inquest into the death of Marilyn Burdon, 70, who was shot and killed by her partner, lawyer Charles Bisucci, in August 2017. Bisucci then fatally turned the gun on himself.
Despite the high number of guns with unknown whereabouts in Victoria, The Epoch Times understands that poor administration has led to thousands of duplications on record.
Additionally, thousands more firearms were recorded as historic due to the firearms “reconfirmation list” only having minimal entries since 2006.
Victoria Police’s Licensing and Regulation Division are currently undertaking a review, due to conclude at the end of the year, called Operation Ravelings, to verify the correct status and location of all firearms on this list.
Acting Superintendent John Cahill, LRD, said in a statement to The Epoch Times that while there was a “significant number” of guns on the reconfirmation list, each record didn’t “equate to a firearm in the community.”
“Historical data shortfalls and administrative errors are expected to have significantly contributed to the overall number of firearm records on the reconfirmation list, with all duplicate and incorrect entries currently in the process of being identified and removed,” Cahill said.
“We also expect a sizable portion of these firearm records will have either been previously destroyed or are now registered in other jurisdictions, including interstate and overseas,” he said.
Cahill said that Victoria Police’s review had already confirmed 11,000 firearm records as either being destroyed or a duplicate record.
A further 11,000 are thought to be low risk to the community because they are air rifles or antique firearms, which did not require registration in Victoria prior to 1996.
They are also either low powered or do not have available ammunition.
“Victoria Police remains steadfast in its commitment to keeping the community safe by reducing the number of unregistered and illegal firearms in the community,” Cahill said.
The review also looks into how many firearms on the reconfirmation list were destroyed during the 1996 to 1997 Australian Firearms Buyback and other subsequent firearm amnesties.
Police suspect that many firearms were also destroyed prior to 1996 when there was no requirement for them to be taken to Victoria Police’s Forensic Services Centre for destruction.