Saturday, 16 November 2019
Media release

Australian Government to ban import of bump stock devices

The Australian Government will further strengthen our already robust firearms laws by banning the importation of bump stock devices.

A bump stock is a firearm accessory for use with semi-automatic firearms. When the firearm is fired, the stock 'bumps' back and forth against the shooter's shoulder, allowing a shooter to hold their finger stationary against the trigger, while the firearm continues to fire. They effectively turn a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm.

Whilst semi-automatics are already highly-controlled in Australia, these important changes will ensure our firearms laws continue to remain the strongest in the world, while also respecting law-abiding Australians who have a legitimate need to access firearms.

"As the Assistant Minister for Customs, I intend to restrict the importation of bump stocks and similar devices. This is a preventative measure to protect the Australian community," Assistant Minister Wood said.

"I have consulted with anti-firearms and pro-firearms organisations in the Australian community and both sides strongly support this approach. I wish to thank them for their united approach on this issue."

These changes will build on Australia's strong approach to control firearms in the community, first introduced under the Howard Government and continuing under the Morrison Government.

"Recent history, such as the tragic 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, has shown the devastating effect bump stocks can have. It is my hope that these sensible restrictions will come into force early next year."

In October 2017, a 64 year old shooter killed 58 people and wounded 422 when he fired more than 1,100 rounds on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Of the massive stockpile of weapons used by the shooter, 14 of the rifles had bump stocks fitted.

As a result of these changes, any person attempting to import a bump stock without the appropriate permission will face a penalty of imprisonment for up to 10 years, a fine of up to $525,000, or both.

Assistant Minister Wood said "I will also be working closely with state and territory colleagues at the next Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management meeting to continue advocating for greater consistency when it comes to Australia's firearms laws."