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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Australian border police arrest American woman with 24-carat gold-plated handgun

An American woman was arrested in Australia on Sunday, after she landed in Sydney with an undeclared 24-carat gold-plated handgun in her luggage, according to the Australian Border Force (ABF). 

The woman, who has not been identified, was charged under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901, which bans the importation of firearms, as well as certain knives, radioactive material, chemical compounds, and other items. 

She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

Gold-plated handgun

The woman was stopped at Sydney Airport after the gold-plated handgun was detected in her baggage.  (Australian Border Force)

The woman flew in from Los Angeles and the pistol was spotted by “sophisticated detection technology” at Sydney Airport on Australia’s east coast. 

“Time and time again, we have seen just how good ABF officers are at targeting and stopping illegal, and highly dangerous, goods from crossing Australia’s border,” ABF Commander Justin Bathurst said in a statement. 

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Australia has extremely strict gun regulations, implementing a buy-back program in 1996 that saw the government purchase nearly 700,000 firearms from the public following a mass shooting that killed 35 people. 

Airport security x-ray

Australian Border Force officers detected the handgun with screening technology.  (Australian Border Force)

The woman was released on bail Monday and is subject to visa restrictions pending the outcome of the court proceedings. 

The U.S. State Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the case.  

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Australia is popular with some competitive sports shooters and hunters.

Americans who do want to bring a firearm to the country are required to obtain permission from the government before their flight. 

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