A US woman was detained in Australia after authorities discovered a 24-carat gold-plated gun in her luggage. The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, arrived in Sydney from Los Angeles without a permit for the firearm, according to the Australian Border Force (ABF). She now faces up to 10 years in prison.
Photos shared by the ABF displayed an airport scan of the woman’s luggage, revealing the concealed gun. A subsequent image showed the weapon after the bag was opened. In a statement, an ABF official highlighted the use of advanced detection technology in preventing the entry of dangerous weapons into the country.
ABF Commander Justin Bathurst praised the ABF officers, saying, “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.”
The 28-year-old woman was charged and appeared in Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, where she was granted bail.
In the US, airline passengers on domestic flights can travel with firearms in checked bags, provided they are unloaded, locked in a hard-sided case, and declared during check-in. However, in 2022, a record 6,301 guns were confiscated from US airport passengers by mid-December, as reported by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Australia, on the other hand, has some of the strictest firearm laws globally. Following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania, which resulted in 35 fatalities, the country enacted comprehensive legislation. This led to the banning of all automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and around 600,000 firearms were turned in through a mandatory government buyback program.