The National Firearm Theft Monitoring Program (NFTMP) was established by the Australian Institute of Criminology to compile more detailed information on the nature and characteristics of reported firearm theft events. Theft represents one of the most likely sources of firearms for the illicit market.
In Firearm Theft in Australia 2008-09, author Samantha Bricknell of the Australian Institute of Criminology states that an average of 1545 firearms were reported as stolen to Australian state and territory police between 2004-05 and 2008-09, yet firearms from just 12 per cent of reported incidents were eventually recovered by police. This proportion of firearms that were not recovered represents a considerable stream of firearms into the illicit pool. Information such as this was to assist the Firearm and Weapons Policy Working Group, which played an important role in the establishment of the NFTMP, in developing initiatives to reduce the incidence of firearm theft and to assess whether currently prescribed firearm storage arrangements are being observed and are sufficient in preventing theft. One conclusion of the report is that a critical factor in the prevention of firearm theft is owner compliance with prescribed firearm storage standards.