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Fed govt crackdown on illegal firearms

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016 Ethan James

A forensic lab used to detect drugs will help expose criminal gangs sending illegal guns to Australia.

The federal government will invest $24.5 million over three years to help detect more weapons and parts being sent via the post.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said recent terrorist attacks in France emphasised the need for tight weapons controls.

"(It will) contribute to keeping Australia safe in the face of what we've seen particularly in Europe in the last month," he said on Wednesday.

Some 1800 illegal firearms and parts are found in Australia's mail each year, with most sent from overseas.

Mr Keenan said criminal gangs are increasingly using the internet and the secretive "darknet" to sneak weapons into the country.

"As we see technology evolve, we will see criminals and particularly organised criminals try to take advantage," he said.

The funds will expand the role of the Australian Federal Police's rapid laboratory, allowing it to forensically examine guns and parts.

Scanning techniques used to discover drugs will be used to analyse weapons, in conjunction with increased mail scanning.

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