The Australian Firearms Information Network (AFIN) helps police and other law enforcement agencies manage the registration, licensing and movement of firearms coming into Australia and moving between our states and territories. Dependent upon the data provisioned by states, territories and Commonwealth agencies who deal with imports/exports and permits, the AFIN provides a national life-cycle view of registered firearms in Australia, from legal importation through to legal exportation or destruction, to support the officers who protect our communities. Users of AFIN have access to registered firearm information, and licenses and permits for persons and organisations.
All Australian police jurisdictions, including the Australian Federal Police and all states and territories, now provision and consume information directly into and from AFIN, allowing national access to detailed, historical and cross-jurisdictional firearms information to improve public safety. They have all signed up to the National Firearms Agreement and a Letter of Agreement for the provision of access to AFIN.
States and territories are responsible for issues relating to possession, licensing, manufacture and use of firearms. Although AFIN improves information-sharing between states and territories in relation to individual firearms, licensing and permits, and when they move between state and territory registries, its purpose is not to manage and regulate ownership and use.
While AFIN has the capability to provide firearm information, it does not currently have the capability to provide new information instantly, as all information is provisioned from each police partner agency at various times during the day and week, and AFIN is dependent on this information to have current data.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) as an agency is not the main user of the AFIN system. The ACIC maintains AFIN and conducts regular AFIN User Advisory Group meetings, to better assist and address any issues or enhancements to improve the AFIN experience for our police partners.
The ACIC works closely with all Australian policing partners to support sharing of information to counter criminal threats and mitigate risk, including through the AFIN and the National Firearms Identification Database (NFID). The NFID is a nationally agreed standard that helps Australian police identify and record firearms in a consistent way. The database is used to identify and characterise a firearm, using details such as make, manufacturer, model, chambering and magazine capacity.
Strong national collaboration has been key in the development and delivery of these systems, which provides Australian law enforcement and intelligence agencies with secure access to a national view of registered firearm information.