24-carat gold-plated gun in luggage leads to US woman’s arrest: Australia officials

(NEXSTAR) – A 28-year-old woman from the U.S. is facing charges and potential visa cancellation after Australian authorities say they found a 24-carat gold-plated handgun in her luggage over the weekend.

The woman, who hasn’t yet been identified, was arrested at Sydney Airport on Sunday after officers with the Australian Border Force, using “sophisticated detection technology” found the firearm in her luggage.

According to ABF, the firearm was unregistered and the woman, who was traveling from Los Angeles, lacked a permit to import or possess a firearm in Australia.

The woman was charged and, if convicted, could face up to 10 years in prison, ABF wrote in a press release.

While details are limited, the woman appeared before a court on Monday and received bail. Pending court proceedings, the woman could have her visa canceled and be removed from Australia.

Another court hearing is scheduled for May, according to 7News Australia.

Airline passengers in the U.S. are permitted to have unloaded firearms, stored in locked, hard-sided containers, in their checked luggage only, TSA explains.

Firearms should be declared with the airline, and passengers traveling internationally are encouraged to check their destination country’s regulations with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments,” the TSA advises.

Australia has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, The Hill reports. After a gunman with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle killed 35 people at the Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, and a series of mass shootings in the years prior, the Australian Parliament passed the National Firearms Agreement.

In addition to banning certain rifles and shotguns, the policy created strict licensing requirements, which include a mandatory training program for a new licensee. Since the 1996 law took effect, Australia has had no mass shootings.


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