When extreme restrictions are placed on the manufacture, acquisition and ownership of legal automatic firearms, one of the easiest repeaters to make at home or in small workshops is the submachine gun. The four homemade submachine guns shown above were recently discovered in a raid with a number of other firearms, drugs, and 2.75 million Australian dollars (about two million in U.S. dollars).
Acting on information received, Strike Force Raptor, assisted by the Drug and Firearms Squad, executed a search warrant a storage facility at Waterloo in the early hours of Wednesday (30 May 2018).
During the search, police located 1.15kg of cocaine, 1.1kg of ice, 26L of GBL, 13 firearms, including five sub-machine guns, two semi-automatic pistols, and two revolvers; ammunition, a silencer, and $2.75 million cash.
The firearms will undergo forensic and ballistic examination.
Just after 9am yesterday (Thursday 31 May 2018), Strike Force Raptor arrested a 34-year-old man after he arrived at Sydney Airport from New Zealand.
He was taken to Kogarah Police Station and charged with three counts of supply prohibited drug, possess ammunition, deal in proceeds of crime, resist arrest, participate in a criminal group, and aggravated firearms offences.
Just as with drug prohibition, with that kind of money available, the fabrication of guns and the availability of ammunition on the black market is inevitable.
The most famous case of organized crime fabricating submachine guns in Australia is that of Angelo Koots. Koots was a jeweler who had a side business making copies of the MAC-11. He was caught in a sting operation and convicted in 2013.
Koots’ copies were said to be of as good as the originals. He claimed that he had made a hundred of the guns, selling them for up to $15,000 each with two magazines and a suppressor included. Koots was sentenced to six years in jail.
Koots’ guns are still out there. One of them was recently confiscated in a raid in Sydney in April.
Firearms such as these are easy to make, taking only a couple of days each once the first one has been made and jigs are fabricated. Koots probably spent less than a year’s worth of labor turning out the guns which brought him about AUS1.5 million dollars from organized gangs. There are no doubt many talented fabricators who would be willing to work — and probably are — for a fraction of that amount.
A different black market submachine gun design, the “Carlo,” is frequently encountered in Israel. They’re made in small shops and sell for about $800-$1,000 on the black market.
Homemade, or small shop submachine guns are made all over the world where extreme gun restrictions are in place. They’re commonly found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, the Philippines and more.
Because of the heavy regulation of submachine guns here in the US, a legal MAC-11 submachine gun costs more than $8,000. Strict gun control laws and the resulting price distortions they cause provide the perfect market conditions for black market producers to step in and meet demand. No matter how hard politicians try, they can’t repeal the basic laws of economics.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.