The Covid-19 pandemic is creating daily challenges for everyone. We remain open to assist you 24/7 and have systems in place to attend to your Traffic Law matter during this time.
The police are now issuing Court Attendance Notices to attend court 8 weeks from the date of being charged or more. If you have received a Court Attendance Notice this may be very worrying. You may prefer that the matter be dealt with quickly. It may be possible to have your matter listed before the Court and dealt with at an earlier date. We have successfully liaised with the Courts and the Police to have some matters listed early and settled quickly. Please contact Fourtree Lawyers on 1300 529 444 to see if your matter qualifies.
Firearms and prohibited weapons offences
Firearms and prohibited weapons offences are serious crimes in NSW which attract hefty fines and maximum jail terms from two to 16 years.
The Firearms Act 1996 was introduced following the Port Arthur massacre. It puts the public’s right to safety before the privilege of gun ownership.
- prohibits the possession and use of all automatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns except in special circumstances,
- establishes an integrated licensing and registration scheme for all firearms,
- requires a genuine reason for possessing or using the firearm,
- provides strict requirements that must be satisfied in relation to licensing of firearms and the acquisition and sales of firearms,
- ensures that firearms are stored and conveyed in a safe and secure manner.
Under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) other firearms offences include:
- trespassing or dangerous use of firearm (including an imitation firearm) or spear-gun.
- firing a firearm at a dwelling house or buildings.
- The Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW) makes it illegal to possess or use a prohibited weapon.
What are the penalties for firearms offences?
Possession of an unlicensed firearm
It is an offence to possess an unlicensed firearm. The maximum period of imprisonment is two years in the Local Court, however if the matter proceeds to the District Court, the maximum period of imprisonment is five years. To be found guilty of the offence, the prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the firearm was in your possession and the firearm was unlicensed.
Using an unregistered firearm
It is an offence for an individual to use an unregistered firearm. If the matter is dealt with in the Local Court the maximum penalty is two years jail. If the matter is heard by the District Court of NSW, the maximum period of imprisonment is 14 years imprisonment. To convict you of the offence, it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the firearm was in your possession, was used by you or contravenes any condition of the licence.
Unauthorised possession or use of prohibited firearms
It an offence to use or possess a pistol or prohibited firearm without a licence or permit. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.
Prohibited firearms include:
- self-loading rimfire rifles and centre-fire rifles
- pump action and assault shotguns
- machine guns and other guns capable of firing more than one shot with a single squeeze of the trigger
- long guns that use a revolving ammunition cylinder
- long guns that fold or that have a readily detachable stock
- guns that have a silencer or sound suppressor attached
- paintball guns
- guns that shoot flares or pyrotechnics
- guns that are disguised to look like something other than a gun
- cannons and other weapons that fire large projectiles
Permits for prohibited firearms are issued by the NSW Police.
Possible defences to a Possess Prohibited Weapon charge include necessity, duress, self-defence, having a permit or being exempt from the requirement to hold a permit.
Possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place
Possession of an unregistered firearm in a public attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years but this can be increased to 14 years if the accused is in possession of more than one unregistered firearm, an unregistered pistol and/or a prohibited firearm.
Shortening or converting firearms
Shortening a rifle or shotgun is illegal if it is done without a permit and has a maximum 14-year jail term. Converting a firearm or instructing another person in the technique for converting a firearm into a prohibited firearm also violates the Firearms Act. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years. The police can issue a permit authorising a conversion.
Shooting at buildings
Firing at a dwelling or any other building with reckless disregard for the safety of its occupants or other persons is prohibited. Drive-by shootings or any other act of shooting at a building that endangers an occupant or bystander subjects the accused to a maximum jail term of 14 years. This increases to 16 years if the shooting occurred during a riot or other form of public disorder.
Trespassing with firearms
Entering another person’s building or land without permission while possessing a firearm is illegal unless the entry is made for a lawful purpose or with a reasonable excuse. The maximum jail term is five years if the gun is not fired. Firing the gun increases the maximum sentence to 10 years.
Safekeeping of Firearms
Every person who possesses a firearm must ensure it is kept safe, it doesn’t become lost or stolen, or come into the possession of someone who is not authorised to possess it. The maximum jail term for violating these requirements is two years if the firearm is prohibited or 12 months for all other firearms.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers are experienced in defending clients throughout the Central Coast, the Hunter Region and Sydney facing firearms charges in Court. If you have been charged with a firearms offence and the Police want you to participate in a record of interview, you should exercise your "right to silence" and call us immediately.
Your lawyer can explain and guide you through the entire court process from beginning to end and work with you to defend you on a not guilty plea or minimise the ramifications of your offence if you choose to plead guilty.
If you or your loved one has been charged and held in custody and you need advice from a criminal lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week
- Affray & Public Violence
- APVO | ADVO
- Assault Offences
- Bail Applications
- Break & Enter
- Centrelink Fraud
- Criminal Appeals
- Contravene | Breach AVO
- Destroy | Damage Property
- Drug Offences
- Fraud Offences
- Larceny & Stealing
- Legal Aid NSW
- Murder | Manslaughter
- Offensive Behaviour
- Resist | Assault Police
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Section 32 Defence
- Sexual Assault
- Stalk | Intimidate
Very Helpful, Very Organized approach in defending you in court, Fourtree Lawyers are the company to chose if you want all the confusion and stress to be explained to you and for you in regard to facing court, these people are the Answer.
I’d like to thank Kevin and Jane for meeting me on the weekend and saving me a trip to the central coast (without a licence). I’d also like to thank Paul Popescu for doing a fantastic job representing me on a serious driving charge, he gave me clear instructions on what I needed to do and he was spot on, I received the best possible sentence. I would highly recommend Fourtree Lawyers, they travel all over NSW.
We found Fourtree Lawyers on Google after hours. I called on a Sunday and got some good advice. So went in to meet Kevin on the Monday. The outcome was a section 10(1)(b). We were so pleased and relieved. Thank so much to Kevin and Jane!! Would definitely recommend Fourtree Lawyers! Worth every cent! – JM Terrigal
I was recommend to Fourtree Lawyers from a friend whom also experienced a serious driving infringement. My situation was slightly more serious, being charged with drive while suspended, shared with a reasonably extensive driving record, meant my chances of driving home were minimal. Kevin’s realistic and knowledgeable approach not only prepared & educated me upon all possible verdicts, but also supported me with all possible optimistic outcomes. Kevin’s extensive knowledge of the legal system, combined with the understanding of the Judges expectations, and vast life experience resulted with an outstanding result,...
From the first phone conversation Fourtrees gave us the confidence and reassurance that that our matter would be handled with professionalism and an outcome we were hoping for. The submissions given outlined how we felt and defended our matter perfectly. We couldn’t be happier with the care and comfort we received. We would recommend Fourtrees to anyone needing legal advice & will use Fourtrees for all and any of our future legal matters.