If you are found guilty (or plead guilty) to a firearm offence, depending upon the circumstances of the offence, and your previous criminal history, the Court may impose a heavy fine and imprisonment.
Firearm Offences Lawyers in NSW
Our Criminal Law Team can assist you with matters related to firearm offences, we have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
We’ve been defending the people of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter region since 1969 and have helped our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in all Criminal Law matters.
We are used to dealing with the Police and know all the ‘ins and outs’ of the Courts and Justice system.
If you have been charged with this type of offence, contact our Criminal Law Team today to book a teleconference or appointment. We’ll fight vigorously to protect your freedom and rights.
What is a ‘Firearm Offence’ and what are the penalties?
Firearms and prohibited weapon offences are predominately offences under the Firearms Act 1996. This Act was introduced following the Port Arthur massacre and regulates the unauthorised possession, use, manufacture and supply of firearms.
Possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place
Under Section 93I of the Crimes Act, it is an offence to possess an unregistered firearm in a public place. This offence would be dealt with in the Local Court, unless an election is made for the matter to be heard within the District Court. The maximum penalty of imprisonment which can be imposed is two years or a fine of $5,500, or both. If the matter is elected to be heard within the District Court, the maximum period of imprisonment is 10 years. If there are aggravating circumstances of the possession of unregistered firearms, such period of imprisonment can increase to 14 years.
Firing a firearm at a house or building
It is an offence under Section 93GA of the Crimes Act for fire a firearm at a dwelling or house or other building with reckless disregard for safety. This is a strictly indictable offence and will be dealt with by the District Court. The maximum period of imprisonment is 14 years, however if such action was during public disorder, the period of imprisonment extends to a maximum of 16 years.
It must be proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution that you fired at a house or other building and such action was done with reckless disregard to the safety of any person.
Possession of an unlicensed firearm
Under Section 7A of the Firearms Act, it is an offence to possess an unlicensed firearm. The matter would be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made for the matter to be heard in the District Court. The maximum period of imprisonment is two years in the Local Court, however if the matter proceeds to trial in the District Court, the maximum period of imprisonment is 5 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 under Section 7 of the Firearms Act for an individual to use an unregistered firearm. If no election is made, the matter will be dealt with in the Local Court and maximum penalty is two years imprisonment. If the matter is elected to be heard by the prosecution to the District Court of NSW, the maximum period of imprisonment which an individual may be sentenced to is 14 years imprisonment.
To convict you of the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the firearm was in your possession or was used by you or contravenes any condition of the licence by utilising that firearm. If the matter proceeds to trial and you are found not guilty of the offence under Section 7, an automatic backup charge applies under Section 7A, being the unauthorised possession of a firearm.