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Causing danger with firearm or spear gun

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

An offence under section 93G of the Crimes Act arises when:

"Any person who:

  • (a) possesses a loaded firearm or loaded spear gun:
    • (i) in a public place, or
    • (ii) in any other place so as to endanger the life of any other person, or
  • (b) fires a firearm or spear gun in or near a public place, or
  • (c) carries or fires a firearm or spear gun in a manner likely to injure, or endanger the safety of, himself or herself or any other person or any property, or with disregard for the safety of himself or herself or any other person."

The maximum penalty for a charge under section 93G is 10 years imprisonment.

Parliament has treated offences under section 93G as more serious than reckless wounding offences, as evidenced by the high maximum penalty. The rationale behind this is that once a projectile weapon is fired, the person has no control over the ultimate destination of the projectile.

This matter is a Table 2 offence. This means that the matter will likely be dealt with at the Local Court, however, the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court, which will give rise to harsher penalties.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:

You will find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

What is the law part and the short description?

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
64865 Possess loaded firearm public place (DV)-T2
436 Possess loaded firearm public place-T2
64866 Possess loaded spear gun public place (DV)-T2
437 Possess loaded spear gun public place-T2
438 Possess loaded firearm endanger life non-public place-T2
64867 Possess loaded firearm endanger life not public (DV)-T2
439 Possess loaded spear gun endanger life non-public place-T2
64868 Possess loaded spear gun endanger life not public (DV)-T2
64869 v Fire firearm in or near public place (DV)-T2
440 Fire firearm in or near public place-T2
64870 Fire spear gun in or near public place (DV)-T2
441 Fire spear gun in or near public place-T2
64871 Carry firearm manner likely injure person/property (DV)-T2
442 Carry firearm manner likely injure person/property-T2
64872 Carry spear gun manner likely injure person/property (DV)-T2
443 Carry spear gun manner likely injure person/property-T2
64873 Fire firearm manner likely injure persons/property (DV)-T2
444 Fire firearm manner likely injure persons/property-T2
64874 Fire spear gun manner likely injure person/property (DV)-T2
445 Fire spear gun manner likely injure person/property-T2

What the police must prove:

To convict you of a "causing danger with firearm or spear gun" charge, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. 1) That you:
    1. (a) possessed a loaded firearm or spear gun in a public place, or in any other place; or
    2. (b) that you fired a firearm or spear gun in or near a public place; or
    3. (c) that you carried or fired a fire arm or spear gun in a manner likely to injure, or endanger the safety of yourself, or any other person or property, or that you did so with disregard for the safety of yourself or any other person; and
  2. 2) That it was done so as to endanger the life of any other person.

The Police must also prove beyond reasonable doubt that you did not have a reasonable excuse for possessing the thing or doing the action and that you did not have any lawful purpose.

Possible Defences

Possible defences to a "causing danger with firearm or spear gun" charge include, but are not limited to:

Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty for this charge and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Intensive correction order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Periodic detention (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Suspended sentence: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community service order (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good behaviour bond: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Fines: When deciding the amount of a fine for a causing danger with firearm or spear gun charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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