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Unlicensed Firearm (Unauthorised Possession of Firearm)

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton
Craig Robinson
Andrew Tiedt
Andrew Fraser
Mariah Maltezos
Sarah Marinovic
Michael Hempsall
Will Del Din
Trudie Cameron

Section 7A of the Firearms Act provides that "A person must not possess or use a firearm unless the person is authorised to do so by a licence or permit."

The maximum penalty for a "unauthorised possession of firearm" charge is 5 years imprisonment.

If you have been charged with an "unauthorised possession of firearm" offence, we recommend that you seek legal advice promptly so that you can properly determine your options. Our lawyers are highly experienced in criminal law and they will be able to ascertain the strength of the prosecution case against you.

Which court will hear your unregistered firearms charge in NSW:

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 a unauthorised possession of firearm 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
53111 Possess unauthorised firearm-T2
52814 Use unauthorised firearm-T2

What the police must prove:

To convict you of a possess unregistered firearm charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. 1) That a firearm was in your possession; and
  2. 2) The use of the firearm was not within the terms of the licence, if any.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the possess unregistered firearm offence.

Possible Defences

Possible defences to a possess unregistered firearm charge include but are not limited to:

Types of penalties:

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

Home Detention: Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. 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 possess unlicensed firearm 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.


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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.

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