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Unregistered firearms


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

Section 36 of the Firearms Act provides: "A person must not sell, purchase, possess or use a firearm that is not registered."

The maximum penalty for a "unregistered firearms" charge is 10 years imprisonment if the firearm is a prohibited firearm or pistol, or 5 years imprisonment in any other case.

If you have been charged with a "unregistered firearms" 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.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an unregistered firearm charge.

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

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.

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
18703 Possess unregistered firearm-not prohibited firearm/pistol-T2
27060 Possess unregistered firearm-prohibited firearm-T2
27056 Possess unregistered firearm-prohibited firearm-T2
18704 Purchase unregistered firearm-not prohibited firearm/pistol-T2
27061 Purchase unregistered firearm-pistol-T2
27057 Purchase unregistered firearm-prohibited firearm-T2
27055 Sell unregistered firearm-not prohibited firearm/pistol-T2
27063 Sell unregistered firearm-pistol-T2
27059 Sell unregistered firearm-prohibited firearm-T2
27054 Use unregistered firearm-not prohibited firearm/pistol-T2
27062 Use unregistered firearm-pistol-T2
27058 Use unregistered firearm-prohibited firearm-T2

What the police must prove:

To convict you of an "unregistered firearm" charge, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. 1) That you sold, purchased, possessed or used a firearm; and
  2. 2) At the time, the firearm was not registered.

It is a defence if the person did not know, or could not reasonably be expected to have known that the firearm was unregistered and if they were not the owner at the time the offence is alleged to have occurred.

Section 34 of the Firearms Act provides for the registration of firearms.

Possible Defences

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

Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of use unlicensed firearm 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 an unregistered 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.

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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