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Gun Theft in NSW

In NSW, there are numerous private firearm owners who have a private cache well above the national average. With all of those guns in private owner’s collections, the issue of storage and theft of those firearms becomes a significant concern, not only to the owners, but also law enforcement and the general public.

According to the ABC News (article published 11.10.2018), in Tamworth a single owner has a cache of 312 firearms; in Cardiff (near Newcastle) 310 firearms; in Mosman 285 firearms; in North Sydney 268 firearms; and another in La Perouse 305 firearms. This indicates that where people live has little to do with whether private collections of firearms are amassed, however, the one consistent issue is that all of these firearms are stored correctly, so that they do not become targets for opportunistic thieves.

ABC News also recently reported that gun theft has doubled since 2007. It is also recognised that these figures could be much higher, as gun theft is a generally under-reported crime.

Safe Storage

Pursuant to section 40 of the Firearms Act 1996 (the Act),

Any person in possession of a firearm must take all reasonable precautions to ensure the firearm is kept safely, is not lost or stolen and does not come into the possession of an unauthorised person.

The legislative safe storage requirements for Category A & B firearms are also covered in section 40 of the Act:

  • When any firearm is not actually being used or carried, it must be stored in a locked receptacle of a type approved by the Commissioner of Police and that is constructed of hard wood or steel and not easily penetrable.
  • If the receptacle weighs less than 150 kilograms when empty, it must be fixed in order to prevent its easy removal.
  • The locks of such a receptacle must be of solid metal and be of a type approved by the Commissioner.
  • Any ammunition for the firearm must be stored in a locked container of a type approved by the Commissioner. Ammunition may be kept in the receptacle with the firearms but must be kept in a separate locked container within the receptacle.

Failure to comply with these conditions can result in the loss of firearms licences, significant fines and confiscation of firearms. The two primary considerations for these conditions is obviously safety and security. It is ever a firearm owners’ responsibility to ensure that all of their firearms are compliant, to ensure that penalties are not enforced.

Have you been charged with a firearms related offence?

If you have been charged with an offence or would like legal advice relating to firearms matters, please contact Armstrong Legal on 1300 168 676 to discuss your matter and receive an obligation free consultation to plan your defence.

Image Credit – Stefano Garau ©

Written by Tyson Brown on October 25, 2018

Tyson has a down to earth, straightforward approach to life and the law, one which is well received by all who meet him. Tyson has the ability to relate to all clients on a personal level, having spent many years prior to his legal career in customer service and hospitality. View Tyson's profile

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