Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Matters involving firearms are treated seriously by the courts in the ACT, with heavy penalties provided for even simple possession matters. Many people are unaware that merely possessing a part of a firearm, such as a barrel or grip, or a replica firearm that they believe to be a toy, can attract a prison sentence.
There are more than 60 separate offences spelt out in the Firearms Act 1996, from trafficking, manufacturing or discharging firearms in a public place to simply possessing a replica or imitation (perhaps still kept in its display case and never taken out of the home).
What is a Firearm?
The Act defines a firearm as “a gun, or other weapon, that is, or at any time was, capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive force”. The definition includes a firearm frame or firearm receiver that does not form part of a firearm and the definition includes also a “modified item”, which means something that would be a firearm if it did not have something missing from it, or a defect or obstruction; or something had not been added to it.
As well as that definition, the Act also defines, in a 24-item schedule, what constitutes a prohibited firearm. Many items incapable of propelling a projectile and acquired only for souvenir or curiosity value are captured by the legislation.
The definition of firearms, prohibited firearms and unregulated firearms in the Act (which came into force in the ACT in 1996, the year of the Port Arthur massacre) is extensive. The Act lists 24 particular items as prohibited firearms, including various replicas and even imitation paintball markers and speargun attachments.
The maximum penalty for possessing one or two prohibited firearms is 10 years’ imprisonment, rising to 14 years for three but fewer than 10 firearms, and to 20 years for 10 or more firearms.
The maximum penalty for unauthorised possession of other firearms is five years’ imprisonment, rising to seven for three or more but fewer than 10 firearms, and to 20 years for 10 or more firearms.
The seriousness of matters of possessing firearms varies greatly, from the possession in public of many weapons capable of causing death to the possession of a boxed replica that never left one’s home.
Other Firearms Offences
Disposing of or acquiring a firearm without the appropriate licence or authorisation carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, rising to 10 years for a prohibited firearm.
A person who inherits a firearm and does not hold or obtain the relevant licence, or otherwise surrender it to police or dispose of it to a licensed dealer, faces a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units.
If someone is found to have sold or acquired firearms on three separate occasions inside a 12-month period, he or she can be liable to prosecution for trafficking firearms, the maximum penalty is 20 years’ imprisonment.
Discharging a firearm in a public place carries a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units and/or one year’s imprisonment. That penalty reduces to 50 penalty units and/or six months’ imprisonment if the firearm is discharged over other land.
Manufacturing, or taking part in the manufacture of, a prohibited firearm carries a maximum penalty of 1500 penalty units and/or 20 years’ imprisonment, reducing to 1000 penalty units and/or 10 years for an ordinary firearm.
It is an offence to act contrary to a licence and the maximum penalty for doing so in relation to a prohibited firearm is 1000 penalty units and/or 10 years’ imprisonment and 500 penalty units and/or five years’ imprisonment in the case of other firearms.
There are many classes of licences, including adult, minor and composite (corporation or government entity) and it is an offence (10 penalty units) to fail to report when a licence is lost, stolen or destroyed.
It is a more serious offence not to surrender firearms when a licence is cancelled or suspended or to fail to hand in a licence when it has been cancelled or suspended. The maximum penalty in each case is a fine of 50 penalty units and/or six months’ imprisonment.
The Act specifies that personal protection of one’s self or of another person, or of property, is not a genuine reason to be granted a firearms licence.
The Act includes schedules of prohibited items, including 9 bladed weapons, 10 hand weapons, five missile weapons and 19 other weapons or articles.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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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