This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Possession of Unregistered Firearm in Public Place


In NSW, it is an offence to possess an unregistered firearm in a public place. This offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment. If the offence involves the possession of more than one unregistered firearm or of an unregistered firearm that is a pistol or of an unregistered firearm that is a prohibited firearm, then the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation, the offence then carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years imprisonment.

The Offence of Possess Unregistered Firearm in Public Place

The offence of possess an unregistered firearm in public place is contained in section 93I(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, which states that the offence is punishable by imprisonment for 10 years. When the offence is committed under circumstances of aggravation, such as possessing more than one unregistered firearm or having a pistol or prohibited firearm that is unregistered, it carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 14 years.

What is an Unregistered Firearm?

An unregistered firearm, is a firearm that is not registered with the firearms registry.

What Actions Might Constitute the Offence of an Unregistered in Public Place?

Examples of possess an unregistered firearm in public place include:

  • Taking an unregistered firearm to a park to practice shooting.
  • Having an unregistered firearm in your vehicle whilst driving.

Examples of Aggravated an Unregistered Firearm in Public Place include:

  • Possessing two unregistered firearms.
  • Possessing a pistol.
  • Possessing a machine gun, sub-machine gun or any other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict a person of a possession of unregistered firearm in a public place the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you possessed an unregistered firearm in a public place, and
  • That you were not authorised under the Firearms Act 1996 to possess the firearm.

Possible Defences for Possession of Unregistered Firearm in Public Place

Possible defences to a possession of unregistered firearm in public place charge include, but are not limited to:

  • That the firearm was in fact registered;
  • That you did not know, or could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the firearm was unregistered, and you were not the owner of the firearm at the time of the alleged offence;
  • If you purchased the firearm and you are a licensed firearms dealer and an application for registration of the firearm is made within 24 hours after acquiring the firearm.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

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

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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.

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