In Victoria it is an offence to possess, carry or use a firearm (including a longarm and a handgun) that is not registered.
For a longarm, the maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of up to 120 penalty units or 2 years’ imprisonment.
For a handgun, the maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of up to 240 penalty units or 4 years’ imprisonment.
If you have been charged with “possession of an unregistered 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.
A Court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Possessing an Unregistered Firearm
This offence is contained in sections 6A and 7B of the Firearms Safety Act.
Section 6A states that ‘a non-prohibited person must not possess, carry or use a category A or category B longarm that is not registered’.
Section 7B states that a ‘person must possess, carry or use a general category handgun that is not registered’.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of this offence, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you were in possession of the firearm, or were carrying or using the firearm;
- The item in question fits the definition of a firearm; and
- That the firearm was not registered.
Possession in relation to a firearm includes:
- Actual physical possession;
- Custody or control; or
- Having and exercising access to the firearm, either solely or in common with others.
Carry in relation to a firearm includes the carriage of the firearm either as a whole or in parts and either by one person or more than one person.
Possible Defences for Possessing, Carrying or Using an Unregistered Firearm
Possible defences to this charge include but are not limited to:
- Lack of intent/honest and reasonable mistake
- Factual Dispute
What Court Will Hear Your Matter ?
Although this matter is an indictable offence, it will likely be dealt with by the Magistrates’ Court.