If you are charged with a firearms or weapons offence, you should obtain legal advice immediately. There are a number of possible provisions under which charges may be laid, each with different elements, penalties and procedures. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
The following Acts specifically regulate firearms and weapons in New South Wales, and set out numerous offences. They are frequently amended.
Firearms Act 1996 (NSW)
A “firearm” means a gun, or other weapon, that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive.
The Firearms Act provides for a comprehensive license and permit scheme for firearm owners, as well as a registration scheme for firearms themselves. There is no firearm that is not touched by these schemes – if it is a firearm, it is regulated. This gives rise to a great many offences set out by the act, including:
- Section 7: unauthorised possession or use of pistols or prohibited firearms – maximum penalty imprisonment for 14 years, standard non-parole period 4 years.
- Section 7A: unauthorised possession or use of firearms generally – maximum penalty imprisonment for 5 years.
If either of the above charges is prosecuted in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 2 years and/or 50 penalty units.
Part 6 of the Act also sets out about 40 miscellaneous offences relating to firearms and firearm parts, with various maximum penalties.
Weapons Prohibitions Act 1998 (NSW)
Prohibited weapons are listed in Schedule 1 and include items such as a flick knife, a trench knife, any bomb/grenade/rocket/missile, a flame-thrower, a crossbow, knuckledusters, mace, kung-fu sticks, a taser gun and many others.
The Act provides for various regulatory mechanisms of items proscribed as prohibited weapons, including a permit scheme, safe keeping requirements and weapons dealing regulations. It also sets out a number of offences, including:
- Section 23(1): buy a prohibited weapon without a permit – maximum penalty imprisonment for 5 years.
- Section 23A: sell a prohibited weapon to a buyer not authorised to possess – maximum penalty imprisonment for 14 years in the case of prohibited weapons, 20 years in the case of military-style weapons.
- Section 23B: sell prohibited weapons on an ongoing basis (3 or more separate occasions within 12 months) – maximum penalty imprisonment for 20 years.
- Section 25: advertise sale of prohibited weapons without stating permit required – maximum penalty 50 penalty units.
Section 25A: unauthorised manufacture of prohibited weapons – maximum penalty imprisonment for 14 years in the case of a prohibited weapon and 20 years in the case of a military-style weapon.
As such, it is important to obtain legal advice to maximise your chances of a good outcome at Court.
If you are seeking legal advice, contact us for a free initial consultation.