The possession or use of dangerous weapons, prohibited weapons and firearms except where authorised, is a serious criminal offence. Penalties can be severe, including imprisonment and a criminal conviction. Offences include unauthorised possession, possession of unregistered firearms, discharge of firearms in a public place or to endanger life, unauthorised sale of firearms and more.
A firearm is broadly defined by legislation, and may cover more than what you might think – it includes part of a weapon such as a barrel of a gun! A firearm is a gun or any other thing capable of projecting an explosive. This includes a blank firearm and an air gun as well as an antique. It also includes key ring pistols, pen guns etc. To lawfully possess a firearm, it must be registered and the owner must have a licence. Further, the firearm must be kept in an approved safe and separately from ammunition – which must also be locked away.
What constitutes a dangerous weapon or prohibited weapon also goes beyond the obvious ones that come to mind – such as a slingshot, crossbow, flick knife, set of knuckle dusters and irritants such as mace.
Governments occasionally hold amnesties to give members of the community the opportunity of disposing of firearms, weapons and ammunition without the risk of prosecution. The reasoning is that firearms and weapons in the wrong hands can pose a significant threat to the safety of the wider community.
Persons who are the subject of AVOs (Apprehended Violence Orders) will be forced to surrender lawfully held weapons and their firearms licence for a period of 10 years. A person charged with an offence involving a weapon or firearm will probably have their licence revoked – this could occur prior to the matter being determined by a court.
What We Can Do For You – Nyman Gibson Miralis have accredited criminal law specialists who will give you professional legal advice, protect your rights and provide you high level representation at court. We can also assist with applications for the review of a decision to revoke a firearms licence or take the matter on appeal to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.