Headshot of Sarah Rayner - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthWe recently looked at the licensing and permit requirements to obtain a firearm. Following on from that, we now take a look at firearms offences.

We warn you firearms offences carry heavy penalties including substantial imprisonment sentences. As with obtaining a firearm, you must have a genuine reason for possessing one. Genuine reasons include being the owner of a rural property or memberships of shooting clubs.

It is an offence to possess a firearm without a licence or permit. If found to have a firearm without a proper licence or permit, you face a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment.

If you are found with a “Prohibited Firearm” you face a prison sentence of fourteen (14) years. “Prohibited Firearms” can include pump action shotguns and machine guns and many more. You can also be charged for supplying, acquiring, possessing or using a firearm that is unregistered. Unregistered firearms will incur a maximum prison term of five (5) years and supplying, acquiring, possessing or using prohibited firearms has a maximum of fourteen (14) years prison sentence.

You can also face terms of five (5) to fourteen (14) years in prison if you contravene a Prohibition Order. Prohibition Orders are made if you are deemed an unfit person to possess a firearm.

There are also offences for a failure to ensure safekeeping of firearms. These offences range from failure to keep firearms away from a person who is not authorised to use them and failing to store firearms correctly and securely. Penalties range from $2,200.00 up to two (2) years imprisonment for this type of offence.

These are just the penalties with respect to holding firearms, the penalties for the misuse of firearms or using firearms in the commission of a crime are much much harsher.

Firearm offences can be quite complex. If you require legal advice with respect to a firearm offence, contact Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Sarah Rayner.