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Use Unlicensed Firearm

Firearm Offences – NSW

Welcome to the NSW Use unlicensed firearm article page. Everything you need to know about Use unlicensed firearm according to NSW law – Dated: 01/09/2009

What the Law States according to NSW Law for Use unlicensed firearm

According to NSW Law for the charge of Use unlicensed firearm,

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
53108 Possess unauthorised pistol – T2
53107 Possess unauthorised prohibited firearm-T2
53110 Use unauthorised pistol-T2
53109 Use unauthorised prohibited firearm-T2

The Maximum Penalty – Use unlicensed firearm

According to NSW Law for the charge of Use unlicensed firearm:

The maximum penalty for the charge of use unlicensed firearm (Section 7 of the Firearms Act) is 14 years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a use unlicensed firearm charge.

  • Section 10: use unlicensed firearm proven but dismissed
  • Fine
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Community service order (CSO)
  • Suspended sentence
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention)
  • Home detention
  • Prison sentence

You’ll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Likely Penalty

Local Court

Based on our experience and statistics from the Judicial Commission of New South Wales we believe that the penalty in a case that is within the mid range of seriousness for the offence of use unlicensed firearm, if heard in the Local Court, is likely to be a good behaviour bond under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a period of 3 years.

District Court

If the matter is finalised in the District Court the likely penalty is imprisonment for a period of 2 ½ years.

What the Police must prove according to NSW Law for Use unlicensed firearm

To convict you of a use unlicensed firearm charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. A firearm was in your possession or was used by you.
  2. The use of the firearm was within the terms of the licence, if any.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the use unlicensed firearm offence.

Possible Defences under NSW Law – Use unlicensed firearm

Possible defences to a use unlicensed firearm charge include but are not limited to:

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Self Defence

In NSW which court will hear the matter – Use unlicensed firearm

This matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Section 10 for a Use unlicensed firearm charge: Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead.

Fines for a Use unlicensed firearm charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a possession of data with intent charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.

Good behaviour bond for a Use unlicensed firearm charge: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years.

Community service order for a Use unlicensed firearm charge (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order.

Suspended sentence for a Use unlicensed firearm charge: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years.

Periodic detention for a Use unlicensed firearm charge (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Intensive correction order for a Use unlicensed firearm charge (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service.

Jail for a Use unlicensed firearm charge: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of Use unlicensed firearm and involves full time detention in a correctional facility.

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