Unregistered Firearms – s 36 Firearms Act

Faced with an unregistered firearms offence can feel overwhelming. Our criminal defence lawyers are experts in firearms offences with over 20 years experience of proving their clients innocence, convincing police to drop charges early and helped thousands of clients avoid prison and criminal convictions. Call now to speak to a senior criminal lawyer for realistic and practical advice.

Your Options in Court

You can only be found guilty to the offence of unregistered firearms if police can prove beyond reasonable doubt, each of the following elements of the charge in court:

  • You supplied, acquired, possessed or used a firearm, pistol or prohibited firearm; and
  • The firearm was not registered

You will be found not guilty, and your charge dismissed if police are unable to prove any one of the above elements in court.

Defences to this charge

You will be Not Guilty if:

  • You didn’t know the firearm was unregistered, and you were not the owner of it at the time.
  • You could not reasonably be expected to have known the firearm was unregistered, and you were not the owner of it at the time.
  • Where an application for registration of the firearm was made within 24 hours after acquiring it, a licensed firearms dealer cannot be guilty of acquiring or possessing it.
  • Where the firearm is registered in another state or territory of Australia.
  • Honest Mistake: You honestly believed the firearm to be registered, where the court considers your belief to be reasonably held in the circumstances.
  • Self Defence: Where you believed it was necessary to acquire, supply, possess or use the firearm to protect yourself, property or another person, and only if the court considers that your belief was reasonably held in the circumstances perceived by you at the time.
  • Duress or Necessity: Where you were coerced into acquiring, possessing, supplying or using it, or where you did this to avoid serious injury.

You will be found not guilty if any one of the above common defences apply to your case. Our expert firearms lawyers will be able to hand pick your best defence before then strengthening it early in the case. While they have won a record number of firearms cases for over 20 years, they specialise in getting these charges dropped early through tactful negotiations.

If pleading guilty to an unregistered firearms charge, see the below crucial points and information on how to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome by avoiding prison, and a criminal record. Speak to one of our expert firearms lawyers now for further guidance.

25% Discount on punishment

You will receive a more lenient outcome, and better result, by receiving up to 25% discount on your punishment if a plea of guilty is entered at the earliest possible time in your case. The later a plea is entered to an unregistered firearms offence, the smaller that discount becomes.

This is why it’s important to receive early, experienced, advice from an expert firearms lawyer.

Good character references

These are letters from family, friends, charity, work, and even from you for the Judge to read. It can result in a more lighter outcome, with a better result in court if each letter expresses your good character, remorse, insight and embarrassment.

Our senior lawyers, are highly experienced, and they will guide you through each stage.

Negotiate to drop charges

The chances of your firearms charge getting dropped or downgraded is increased by getting an expert firearms lawyer to carefully read the police evidence, pick out all the holes in it, then tactfully negotiate with police to drop the charges early in your case.

Our firearms lawyers have successfully convinced police to drop charges early countless times for over 20 years, and have earned a significant reputation for achieving this.

Negotiate facts

The police set of facts is a document drafted by police expressing your offending behaviour which you plead guilty to. This is handed to the Judge to read when he/she is considering your punishment. Because it is often one sided, painting the worst picture of you, it often results in a heavier punishment.

This is why it’s critical to negotiate this to ensure it reflects the truth, painting you in a better light for the Judge to read, often resulting in a much lighter outcome and better result. Our senior lawyers will pick out all the holes in the police evidence, and use this when negotiating with police to change the facts to something more favourable to you.

Psychologist reports

Your result can be dramatically improved, with a much lighter outcome by the Judge, by getting a powerful court report from an experienced and respected psychologist or psychiatrist.

To get the best out of such a report, our firearms lawyers will hand select the best suited expert for your case. The report should comment on your state of mind, remorse, contrition, insight and shame for your behaviour.

Maximum penalty

If you acquired, supplied, possessed or used an unregistered firearm, the maximum punishment is a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years if dealt with in the District Court, and 2 years if in the Local Court.

If the firearm is a pistol or ‘prohibited firearm’, the maximum punishment is a term of imprisonment of up to 14 years if dealt with in the District Court, and 2 years in dealt with in the Local Court.

It’s important to know, that the court only gives the maximum to the most serious cases of this offence. It’s rarely given, and there are other types of punishments available, see below.

Types of penalties

The Judge can give any one of the following types of punishment to you, depending on the above raised points in the way you prepare and present your case in court:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

For your unregistered firearms charge, speak to an experienced firearms specialist lawyer for realistic, practical advice on maximising your chances at getting the best possible outcome. Our criminal defence lawyers are leaders in firearm cases with over 20 years experience, who know exactly how to thoroughly prepare and powerfully present your case to the Judge.