Weapons Act Offences

In Queensland the Weapons Act 1990 creates various offences relating to the possession, registration and use of weapons. It is important to remember that even if you are a licensed weapon holder there are obligations imposed on you regarding registration, reporting and storage. Section 34 notes that a licensee must not contravene a condition of their licence with potential penalties being a fine or 1 year’s imprisonment.

Robertson O’Gorman is experienced in providing legal advice regarding weapons matters. Contact us on 3034 0000.

Sections 50(1) of the Act notes a person must not unlawfully possess a weapon. Weapon is defined as

(a) A firearm: or

(b) Another thing prescribed under a regulation to be a weapon or within a category of weapon; or

(c) A thing that would be a weapon mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), if it were not temporarily inoperable.

Similarly, pursuant to section 35 a person must not acquire a weapon unless licensed to do so.

The Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 provides greater detail as to items that will fall into Section 50(1) (b).

The penalty for possessing a weapon varies depending on the type of weapon. For example, for possessing a category A, B or M weapon a penalty of 100 penalty units or two year imprisonment can be imposed whereas the possession of more than 10 weapons of specific categories can result in 13 years imprisonment.

Pursuant to section 50A a licensee must not possess an unregistered firearm. The maximum penalty for this offence is 120 penalty units.

Just as the possession of a weapon is illegal, section 50B makes it an offence to supply an unlawful weapon. The penalty will again vary as to the type and number of weapons being supplied. Section 65 deals with the trafficking of weapons. The maximum penalty here can be 20 years imprisonment. Having a registered licence or being authorised to supply the item under the Act is an obvious defence.

Even if you hold a weapons licence it is important to adhere to that licence particularly in regards to storage. Section 60 provides that a licensee who has control of a weapon at a place must keep the weapon in secure storage facilities at the place when a person is not in physical possession of the weapon. A 2 year term of imprisonment can apply for contravening this section.

Section 60 A provides for circumstances where an owner of a weapon loses or has stolen that weapon. The Act requires the loss be reported to the police as soon as they become aware that they are no longer in possession of the weapon. Fines can apply.

A person who owns or possesses a weapon that, while in the person’s ownership or possession, is, or apparently is, lost or stolen must report the loss or stealing to a police officer immediately the person becomes aware of the loss or stealing. Maximum penalty—10 penalty units.

Section 157 makes it an offence to lend our any licence or to have in possession something that resembles a licence but is not authorised. Any licence that is obtained by any false statement or misrepresentation is void. Fines and short terms of imprisonment can apply here.