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Acquisition Sale And Disposal Of Weapons - QLD

What the law says

Sections 35 of the Weapons Act Queensland states:

  1. A person may acquire a weapon only if-
    • (a) the person is a licensed dealer; or
    • (b) the person is the holder of a permit to acquire the weapon and acquires the weapon
      • (i) from or through a licensed dealer; or
      • (ii) through a police officer in circumstances prescribed under a regulation; or
    • (c) the person acquires the weapon under other lawful authority, justification or excuse.
    is guilty of a crime

Principles and Object of Act

  1. The principles underlying this act are as follows-
    • (a) weapon possession and their use are subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety;
    • (b) public and individual safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons and requiring the safe and secure storage and carriage of weapons.
  2. The object of this act is to prevent the misuse of weapons.

How object is to be achieved for firearms

The object of this Act is to achieved for firearms by-

  • (a) prohibiting the possession and use of all automatic and self loading rifles and automatic and self loading shotguns except in special circumstances; and
  • (b) establishing an integrated licensing and registration scheme for firearms; and
  • (c) requiring each person who wishes to possess a firearm under a licence to demonstrate a genuine reason for possessing the firearm; and
  • (d) providing strict requirements that must be satisfied for-
    • (i) licences authorising possession of firearms; and
    • (ii) the acquisition and sale of firearms; and
  • (e) ensuring that firearms are stored and carried in a safe and secure way

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused is not a licensed dealer; or
  2. The accused has not acquired a weapon; or
  3. The accused does not hold a permit to acquire the weapon; or
  4. The accused did not acquire the weapon through a police officer in circumstance prescribed under a regulation.
  5. The accused has not acquired the weapon under any lawful authority, justification or excuse.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Acquisition, Sale and Disposal of Weapons is

  • (a) for a category D, H, or R weapon-100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.
  • (b) For a category C or E weapon-60 penalty units or 1 year imprisonment.
  • (c) For Category A, B, or M weapon-20 penalty units or 6 months Imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is summary and can only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The accused is a licensed dealer.
  2. The accused is the holder of a permit to acquire the weapon through a licensed dealer; or
  3. The accused is the holder of a permit and acquired the weapon through a police officer in circumstances prescribed under a regulation; or
  4. The accused did not acquire the weapon; or
  5. The accused acquired the weapon under lawfully under other lawful authority, justification or excuse.
  6. It was not the accused.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Acquisition, Sale and Disposal of Weapons matters)

 

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