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Shortening Firearms - QLD

What the law says

Sections 61 of the Weapons Act Queensland states:

A person must not, without reasonable excuse-

  • (a) shorten a firearm; or
  • (b) possess a firearm that has been shortened; or
  • (c) acquire or sell a firearm that has been shortened

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 without lawful excuse shortened the firearm; or
  2. The accused possessed a firearm that has been shortened; or
  3. The accused acquired or sold a firearm that has been shortened.

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 Shortening Firearms is 100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The accused had a lawful excuse for shortening the firearm.
  2. The accused did not possessed firearm that has been shortened.
  3. The accused did not acquire or sell a firearm that has been shortened.
  4. It was not the accused.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Shortening Firearms matters)

 

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