There is a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment for a person found guilty of the charge of Possessing, carrying or using a handgun without a licence (non-prohibited person).
Possessing a handgun without a licence will usually result in the confiscation of the weapon, large fines, and prison in serious cases. Most people are non-prohibited persons. Generally those who are prohibited have committed firearms offences.
This charge is laid where a person has a handgun in their possession without the proper licence.
In essence to prove this accusation the Prosecution must show that the accused possessed a handgun and did not have the proper licence.
A defence to this may arise where an accused had the weapon for the purposes of self-defence. Other defences include lack of intention to possess the firearm.
As this is a summary offence this will be heard by the Magistrates Court.
You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged.
Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has huge consequences for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.
This is legislation that comes from section 7 of the Firearms Act 1996.