The offence of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm is found in section 135(1) of the Firearms Act 1996 in Victoria. It is committed by a person in possession of a category A or B longarm without the required licence.
Have you been accused of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm?
Police InterviewThe police will only interview you about an allegation of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm if they suspect you are guilty of this charge. They may have received a complaint or may have obtained CCTV footage. But they won’t tell you what they have until after the interview. Therefore you do not want to make comments during the interview which may fill their gaps.
The best thing you can do for yourself before attending a police interview in relation to an allegation of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm, is to speak to a lawyer. One of our lawyers will listen to your case and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the interview process so you can walk in with confidence.
You can make a no comment interview, or you can respond to police questions. Knowing your rights and obligations when being interviewed by police will help you to feel as comfortable as possible in a stressful situation.
Pleading Not GuiltyIf you deny the allegation of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm, you will be pleading not guilty to the charge against you. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers we will help you to understand the Court process and the steps it will take to reach an outcome in your case. Additionally, we will prepare a strong defence strategy for you to rebut the prosecution allegations.
Our expert defence lawyers will request further disclosure material, which the police do not readily hand over and review the brief of evidence in detail and look for inconsistencies in the police investigation. Sometimes the police do not find all of the available evidence.
One of our lawyers will vigorously defend you against the allegations in Court and advise you of your options so you are fully aware of how your matter is progressing.
Pleading GuiltyA plea hearing is your chance to convince the Court you should receive the lowest possible penalty available to you for Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm. The Court will want to hear about the circumstances that lead to the offending, your personal circumstances and any other factors that might reduce the penalty being considered. To support submissions made to the Court about penalty, it is important to obtain material to support them such as:
- psychological reports,
- course certificates,
- character references.
Which court will the case be heard in?As a summary offence, this charge will primarily be handled by the Magistrates’ Court.
What is the legal definition of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm?A person must not own a category A or B longarm unless that person is authorised by a licence under this Act to possess the firearm.
Examples of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm
- Your father passes away and leaves you his old firearms in his Will. Instead of handing them into the police, or obtaining a licence to possess the firearms, you keep them for a few years and go out hunting on the weekends.
Elements of the offenceThe prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:
- The accused owned a category A or B longarm; and
According to section 3 of the Firearms Act 1996, a Category A longarm means any of the following—
- an airgun;
- a rimfire rifle (other than a semi-automatic rimfire rifle);
- a shotgun (other than a pump action or semi-automatic shotgun);
- any combination of a shotgun and rimfire rifle;
- a muzzle loading firearm;
- a centre fire rifle (other than an automatic or a semi-automatic centre fire rifle);
- any combination of a shotgun and centre fire rifle;
- a black powder, ball firing cannon;
- The accused did not have a licence authorising possession of the firearm.
LegislationThe legislation for this offence can be found on section 135(1) of the Firearms Act 1996.
DefencesDefences that can be run in response to this charge a lack of the necessary intent to possess, sudden or extraordinary emergency, incorrect factual matrix and the concept of beyond reasonable doubt.
Questions in cases like this
- Did you own a firearm?
- Was it a category A or B longarm?
- Were you authorised to possess the firearm?
Maximum penalty for section 135(1) of the Firearms Act 1996The offence of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm (s135(1) of the Firearms Act 1996) has a maximum penalty of a fine of 60 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment.
Other important resources
- VCC summaries – firearms offences: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017, arranged by severity of total effective sentence