In Victoria, Unlicensed Own Category C or D Longarm or Handgun is found in section 135(2) of the Firearms Act 1996. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who was found to be in possession of a category C or D longarm or handgun without the required licence.
Have you been accused of Unlicensed Own Category C or D Longarm or Handgun? Legal advice can be the difference between you telling police things which can harm your defence or having charges withdrawn or an acquittal.
Police InterviewFrom our experience, it is worthwhile for you to get legal advice prior to being interviewed by police for the offence of owning a category C or D longarm or handgun without the required licence. You should contact our office to arrange an appointment with a lawyer.
Often the police interview is the last stage of an investigation and police have already determined that you will be charged with this criminal offence even though they will make it seem this is your opportunity to speak. Anything that is said by you in the interview is recorded and can be used as evidence against you in support of the offence. It is also important to remember that anything you tell police “off the record” will also appear in evidence.
It is important to have legal advice ahead of this process to protect your rights.
Pleading Not GuiltyA well prepared contested hearing is the key to success when pleading not guilty to the offence of owning a category C or D longarm or handgun without the required licence.
Our lawyers conduct their own investigative work when analyzing the issues that are presented in the evidence relied upon by police. We have conducted many contested hearings for persons who elect to plead not guilty to this offence.
Pleading GuiltyFirearms offences are treated very seriously by the courts. It is important for the court to be made aware of your personal circumstances and the circumstances which surrounded the offending when you plead guilty to owning a category C or D longarm or handgun without the required licence.
We regularly appear in pleas of guilty for people charged with this offence and can assist you in obtaining and presenting the most relevant material to the court to achieve a positive sentencing outcome.
SentencingSentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria
Which court will the case be heard in?As a summary offence, any summons for this charge will normally be handled by the Magistrates’ Court.
What is the legal definition of Unlicensed Own Category C or D Longarm or Handgun?
- A person must not own a category C or D longarm or a general category handgun unless that person is authorised by a licence under this Act to possess the firearm.
Examples of Owning a Category C or D Longarm or Handgun
- Having a category C or D longarm or category in your possession or control without a license.
Elements of the offenceThe prosecution must prove:
- The accused possessed a category C or D longarm or handgun; and
- The accused did not have a licence authorising possession of the firearm.
LegislationThe legislation for this offence can be found on section 135(2) of the Firearms Act 1996.
DefencesDefences that can be run in response to this charge include necessity, lack of intent, sudden or extraordinary emergency, incorrect factual matrix and the concept of beyond reasonable doubt.
Questions in cases like this
- What intent can be identified from the circumstances surrounding the matter?
- Was there an emergency situation?
- Were you the one in possession or control?
Maximum penalty for section 135(2) of the Firearms Act 1996The offence of Unlicensed Own Category C or D Longarm or Handgun (s135(2) of the Firearms Act 1996) carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 120 penalty units (around $19, 340) or 2 years imprisonment.
Other important resources
- SAC Statistics – Firearms Act 1996 (Vic) : s 135(2) – unlicensed own category C or D longarm or handgun
- VCC summaries – firearms offences: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017, arranged by severity of total effective sentence