Unlicensed Own Category C or D Longarm or Handgun
Category C firearm’s include:
- Semi-automatic rimfire rifle with a magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds;
- Semi-automatic shotgun with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds;
- A pump action shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds;
- A tranquiliser gun.
- The above guns with greater magazine capacities;
- A semi-automatic centre fire rifle;
- Any other firearm prescribed for the purposes of this category;
- Any other firearm that is declared to be a Category D by the Chief Commissioner.
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.
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?
The 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.
Sentencing in the Magistrates’ CourtsFrom 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016, there were 65 cases (75 charges) of Unlicensed Own Category A or B Longarm that were heard in the Victorian Magistrates’ Courts. They resulted in the following penalties:
- Imprisonment – 29.1%
- Community Correction Order – 25.5%
- Fine – 23.6%
- Wholly Suspended Sentence – 9.1%
- Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal – 7.3%
- Other – 3.6%
- Community-Based Order – 1.8%
For the fines, the highest amount imposed fell under the “$500 < $1,000” and “$2,000 < $3,000” categories, at 33.3% respectively of the charges that led to fines (for aggregate). These are also the same categories where majority of the charges that led to fines fell under. For non-aggregate fines, the highest amount imposed was somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 (5.6%).1
Please note that suspended sentences were abolished in Victoria for all offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.2
 Sentencing Advisory Council. “SAC Statistics – Firearms Act 1996 (Vic) : s 135(2) – unlicensed own category C or D longarm or handgun.” SentencingCouncil.vic.gov.au. https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/magistrates_court/96_66_135_2.html (accessed January 14, 2019).
 Sentencing Advisory Council. “Suspended Sentence.” SentencingCouncil.vic.gov.au. https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/sentencing-options-for-adults/suspended-sentence (accessed January 14, 2019).