Licenced firearm owners must correctly store their weapons in a secure location at all times when the licencee is not in physical possession of the weapon. It is a criminal offence otherwise and if charged, can carry with it some serious penalties. Our experienced weapons lawyers can provide you with timely advice regarding this charge.
What the law says
Sections 60 of the Weapons Act Queensland states:
- A licensee who has control of a weapon at a place must keep the weapon in secure storage facilities at the place when a person is not in physical possession of the weapon.
- The registered owner of a firearm must ensure that secure storage facilities for the firearm are available at the place shown in the firearms register as the place where the firearm is generally kept.
Principles and Object of Act
- 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.
- 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.
Section 60 (1)
- The accused was a licensee.
- The accused was a licensee who had control of a weapon.
- The accused did not keep the weapon in secure storage facilities when he was not in physical possession of the weapon.
Section 60 (2)
- The accused was the registered owner of a firearm
- The accused did not have secure storage facilities for the firearm when it was not in his physical possession.
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.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Secure Storage of Weapons is
Section 60 (1) 100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment
Section 60 (2) 100 penalty units
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
Section 60 (1)
- The accused was not the licensee who had control of a weapon.
- The accused was not in physical possession of the weapon at the time.
Section 60 (2)
- The accused was not the registered owner of a firearm.
- The accused did have a secure storage facility shown in the firearm register available for the firearm where it was generally kept.