There are strict controls on firearms use, possession and storage, and offences can occur when these are not met.
Some examples of firearm offences include where a person fails to register a weapon, does not hold a licence, fails to store firearms or ammunition correctly, possesses an illegal or restricted firearm, or when someone discharges a firearm in an unlawful manner. Recreational shooting
If you wish to own a firearm, you should be aware of the regulations in relation to this and ensure you are aware of the general requirements for applying for a weapons licence. For recreational shooting on any rural land, the area of the property you would like to shoot on has to be of sufficient size to ensure the safe use of the category/ies of weapons which is normally more than 40 acres. It is considered an offence to shoot on or into neighbouring private land without getting permission from the owner.
According to QLD Law for the charge of Acquisition Sale And Disposal Of Weapons Sections 35 of the Weapons Act Queensland states that anyone may acquire a weapon as long as the person is a licensed dealer, the person holds a permit allowing the acquisition of a weapon and has bought it through a licensed dealer lawfully. The main aim of this act is to prohibit the possession and use of automatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns. It also requires the need for the license holder to prove he or she has good reason for holding a license, as well as making certain that firearms are always stored and moved in a safe manner.
Firearm offences involve unlawful possession, use, supply, storage, or carriage of firearms or other weapons. Firearm offences are governed by the Weapons Act 1990 Queensland
Unlawful possession of weapons, which is the possession of a weapon without a licence, permit or exemption, or in contravention of a licence, permit or exemption
Secure storage, which is the requirement to store firearms and ammunition in a locked container that meets certain standards and is not easily penetrable
Unlawful supply of weapons, which is the supply of a weapon to another person without being authorised to do so, or without ensuring that the other person is authorised to possess the weapon
Unlawful possession of weapons for an unlawful purpose, which is the possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence
Possession of a short firearm in a public place, which is the possession of a firearm that is less than 75 cm long in a public place without a reasonable excuse
Carriage of weapons in public places, which is the carriage of a weapon exposed to public view, loaded or capable of being discharged in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse
There are generally fines or imprisonment penalties for firearm offences that vary depending on the nature and severity of the offence. If a person unlawfully possesses a weapon, the maximum penalty is 13 penalty units or three months imprisonment. However, if they knowingly possess a weapon for an unlawful purpose, the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment.
The recent changes to the Weapons Act 1990 in Queensland have introduced mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment for certain offences under the act. These offences include:
- Possession of a firearm for the purpose of committing a criminal offence
- Unlawful possession of a firearm for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence
- Unlawful possession of a short firearm in a public place
- A mandatory minimum sentence varies from six months to 18 months, depending on the type and number of firearms involved.