Magistrate Michael Allen told Rylstone Local Court that “a message needs to be sent to the community” when it comes to preventing firearms falling into the wrong hands.
Colin Thorn, aged 81, of Growee, was convicted and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond on nine charges, three each of; possessing an unregistered firearm; not keep firearm safely; and possess unauthorised firearm.
At about 1.48pm on October 26, 2017, police executed a search warrant on Thorn’s property for firearms and ammunition.
When asked if he had anything to declare he pointed officers to an unlocked gun cabinet in an open shed, where they found three .22 calibre rifles.
Police noted that Thorn was cooperative although seemed oblivious to firearms legislation.
Magistrate Allen said, “the time for unregistered guns is over, it’s 2018 not 1818”.
He pointed to possibility of firearms being stolen and used in serious crimes or escalating incidents such as domestic violence.
His honour going on to say a criminal conviction was necessary, “even though it’s an 80-year-old standing before me”, in order to “send a message of deterrence to the community”.