Mandatory jail term for unlawful possession of weapons in public

In a recent Court of Appeal decision in Brisbane the Court of Appeal confirmed the mandatory minimum sentence period of one year imprisonment served wholly in a corrective services facility for unlawful possession of weapons in public.

In this particular case the accused was arrested after disclosing to Police he had an illegal silver homemade single shot pistol in his motor vehicle.

The Magistrate’s Court Judge imposed the mandatory jail term in terms of Section 50 of the Queensland Weapons Act 1990. On appeal to the District Court the District Court found that probation, with a conviction recorded, was an alternative to the mandatory imprisonment.

On further Appeal to the Court of Appeal the Court of Appeal found that the Magistrate’s Court Judge was correct in his interpretation of the Weapons Act 1990 and confirmed the accused had to go to jail for one year. The accused went to jail.

A weapon is defined as…

  • A firearm, or
  • Another thing prescribed under a regulation to be a weapon or within a category of weapon.

Therefore, home made ‘items’ which could be identified as a weapon in terms of the legislation and regulations will also fall into this category which could cause the possessor of the item to be sent to jail for a minimum period of one year.

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