Gunning On Empty: Firearms Vs Toys

People would be surprised to learn what in fact can be considered a Firearm for the purposes of the Criminal Law.

The Firearms Act defines a “firearm” as “a gun, or other weapon, that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive, and includes a blank fire firearm, or an air gun, but does not include a paintball [gun]….”

An “air gun” is defined as “a gun that—

(a)  can propel, or is designed to propel, a projectile—
(i)  by means of any gas or mixture of gases, including air but not including a gas or mixture of gases generated by an explosive, or
(ii)  by means of a spring, and

(b)  is operated or designed for operation by means of a trigger or similar device.

So if this is the case what is a Firearm?

Pistols and Rifles

Yes, these are firearms.

Gel Blasters

Yes, per the definition Gel Blasters are treated as air guns in NSW and as such are firearms. These are very commonly charged as illicit firearms.

NERF guns

Potentially. Technically NERF guns are air guns per the definition, but they are very rarely charged by Police as firearms.

What about things that are not air guns? What if it just looks like a gun?

Replica/Imitation Firearms

s 4D of the Firearms Act provides that if a gun looks like a firearm or a pistol it is taken to be a real firearm under the criminal law. The one exception to this is children’s toys.  That said, the Supreme Court in Darestani found that an item may cease to be a children’s toy if it used as though it was a real firearm. An example being that if you took a cap gun and used it to rob a grocery store you may be liable for Robbery with dangerous weapon (firearm).

So be careful about your next online purchase – because possessing an unauthorised firearm carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, with a 5 year standard non-parole period.  

At Green & Associates, we are experts in applying for no convictions and have an excellent success rate in achieving this for our clients. Regardless of the charge, we are ready to be in your corner and assist you during this uncertain time. If you or someone you know needs assistance with firearms charges, contact our office or book an appointment today.

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