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Causing danger with a firearm or spear gun is an offence under section 93G of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
A ‘public place’ includes any place that is publicly owned as well as privately owned property that is open to members of the public, such as:
A ‘firearm’ is defined as:
A gun, or other weapon, that is or 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 marker.
The definition includes an ‘imitation firearm’, which is an object that, regardless of its colour, weight or composition, or the presence or absence of any moveable parts, substantially duplicates a firearm in appearance, but is not a firearm.
The definition does not include an object produced and identified as a children’s toy.
A firearm is considered to be ‘loaded’ if there is ammunition:
A spear gun is ‘loaded’ if a spear, or other instrument or thing similar to a spear, is fitted to it.
You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to satisfy the court, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that you had a reasonable excuse or lawful purpose for possessing the item.
Defences to the charge include:
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