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Key decisions

  • Carlin v R [2019] NSWCCA 130
  • R v Irwin [2019] NSWCCA 133

Carlin v R [2019] NSWCCA 130

Definition of firearms and shortened firearms – correct offences

When is unauthorised possession of a firearm which is prohibited not unauthorised possession of a prohibited firearm? In this case, the CCA looked at the fine distinction between two similar offences in the Firearms Act 1996 (‘the Act’) and pointed to an issue with shortened firearms which means that the applicable offence is not necessarily obvious.

The applicant pleaded guilty to firearms offences, including three of possessing a prohibited firearm without a licence or permit, contrary to s 7(1) of the Act. One of the firearms was a shortened shotgun. The applicant received an aggregate sentence at first sentence, but neither that sentence, nor her grounds of appeal were disclosed in the appeal judgment (which is a unanimous decision of Hoeben CJ at CL, White JA, and Hamill J). But it is clear that, in part, she was appealing against one of the convictions, for the reasons that follow.

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