- Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) v Shaba  NSWSC 811
- Rohan v R NSWCCA 89
Police powers – search – firearms prohibition orders
A judge of the Supreme Court has held that police do not need to suspect that a person who is the subject of a firearms prohibition order has a firearm before exercising a related power to search them.
The defendant was the subject of an order under the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) prohibiting him from acquiring or possessing a firearm. He was stopped for a random breath test, during which the police officer discovered the existence of the order. Section 74A of that Act entitles police to search ‘as reasonably required’ to check whether a person who is the subject of a firearms prohibition order has committed a relevant firearms offence. Despite having no relevant suspicion, the officer conducted a search, during which he found not a firearm, but about 450g of cannabis. He arrested and charged the defendant. At hearing the defendant argued that the power in s 74A requires an officer to form a suspicion before exercising the power. The Magistrate found that the search was unlawful (and hence dismissed the charge) on the basis that the officer had no reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant was not complying with the prohibition order. The prosecution appealed.