Police searched a Goonellabah home for firearms.
Police searched a Goonellabah home for firearms. NSW Police

Give up 'toy' guns or move to Queensland, magistrate warns

A GOONELLABAH man has been sentenced to a good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to possessing illegal firearms that are "considered a toy" in Queensland.

Ryan Anthony Hawthorne, 34, appeared before Lismore Local Court on Monday for sentencing on charges of possessing an unauthorised firearm, acquiring a firearm part without authority to do so, possessing an unregistered firearm, and not keeping a firearm safely.

Richmond Police District had raided Hawthorne's home on Thursday and located a .22 calibre rifle with a fitted suppressor under his bed, 96 rounds of .22 and .410 ammunition and a part for a Gel Blaster.

 

Magistrate David Heilpern told the court these types of firearm possession matters were becoming more frequent, especially as different states have different rules for the guns seized at Hawthorne's home.

Gel Blasters are legally available in Queensland and South Australia, but not in Victoria or NSW.

"In Queensland you can walk into shops and simply purchase (a Gel Blaster), they're considered a toy," Mr Heilpern.

"Your place was raided as a result from either a tip off from authorities when you tried to import them.

"Letters from your premises show you knew you couldn't import them from overseas but there's no import problem when you can travel a few hours north and have them in your possession."

Mr Heilpern said he believed Hawthorne had no intent to use the firearms for criminal purposes.

"You got involved in a group that does this gel blasting and that was your social outlet," he said.

"But you have to give these up, unless you move to Queensland, you can do what you like with them."

Hawthorne was given a good behaviour bond for a period of 18 months and wasn't issued any fine.



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