What is a Firearms Prohibition Order?
The ownership and/or possession of any firearm and/or ammunition is strictly regulated. A Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) goes one step further than these general legal restrictions and restricts the person who is subject to the order from possessing and using firearms and/or parts of a firearm including ammunition.
An FPO is made by the NSW Police Commissioner/Police for any person the Police believe is not a fit person to own a firearm and that the order is in the public interest. In recent years, according to the Daily Telegraph there has been an increase of over 650% in a number of years.
If you are charged with breaching a firearms prohibition order, this is a criminal offence with maximum penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment. There are also a number of other weapons offences that you may be charged with. Each of these offenders are serious in their own right.
I have been served a Firearms Prohibition Order what do I do?
If you have been served with a firearms prohibition order or charged with a firearms offence you should obtain legal advice with a qualified criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.
You should surrender any firearms or firearms parts to the Police, it is likely that Police will search your home, vehicle and person on service of such an order and seize any of these items.
Can I have a Firearms Prohibition Order reviewed or appealed?
A person who has been served with an FPO has 28 days to request that the NSW Police Force review the decision. Some FPO’s are eligible to be reviewed by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) however, time limits and restrictions do apply.
How long does a Firearms Prohibition Order last?
Once an FPO is made, it does not have an expiry date.
If a person makes an application for a firearms license the NSW Police Commissioner is required to examine the application of that order at least once every five years if that person is a “fit and proper person and can be trusted to have possession of firearms without danger to public or to the peace”.
The Commissioner also holds the authority to withdraw/cancel an FPO at anytime without reason.
What are the repercussions for a Firearms Prohibition Order? Can police Search me?
A person who is subject to the order cannot, without reasonable excuse
- Reside in a premise that has firearms
- Visit a premise where firearms may be readily available for instance: shooting range, firearms club or other locations prescribed by the regulations.
One of the most serious consequences of an FPO is that a Police officer may legally under section 74A of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW):
(a) Detain a person who is subject to a firearm prohibition order, or
(b) Enter any premises occupied by or under the control or management of such a person, or
(c) Stop and detain any vehicle, vessel or aircraft occupied by or under the control or management of such a person, and conduct a search of the person, vehicle, vessel or aircraft, for any firearm, firearm parts or ammunition.
This power to search does not require a warrant or even reasonable suspicion to stop search and detain a person.
If you have received an FPO or require advice on Firearms Prohibition Orders or offences relating to Weapons and/or Firearms, please contact Catron Simmons Lawyers.