Carry/Use a Loaded Firearm in a Town, Populous Place or Public Thoroughfare/Place

by Doogue O’Brien George

If you are found guilty of “carrying or using a loaded firearm in a town, populous place or public thoroughfare/place”, you may be fined up to 60 penalty units or receive a period of imprisonment of up to 12 months. These are the maximum penalties and would usually only be awarded in cases of more serious nature.

Cases of this type of offence will generally be decided by the Magistrates’ Court. During the period January 2010 to December 2012, a total number of 79 cases of this charge were sentenced by the Victorian Courts.

The Firearms Act 1996 (Vic) is the relevant legislation for this offence. Section 130(1) states that a person must not carry or use a loaded firearm in a town, populous place, or public thoroughfare or place.

A finding of guilt of a criminal offence may result in serious consequences. You can minimize the risk of such consequences by seeking legal advice from a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will assess your situation and help you decide whether you should plead guilty or contest the charge.

The elements of this offence are:

  • A person carried or used a loaded firearm; and
  • They did so in a town, a populous place or on any thoroughfare or place open to or used by the public for passage with vehicles.

There may be a defence which is relevant to your situation. These include an error of fact and a failure of the prosecution to prove the elements beyond reasonable doubt. Other applicable defences are duress, self defence, necessity, sudden or extraordinary emergency, honest and reasonable mistake of belief, impossibility, mental impairment, and claim of right.                                                                                   


Doogue O’Brien George are a leading Victorian criminal law firm who have extensive criminal law and jury trail experience, acting for clients who are pleading not guilty and clients who are pleading guilty. With five offices in Melbourne’s busiest Court precincts and more Accredited Criminal Law Specialists than any firm in Victoria, a Doogue O’Brien George lawyer will handle your case with determination and fight for your rights. Visit or call 03 9670 5111 for more information. You will need proper advice and support to get the best possible result.


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