Man, 81, allegedly pulled gun on neighbour over noise

Constables Kim Black and Aaron Delphine with firearms seized from Gympie on Friday and Saturday.
Constables Kim Black and Aaron Delphine with firearms seized from Gympie on Friday and Saturday. Tanya Easterby

GYMPIE gun owners have been warned to be vigilant with their paperwork and with how they store and carry their weapons and ammunition after a police crackdown netted several firearms and left a number of Gympie men in trouble with police on Friday and during the weekend.

As Queensland's 2013 Firearms Amnesty enters its second week, Gympie police district officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Graeme Reeves said yesterday, three men were charged over two days with various firearms offences, including not having a licence to carry a gun, not properly securing a gun and not correctly storing a weapon and ammunition in a car.

A .22 calibre rifle was seized by police at Heights Dr on Friday morning and an 81-year-old man will front Gympie Magistrates Court after he allegedly threatened his young neighbour with the rifle during a neighbourhood dispute.

Snr Sgt Reeves said the man's 26-year-old neighbour had been playing music while he did his housecleaning and refused to turn the music down when asked.

The 81-year-old allegedly then went into his house and returned carrying a rifle, he said.

He was issued with a ticket to appear in Gympie Magistrates Court at a later date. The man was not taken into custody because of his age, and was so distressed by the situation he had to be taken to Gympie Hospital for observation, Snr Sgt Reeves said.

The following morning, a roadside breath test in Mary St netted the second firearms offence at 3.50, when police saw the butt of a rifle and two boxes of bullets lying on the back seat of a vehicle.

A 20-year-old passenger in the car told police he was in possession of two rifles in the car, but that they actually belonged to his father and grandfather. He had borrowed them to go shooting on a property earlier that night, he told police.

Guns should be locked away in a sealed case when being transported in a car, Snr Sgt Reeves said. The man has been charged with improperly storing a weapon and ammunition and will appear in Gympie Magistrates Court next month.

The third firearm offence occurred on Saturday night, just before midnight, when police were conducting mobile random breath tests in Gympie and stopped a Toyota Hilux.

When they walked up to the car they saw a box of ammunition lying in the back tray of the Hilux and another two boxes in the front.

Snr Sgt Reeves said the driver of the car told police he had gone out to buy some food, but that the car belonged to his brother, who had been out shooting that day.

The driver said the rifles were back at the family home, so police then went to the house at Two Mile and talked with the brother, who said he had lent two rifles to his brother and a friend to go shooting.

The rifles were found in the laundry but they had not been securely stored, so they and the ammunition were all seized by police, Snr Sgt Reeves said.

A charge of failing to correctly secure a weapon is expected to be laid.

Firearms Amnesty

  • In the wake of proposed sentence changes to firearm offences, a firearms amnesty exists until April 30, 2013.
  • The amnesty allows licensed gun owners who have an unregistered firearm to register it under their current licence.
  • Unlicensed owners can apply for a licence or surrender their weapons.
Gympie Times

Topics:  crime gun amnesty guns police

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