WA man charged over illicit firearms stash

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police

A 65-year-old man is due to face Perth Magistrate’s Court today (Friday 10 April) after the Western Australia National Anti-Gangs Squad allegedly found a cache of firearms at his Dianella home, with four guns hidden in the roof space.

WA NAGS investigators also allegedly discovered parts of a licensed shotgun hidden under the bed in the master bedroom when they executed a Misuse of Drugs Act search warrant at the Dianella property yesterday morning (Thursday, 9 April).

A total of eight firearms, including three unlicensed rifles and an unlicensed shotgun, and 600 rounds of incorrectly stored ammunition were seized from the home.

Police allege two of the unlicensed guns had the serial numbers removed and two were reported stolen from historical burglaries.

The 65-year-old has been charged with:

  • one count of an unlicensed person came into possession of three or more firearms, contrary to section 19(1ab) of the Firearms Act 1973 (WA)
  • six counts of fail to ensure safe-keeping of a firearm/ammunition, contrary to section 23(9d) of the Firearms Act 1973 (WA)
  • one count of possess drug paraphernalia, contrary to section 7B(6) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (WA)

The maximum penalty for unlicensed possession of three or more firearms is 10 years imprisonment, while failure to ensure safe-keeping of a firearm or ammunition carries a potential 12-month jail term.

Inquiries are ongoing and investigators have not ruled out laying further charges.

Police will also consider recommending the 65-year-old has his firearms licence revoked over concerns about his fitness to legally possess any guns.

AFP Commander John Tanti said removing illicit guns from the streets was a priority for police because of the danger they posed to the community if they were in the hands of criminals.

“Firearms are often used by drug dealers and outlaw motorcycle gangs in violent crimes or other criminal behaviour,” he said.

“Even when criminals are targeting each other, there have been too many examples of innocent people being caught in the deadly crossfire.”

“We also want to remind people who lawfully possess firearms to ensure they are safely stored so they are not stolen and fall into the wrong hands,” Commander Tanti said.

WA NAGS, comprising of members from the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police Force and Australian Taxation Office, targets OMCG involved in the movement of illicit drugs into and within Australia.

The AFP’s canine team also assisted at the warrant, with a firearms and explosive detection dog and a drugs and cash detection dog joining the search of the Dianella property.

/Public Release. View in full here.