'Foxes don't wait for you to get guns from safe': court
A KILKIVAN land owner, stripped of his right to keep guns, says he is now unable to protect his livestock from wild dogs and vermin.
Richard Allen Moye tried to convince a Queensland court "foxes don't wait" for gun owners to go to a safe and unlock their weapons before they attack.
Moye found himself on the wrong side of the law following a police raid of his property, which targeted his adult son, in January last year.
During the raid, an unsecured shot gun and rifle were found in the caravan where Moye slept. A further two guns were kept in a cool room.
Marijuana and fishing rods, suspected of being stolen, were also found on the property.
Moye pleaded guilty to the weapons offences in Gympie Magistrates Court and was fined $440.
He admitted he knew the marijuana was there for people who "wanted to have a good time" on his property but denied having any knowledge about the alleged stolen rods.
He said the raid was a "hard lesson" and he had since kicked his son out of home. He was released on good behaviour bonds and no convictions were recorded.
The magistrate at the time did not disqualify Moye from holding a weapons licence.
His licence was revoked anyway by the police weapons branch.
Moye appealed the decision in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on the grounds he needed to protect the goats, chickens and guinea pigs on his eight-hectare property.
He said he was unable to defend the animals, some of which had been killed since he lost his guns.
He also claimed the guns had been out of storage for only one day at the time of the raid because "foxes were around" and he needed to have the weapons within reach.
The tribunal heard it was not the first time Moye had failed to lock up his guns.
Unbeknown to him at the time, his son had previously taken one of his guns on a shooting trip in NSW.
During the 2001 trip, his son's friend suffered a psychotic episode and attempted suicide, causing a bullet to become lodged in his brain.
It was unclear whether the bullet came from Moye's gun or another weapon but he was disqualified from holding a weapons licence for two years.
Things got worse for Moye when he was involved in a serious motorbike accident late last year which left him with multiple broken bones and restricted his use of his trigger arm.
It was also revealed during the hearing that some of the guns discovered at the Kilkivan property were unregistered, which Moye claimed was due to a misunderstanding about the transfer of certificates from NSW to Queensland.
The tribunal heard however that at least one of the guns had been bought since Moye moved to Kilkivan and he simply "hadn't got around" to registering it.
Queensland Police submitted Moye's "lax approach" to his firearms meant the public could not be confident he would keep the guns in a safe place or stop other people from using them.
QCAT member Michelle Howard agreed.
Ms Howard said while the magistrate may have concluded Moye's acts were down to "stupidity", the evidence before the tribunal suggested they were instead "demonstrative of a careless attitude towards the weapons-law related responsibilities of a licensee".
She also found Moye was more remorseful about being caught than he was of his actions.
The appeal was dismissed.
- ARM NEWDESK