In the state of NSW Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) is an Order made by the Commissioner of NSW which simply prohibits a person from bearing or possessing a firearm including, ammunition, firearm parts and this is on the basis that it is not in the Public Interest to do so.
It should be noted that a member of the NSW Police Force (of any rank) can nominate a subject for a FPO. Did you know that this power extends to both sworn as well as unsworn staff in the NSW Firearms Registry?
FPO laws are often viewed to be onerous on individuals given that a subject to an FPO does not necessarily have to be convicted of any firearm related offence, a Firearm Prohibition Order could simply be sought based on police intelligence or even in circumstances where there are no links to any criminal activity. On the other end of the spectrum, people who have been convicted of serious criminal matters including armed robbery, will likely give rise to that order.
What happens if you are subject of a FPO?
The police then can conduct searches at any time without a search warrant. The police are not required to have ‘reasonable suspicion’; that a certain individual has committed an offence or is likely to commit an offence in the future. If a person is subject to an FPO then the police will be able to use their powers to conduct relevant checks as to whether an individual is abiding by the terms of the FPO. Did you also know that an individual that is a subject of an FPO (including anyone in the company of that individual) can be searched immediately without sufficient cause?
Is there a right of Review?
FPOs do not expire with the passage of time. After an individual is served with an FPO the individual has 28 days to request that the NSW Police Force review the decision to impose the FPO. There is no obligation on the NSW Police Commissioner to even consider that request for review. In the event that the police agree to review the FPO and if the outcome of such review is unsuccessful, then the individual must be given reasons as to why the FPO will not be lifted and why the FPO was imposed.
The police have refused to Review the FPO, What next?
The NSW Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (NCAT) can be the next further option for review, but unfortunately this option is not available to all individuals. If the person who is a subject to the FPO has past convictions for certain prescribed offences being dishonesty related offence(s), serious drug related offence(s), if the person has been subject to AVOs in the last 10 years then the person will not be able to explore this further option for Review and as such they will be prohibited from applying to NCAT for further review.
Our team of experienced solicitors are there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.
*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 10th May 2022.
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