Possessing homemade gun for an hour earns year in jail

A GUN that can't shoot has earned a Cairns man one full year in jail.

Bradley James Abotana, 21, received a mandatory 365 day prison term for possessing a one-shot "zip gun" for 90 minutes last May.

Documents tendered to Cairns Magistrates Court show that Abotana was pulled over at 3am on Moody St, Manoora.

Police searched his car when Abotana appeared "extremely uncomfortable and nervous" - and their suspicions were raised when he dropped a "blue and red pipe" from his pocket.

The pipe turned out to be a ring-pull 0.22 zip gun, which is considered a category H firearm.

The court heard that the gun was "temporarily inoperative" due to a damaged chamber and could not fire bullets.

 

Pen guns.
Officers also found .22 ammunition and methylamphetamine.

Officers also found .22 ammunition and methylamphetamine.

Scott Osborne, defending, said his client had fallen back in with friends who had supplied the meth and gun as "a curiosity".

"He said he had the gun for an hour and a half in total," Mr Osborne said.

"It is a different angle to possessing a Glock - but when you possess this on the street the consequences could be grave."

Abotana pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a category H short firearm in public, possessing explosives without authority and possessing a dangerous drug.

By law, if a person unlawfully possesses a short firearm in a public place without a reasonable excuse, one year's imprisonment must be served wholly in a corrective services facility.

Magistrate Robert Spencer said that despite the minor nature of the weapons offence, his hands were tied.

"I do not have any option, I do not have any discretion," Mr Spencer said.

"It is not totally appropriate but I do not have an option."