A MAGISTRATE has slammed gun laws allowing unlimited weapon ownership when sentencing a Wodonga man on firearm and steroids charges.
David Palhares, 32, was found with a cache of firearms at his home, business and father’s house during a police raid on September 3, 2015.
Included in the haul was an unsecured Chinese made semi-automatic assault rifle and ammunition at his Hovell Street business.
Police also uncovered 46 red anabolic steroid pills and steroid oil at the business, which the former Twin City Wanderers soccer player said he used before games and workouts.
Two longarms were found at his home and his father’s house had a silencer, three air rifles and a .22 calibre rifle.
Seven centre fire guns, a double barrel shotgun and rimfire rifles were also seized.
Magistrate John O'Callaghan appeared perplexed in the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court on Monday as a police prosecutor told him many of the weapons could be kept legally.
He was told people could own as many guns as they want if they were licensed and the weapons registered and secured.
“As long as they’re registered you can have as many as you want by the sounds of it,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“I just find that odd. I think it just makes a mockery.
“We’re coming up to the 20th anniversary of Port Arthur.
“The police are working to stop guns falling into the hands of bad people.
“Surely there must be a quota if the aims of Port Arthur are to be fulfilled.”
The magistrate said a break-in could have resulted in “10 armed felons” with “a bit of an armoury”.
“I find it quote worrisome that there is no quota on the number of guns a person can have.”
Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 23 in Port Arthur on April 28 to 29, 1996.
Officers seized rounds of ammunition for Palhares’ semi-automatic rifle stored in a PVC container and box.
The illegal weapons, including the semi-automatic rifle, will be destroyed but Palhares will be able to keep the legal weapons.
His gun licence will be cancelled for 12 months and he must pay $3000 to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
He must be of good behaviour for 12 months.
The court heard Palhares had been a player for the Twin City Wanderers and still supported the club.
Defence lawyer Mario Vaccaro said his client had used steroids after being injured.
“I used the liquid to put in my water before an intense workout or game,” Palhares told police.