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Police catch grazier with 30 unsecured guns

GUN CHARGES: Grazier Bruce Wagner (left) from Kents Pocket leave Ipswich Magistrate Court with his son Kurt, and lawyer Andrew Hanlon from Potts Lawyers. Mr Wagner received a good behaviour bond for firearm storage offences.
GUN CHARGES: Grazier Bruce Wagner (left) from Kents Pocket leave Ipswich Magistrate Court with his son Kurt, and lawyer Andrew Hanlon from Potts Lawyers. Mr Wagner received a good behaviour bond for firearm storage offences. Ross Irby

GRAZIER Bruce Wagner has sold some of his guns after police found more than 30 guns inside a shed on his rural Mount French cattle property.

The licensed weapons owner was in breach of licensing storage regulations with a gun safe not bolted down in his house, and the shed not properly secured.

An Ipswich magistrate told Wagner that the laws must be complied with to prevent unsecured weapons falling into the hands of criminals.

Bruce James Wagner, 67, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to being a licensee did not properly secure weapons in February 2018 at Kents Pocket; unlawful possession of weapons; and unlawful possession of weapons category C/E weapon.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said police had search warrants and spoke to Wagner and his two sons at their property on February 8.

He held various firearm licences including a collectors licence. Wagner told officers he had no unlawful weapons and all were in gun safes.

Rifles were found inside a small green safe inside the house that was not bolted down to the floor and easily moved. Inside a shed were more than 30 firearms.

There was a gun safe but the shed was not properly secured as required for that number of firearms.

Its roller doors were not secured by locks or bolts.

Three safes held 38 registered weapons owned by himself or his sons.

There were also two pump-action semi-automatics and a bolt-action shot gun (registered/licenced as Collectors).

Sgt Dick said he did not have details of transactions for the collectors weapons.

And Wagner knew he could not have 30 or more in the shed without it being fully secured.

Defence lawyer Andrew Hanlon said Wagner had since disposed of seven weapons and had no history, and ran cattle on 1500 acres.

The collectors weapons had no records because they were guns he had for 30 years when there had been different legal requirements.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess did inquire as to why he would need to have so many guns.

Ms Sturgess accepted that Wagner simply allowed himself to "become sloppy" in keeping them safely stored.

"Properties like yours can be targeted by people who want to get hold of such weapons.

"They can be targets of theft," she reminded him.

Ms Sturgess placed Wagner on a $1000 good behaviour bond for 12 months.

No conviction was recorded.

Topics:  editors picks ipswich ipswich court ipswich crime


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