STASHING a gun and ammunition in his father’s ute has prevented a young Noorat man from competing at state shooting titles.
Jonathan Sloane, 21, of Glenormiston Road, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to failing to correctly store a firearm and ammunition and failing to notify of a change of address. He was not convicted and fined $750.
Defence counsel Amanda Chambers said Sloane had planned to shoot in the Victorian titles but would be unable to do so when his gun licence was cancelled.
A request for her client to be dealt with through the court diversion program was deemed not appropriate by police due to the number of firearms stolen in the south-west in the past couple of years.
Police said that on May 4 they saw a shotgun and about 100 cartridges in a locked dual-cab utility at a property they had visited for an unrelated matter.
Ms Chambers said Sloane had gone shooting with a friend and locked the gun in the utility for safe keeping.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said the theft of firearms was a real problem and of great community concern.
He said Sloane had been foolish and it was not possible to rely on everyone else to be honest.
“Someone could have seen the gun, smashed a window, stolen it and it could now be out in the community being involved in serious crime,” he said.