A FARMER found with three loaded firearms has been not convicted and fined $1500.
Darren Blackmore, 44, of the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road, Port Fairy, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to being a non-prohibited person carrying a long arm and failing to store a long arm correctly.
Six other charges were withdrawn.
Police went to his home at the end of November last year and found an unregistered .22 calibre Winchester rifle in a gun safe along with a registered Brescia shotgun.
Unsecured, resting against a bedroom wall, there were an Iver Johnson Champion shotgun and a loaded Howa 1500 .223 calibre rifle and a loaded Winchester .22 lever action rifle.
In Blackmore's vehicle was a loaded registered Henry .22 lever rifle.
Blackmore took the police officers to where the guns were located.
Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly said his client was involved in the Country Fire Authority, the Murray to Moyne Cycling Relay and other community groups.
He said Blackmore used the guns to control foxes, had been out late at night and been lazy when he didn't put the firearms away securely.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said it was very concerning there were unsecured loaded firearms at the property although she noted Blackmore had no prior court appearances.
She said it was a concern for the community that farm guns fell into the wrong hands and there was a large black market for such firearms.