A magistrate has slammed a "foolish" elderly man who pulled a loaded .45 calibre pistol on a man he did not know at the Portland cemetery last year.
The 83-year-old man pleaded guilty in Portland Magistrates Court on Tuesday to firearm-related offences and was convicted and fined $1000.
The man attended the Cape Nelson Road cemetery in September last year to visit the grave of his recently deceased wife.
A verbal altercation occurred between him and another man he did not know about noon.
The man produced a firearm before driving off in his vehicle.
He was soon intercepted by police and a loaded .45 calibre pistol was located under a seat of his black Holden Cruze, as well as ammunition.
The court heard a subsequent raid at a Daniel Street address located two other unsecured rifles, as well as pocket knives and a quantity of unsecured ammunition.
One of the rifles was found leaning against a bedroom wall while the second was inside a bedroom cupboard.
Police located an empty gun safe at the property.
The man held current category A and category B gun licenses, which allowed him to legally carry long arms but not the handgun.
It is a condition of each licence that firearm owners maintain safe storage in accordance with the Firearms Act 1996.
The court heard the man was arrested and assessed at a hospital under the Mental Health Act.
He was later charged with offences, including possessing a handgun while unlicensed, carrying a loaded firearm in a populous place and other offences.
The court heard the man admitted to not having the right licence for the handgun, which he'd owned for a decade.
The man's lawyer said the man had an argument with the victim at the cemetery at a time when he was mourning the death of his wife.
He said the man always carried the handgun with him in the front seat of the car but had otherwise lived a blameless and fulfilling life with his family.
Magistrate Nunzio La Rosa said in a normal context the man would be facing an immediate term of imprisonment.
He said if the man had the history of career criminals such as Tony Mokbel or Carl Williams he'd be looking at upwards of five or six years' jail.
"But that's not your circumstance," he said while accepting the man had an "impeccable background".
Mr La Rosa said the man wasn't a significant figure in the underworld or a drug trafficker seeking to protect his business.
But he said the unsafe storage of firearms could have seen the dangerous items fall into the wrong hands and be used in the commission of offences.
The magistrate accepted the man was a selfless and devoted husband but it did not excuse "the foolish and utterly dangerous position you created on September 2 last year".
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