Coodanup man convicted on homemade gun charges

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN found in possession of several guns, including a self-manufactured 12 gauge zip gun fitted with homemade stock, pleaded guilty in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Jason Michael Attwell (29), who doesn’t hold a WA firearms or ammunition license, pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited plant, a controlled weapon, two counts of unlicensed manufacturing of firearms and ammunition and two counts of unlicensed possession of firearms and ammunition.

He was sentenced to a nine-month intensive supervision order with program requirements and 60 hours of community work.

Police searched Attwell’s Coodanup home after they received a complaint about a gun being fired near a river reserve where his car was found.

Police said they searched the master bedroom of his home on September 12 and found a bag containing firearm parts and ammunition.

A long-barrelled firearm in three parts, a .22 calibre rifle barrel and a 12-gauge shotgun barrel were also found.

Police said Attwell made the 12-gauge barrel, stock and firing mechanism and he told police he fired ammunition that day at a nearby river reserve.

On the same day and place, police searched his shed and found a self-manufactured 12-gauge zip gun fitted with homemade stock, a bag containing 53 cannabis seeds, a replica pistol, removable magazine and a working slide.

Police said Attwell admitted he owned the seeds and planned to plant cannabis in his garden.

Attwell admitted to possessing the replica pistol, removable magazine and a working slide but failed to provide a legitimate reason for it.

Police said they found a total of 363 rounds of live .22 calibre ammunition and 70 rounds of ammunition including a buck shot and solid slugs.

They also found several quantities of live 12-gauge cartridges on the same day.

Attwell admitted to police he was in possession of the ammunition.

Defence lawyer Russell Mark said Attwell used to work as a farm hand completing work as a tree lopper until he injured himself in July 2016 and fractured his spine.

In relation to the charges, Mr Mark said Attwell had always been fascinated with firearms, and started watching YouTube videos on how to manufacture guns and made them for curiosity’s sake.

He said Attwell used a firearm near the river reserve but had no intent to do something with them like rob a service station.

Mr Mark said Attwell received the ammunition as a gift from a friend and they weren’t sophisticated.

Defence said the marijuana seeds were given to Attwell by a friend.

Medication for Attwell’s work injury costs him $40 each time so he planned to turn to marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Mr Mark said Attwell did not grow them or buy them.

Police prosecutor Mick Fallows said these were serious matters and in the make of the firearms, was surprised Attwell hadn’t injured himself with the firearms and he ordered for them to be destroyed.

Magistrate Anne Longden said Attwell pleaded guilty to the six offences at the earliest opportunity but added it was worrying Attwell successfully manufactured firearms because he was a father.

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