A man who claimed he had been set up when police found a loaded gun and a knife strapped to his legs was "scattered" at the time of the offence, a court has heard.
Steven Augoustou, 25, of North Wollongong, had a pistol loaded with six rounds of ammunition on one calf, and a 33cm knife on the other when stopped by police during a routine traffic check in the early hours of April 25.
A passenger in the car, Augoustou attracted the attention of officers who searched the 25-year-old, locating the weapons.
He denied any knowledge of the knife and gun and claimed he had been set up.
Yesterday, Wollongong Local Court magistrate Michael Stoddart sentenced Augoustou to a minimum 12 months behind bars after he pleaded guilty to four charges, including possession of a loaded and unauthorised firearm, and custody of a knife in public.
Barrister Jane Healey said Augoustou was "very scattered" at the time of his arrest, had a history of mental health issues and had been self-medicating with Xanax.
However, she said her client accepted responsibility for what he had done and had entered pleas of guilty at the earliest opportunity. She said Augoustou was now back on track and rehabilitated from prescription drugs.
"This young man is at no risk of falling into the path of taking those drugs again," Ms Healey said.
She said he had the support of a loving family and work available to him upon release from jail.
In sentencing Augoustou, Mr Stoddart said he had taken into account his otherwise good record and early guilty plea. However, the facts surrounding the matter were serious and a custodial sentence was warranted, he said.
"The public would certainly be very concerned that people are travelling around with loaded firearms in their possession."
Augoustou appealed against the severity of the sentence and will remain in custody pending a hearing in Wollongong District Court on November 9.