An Albion Park Rail man will spend at least nine months in prison for possessing 20 'gel blaster' firearms, despite arguments that he did not know they were illegal and they were inoperable.
Adam Thomas Salmond was sentenced in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday to a year's imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine months.
He pleaded guilty to 16 counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm, four counts of possessing an unauthorised pistol, two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a licence, intimidating a police officer on duty, and common assault.
The gel blasters were discovered after police attended Salmond's Albion Park Rail home last May in response to an incident.
Salmond became enraged and yelled abuse at the officers, before stepping towards a female senior constable and shouting at her, "I will f***ing fight you c***".
He was sprayed with capsicum spray and retreated inside, where he was arrested.
While inside the home, police saw what appeared to be a firearm.
They subsequently found a number of air guns, hydrated gel balls, magazines, a taser and a zombie knife.
The items were seized and four of the 20 air guns were defined as pistols under the law, the remaining 16 considered firearms.
Salmond was also in possession of 6mm air gun pellets.
Defence lawyer Matthew Ward conceded Salmond's offending was serious, but he was instructed that none of the firearms were in working order; he also said it was clear the firearms were being "taken apart".
Mr Ward told the court the firearms were gel blasters which he did not believe could cause much physical damage to a person, although this would depend on the distance from which they were fired.
There was an issue with knowledge, too, he said: while this was not a defence, the firearms could be purchased online at the time of the offending, and they were legal in some states.
Mr Ward said Salmond's motive for possessing the firearms did not involve "serious criminality".
Salmond had demonstrated remorse and insight in a letter he wrote to the court, he said, and he had not shied away from the possibility of community service despite health issues.
But magistrate Darryl Pearce said deterring others from committing such offences played a significant role in determining the sentence.
Magistrate Pearce accepted Salmond was contrite, and a pre-sentencing report was positive.
He granted Salmond a 20 per cent discount on his sentence for pleading guilty, but had doubts the offender's health issues would allow him to undertake community service.
"Clearly, the court has to take the view that these are very serious matters," Magistrate Pearce said.
In addition to jailing Salmond, Magistrate Pearce ordered he undertake a 12-month community corrections order and pay a $500 fine.
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