Border force tip off leads to find of silencer kits
A ROCKHAMPTON property owner has been slugged with $4500 fines for illegal possession of silencers and not securing firearms.
Ashley Craig Chalk, 57, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on November 18 to two counts of illegal possession of silencers and one count of failing to secure firearms.
Police prosecutor Mark Platt said police searched Chalk's small cattle property in the Ridgelands area on October 9 after receiving information from Australian Border Force on August 19 after they seized a parcel with Chalk's PO Box address on the delivery form.
He said when police arrived, they found a bedroom that needed to be accessed by a key but had no security bars on windows, with the room containing three bolt action firearms not secured.
Mr Platt said there were magazines attached along with silencers.
He said there were also three hand guns on top of a tool chest, with loaded magazines but no ammunition loaded into any of the chambers.
Mr Platt said among items found were six firearm suppressor kits along with homemade silencers with the outside body made from Maglite torches.
He said some items were purchased overseas and some from Australian sellers on eBay.
Mr Platt said Chalk was not a licensed armourer and told police he kept the guns out for fast access to manage feral pests on the property.
Defence lawyer Allan Grant said there was an application by his client's brother to take ownership of the firearms.
He said his client, a qualified carpenter and accountant, is the carer for his 84-year-old father.
Mr Grant said Chalk had the guns out for cleaning and had just gone for a lunch break when police arrived with the search warrant.
He said Chalk used the firearms to fire "scare" shots when feral animals approached the house.
"He's had a lot of trouble during the drought with dingoes, wild dogs and feral cats," Mr Grant said.
"They are hard to track and shoot so one shot to scare them off."
Mr Grant explained the Chalk property was 40km out of Rockhampton in the Ridgelands area.
He said his client could lose his gun licence, with that matter to be dealt with in a fortnight.
Magistrate Jeff Clarke said he was concerned someone would have silencers.
"Usually the people with those are associated with organised crime," he said.
Mr Clarke said there had been reported instances where guns with silencers attached have exploded in handler's hands.
Mr Clarke said due to Chalk's unblemished record, no convictions were recorded for these offences.