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£500 fine for man who had legally held shotgun propped up next to his bed

He admitted failing to store the weapon correctly

Failing to store a legally held shotgun correctly has landed a man with a £500 fine.

Court heard disposal of the weapon would not be made on this occasion and would have to be made through ancillary applications as ordered by the judge.

Gareth Lowry, of Clarendon Park, Magheralin, pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to comply with conditions subject to which a firearm certificate was held by him.

Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday heard that on April 13 police attended an address in the Magheralin area to find the 39-year-old’s legally held shotgun propped up next to his bed.

The gun safe was also located under the bed and not on the wall which Lowry admitted to being a breach of conditions.

The weapon was seized by police.

On April 24, the defendant attended the police station for interview.

He told officers that the gun had been left out for a few days and the gun safe had not been on the wall for a couple of years.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy stated: “The gun was not loaded and had been set out by Mr Lowry to be cleaned.”

He added that the gun box had been removed from the wall when gas was put into the property and the defendant accepted, he should have put it back up.

Mr Murphy informed the court that Lowry had held the licence for 12 or 13 years and had never come to police attention for anything other than traffic offences.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers stated: “I will be dealing with this with a simple fine as you will have to acknowledge that this will impact on any future applications.”

Lowry was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

Judge Ievers said: “With regards to the disposal of the gun itself this may come back to court as it will be treated as an ancillary aspect which will have to start afresh.”

The price of the shotgun was reported to be in the region of £1,500 to £2,000.

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