Arsenal of WWII guns, ammo, drugs uncovered in Burnett raid

A POLICE search of a Booie home uncovered a semiautomatic rifle, ammunition, literature on drug production and cannabis.

But according to the man convicted of possessing the cache of guns and drugs, he's simply a collector of history with a pain problem.

The frightening discovery was made by Nanango police when they swooped in on the Booie property on June 28.

Inside they discovered an SKS semiautomatic rifle, a .22 rifle, two cannabis plants, a knuckle duster, an instructional booklet on how to grow cannabis, 68 grams of cannabis, 50 grams of cannabis seeds as well as drug utensils, 92 rounds of .22 ammunition and 210 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

Michael John Hamilton pleaded guilty to eight offences in Nanango Court on Thursday, including unlawfully possessing a category C weapon, unlawfully possessing a category A weapon, unlawfully possessing a category M weapon, possessing instructions for producing dangerous drugs, possession of cannabis, production of cannabis, possessing utensils and possessing explosives without authority.

The 25-year-old had also been a member of the rural fire brigade but following the charges had been removed from the organisation.

Duty lawyer Jay Rose told the court the cannabis found at the property was grown for Hamilton's personal use as pain relief for injuries he sustained in a motorbike accident.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair however pointed out there were more serious charges he was facing.

"I'm actually more worried about the weapons than the cannabis," Magistrate Sinclair said.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi told the court the SKS rifle was of particular concern, given how powerful it was.

"They're similar to the Kalashnikov (AK-47) being a .308 round … it's heavy duty," Sgt Gangemi said.

Ms Rose told the court they were "very aged weapons" from the World War II era.

"He had some interest in world war memorabilia … it was a very silly thing to do," she said.

She went on to tell the court the ammunition had been provided with the rifle when Hamilton bought them, and that he had previously obtained a safety certificate to gain a weapons licence but had not completed the process.

Magistrate Sinclair noted Hamilton had in 2014 been convicted on "almost identical charges to what you face today, multiple weapons and drug charges".

In sentencing remarks, Mr Sinclair admonished Hamilton for possessing the weapons.

"You may have guessed that I don't like guns, I particularly don't like guns in the possession of people who are not licenced to have them," he said.

"I particularly don't like them in the possession of people who take drugs and I particularly don't like them in the possession of people who have been convicted before of having drugs and guns."

Hamilton was released on probation, with the order to last for one month.

His conviction was recorded, and the seized items forfeited.

South Burnett

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