Accused of unlawful possession of two air rifles

A MAN has been accused of unlawful possession of two air rifles and 46 rounds of deactivated ammunition at a house in Lucan.

Graham McAuley, aged 41, had been evicted from the house at the time when the landlord found the weapons among a large collection of defence forces “memorabilia”, it has been alleged.

blanchardstown courthouse

Blanchardstown District Court

The case against him was adjourned at Blanchardstown District Court.

Mr McAuley, an ambulance service worker with an address at Mill Race Road, Phoenix Park Racecourse is charged with unlawful possession of weapons and ammunition at Anley Court, Esker Lane, Lucan on December 31, 2017.

Blanchardstown District Court heard the guns in question were two assault-type air rifles, while the 46 rounds of deactivated, recapped rounds of ammunition were not associated with the rifles and could not be used.

The prosecuting garda said the allegations dated back to an incident where the accused was not let stay in the house in Lucan any more and was being evicted by the landlord.

During the eviction, the landlord came across a large collection of airsoft guns that were on display and alerted the garda, who came to “check it out”.

There was a large quantity of guns and ammunition which were taken away for analysis and two of the air rifles seized were over the “joulage” power limit for what was allowed, the garda said.

Judge McHugh noted that the spec of the other air rifles from a ballistic point of view was lower.

Photographs of the collection were handed in to court. The judge remarked that the collection included gas masks and “marksmen of the defence forces, UN blue beret and other things which would be defence forces memorabilia are mentioned.”

The garda said these items were replicas.

Mr McAuley’s barrister Ciaran MacLoughlin asked if an airsoft assault rifle was “like a BB gun”.

What alarmed the landlord at the time was that the guns “looked very real,” the garda said.

He confirmed that the items were on “open display in the residence”.

The DPP directed summary disposal of the case at district court level subject to the judge considering jurisdiction.

Judge McHugh said the case was at the “top end” but accepted jurisdiction.

He remanded the accused on bail to a date in May. The judge granted free legal aid after hearing Mr McAuley worked for the ambulance services. The accused has not yet entered a plea to the charges, which are under Section 2 of the Firearms Act.

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