Ex-cop loses guns over firearms and drug offences


A former Queensland cop fears he will lose his farm after his gun licence was cancelled over drugs and firearm offences.

Dane Wardrope, who also served in the military, took his fight to reclaim his guns to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal heard his gun licence was revoked in May 2019 after he was found guilty of unlawful possession of a category C weapon, failing to securely store weapons, producing and possessing dangerous drugs.

No conviction was recorded and Mr Wardrope was fined $1,000.

The tribunal heard the offences included the production and possession of cannabis and the possession of illegal steroid agents and a semiautomatic rifle.

The charges came after police executed a search warrant at Wardrope's property in September 2017 and found an unregistered semiautomatic rifle in a tool case, the tribunal heard.

A search of a walk-in wardrobe revealed a loaded shotgun on a shelf and a loaded rifle.

Both were registered to Wardrope but not stored correctly

He was then issued a show cause notice in relation to his gun licence.

In response he referred to his role in the Australian Defence Force and the use of cannabis for medical management but did not address why he had an unregistered semiautomatic and steroid agents, the tribunal heard.

In a submission to the tribunal Wardrope said the shotgun was kept on a high shelf out of sight "because predatory animals attack at night".

"At two in the morning the wild dogs tearing into your sheep won't wait for you to get your rifle out from another section in the safe, and ammo from a locked container stored elsewhere load it and run out with a torch," he said.

Wardrope told the Tribunal he'd been made to sell all of his guns and suffered financial losses from crop damage and animal deaths due to predation.

"At this rate and with the impact of the drought, fires and COVID-19 in my region our farm will likely go under soon as we have been unable to successfully get out a crop in over two years and animal losses have been significant."

But Tribunal member Glen Cranwell said the community should have confidence that former police would uphold weapons laws.

"It is trite to state that unsecure storage of firearms, as well as possession of unregistered firearms, gives rise to a risk to public safety," he said.

"Mr Wardrope's history as a former police officer places him in a position to better appreciate these risks than most other members of the community."

He revoked Wardrope's firearms licence.

Originally published as Ex-cop loses guns over firearms and drug offences