Gun charges for collector after 'foolish' thing to do

PLUMBER and licensed gun owner Christopher Jesberg admitted his embarrassment at being charged over an illegal weapon.

Police found an illegal pistol with its serial numbers defaced at his home.

Christopher Darryl Jesberg, 36, from Barellan Point, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to two firearms offences: being in possession of an unregistered firearm on November 20, 2018; and being in possession of a weapon with altered identification.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Carl Spargo tended five photos of the weapon.

Defence lawyer Rachel Tierney said Jesberg did have weapons and pistol licences, and is a member of the Ipswich pistol club.

He'd been audited twice and passed.

"It was a significant error of judgment. He is remorseful and embarrassed," she said.

Ms Tierney sought that no conviction be recorded against Jesberg because of his good history and likely impact on employment.

He also has health issues.

"What is his explanation to have an unregistered firearm with its identification removed," Magistrate Virginia Sturgess asked.

She noted the offence carried a maximum penalty of four years' jail or a $26,000 fine.

"He is a collector," Ms Tierney said.

"He shouldn't have come into contact with the weapon whatsoever."

The court heard the pistol's identification was already altered when Jesberg received it.

Ms Sturgess referred to it as being a handgun with a defaced serial number.

She said Jesberg was licensed which meant he was trusted to do the right thing.

"There is no suggestion you wanted it for sinister purposes," Ms Sturgess said. "It was a very foolish thing to do.

"Having the privilege of a weapons licence you need to take seriously the responsibilities with that."

Ms Sturgess fined Jesberg $1800 - sent to SPER for a payment plan. A conviction was not recorded.