Jamie Ryan Watson thought a gun he had found in bush on a fishing trip last year was “cool”.
But the decision to keep the shortened firearm instead of handing it into police has cost the 23-year-old from Lake Conjola.
Watson was a passenger in a car stopped by police in Nowra on December 15 last year.
During a search of the vehicle police found a shortened firearm, which Watson admitted was his.
Police were patrolling Moss Street in Nowra around 9.35pm when they noticed a vehicle on the side of the road with its lights on and one of the doors open.
Officers performed a U-turn but when they returned the vehicle had moved on.
Officers spotted the car at the traffic lights at the intersection of Moss Street and the Princes Highway and stopped it after it crossed the intersection.
Court papers said the vehicle was being driven by a female, with Watson a front seat passenger.
Officers searched the two people and the vehicle, finding a white basket in the boot, which contained a blue pillow case with something inside.
Watson told police it was a gun and “it’s mine”.
He told officers it was not loaded and the safety was on.
Inside officers found a Stirling Model 20 .22 calibre bolt action rifle, with a shortened barrel and stock, a magazine and a box of 30 rounds of .22 ammunition.
Court papers revealed Watson told police he had found the gun in the bush near Budgong, north west of Nowra, while on a fishing trip.
He told officers the gun and three bullets were in a box which had police stickers on it, next to an Esky.
He told police he thought it was “cool” and took the firearm to a property at Brooman near Ulladulla where he used it to fire at a number of kangaroos.
Watson pleaded guilty to possessing a shortened firearm, possessing ammunition without a licence and not keeping a firearm safely.
In Nowra Local Court on Monday (March 11) Magistrate Gabriel Fleming placed him on a 18-month community corrections order, meaning he can serve his sentence within the community rather than in jail and fined him $1600.
Read more: Crime/Court