THE LAWYER for a man who left his gun out in the garage has told the court it's just unfortunate that the planets aligned in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Anthony Raymond Taylor was sentenced to a 12-month conditional release order, or good behaviour bond, in Tamworth Local Court last week.
The 58-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of not keeping a pistol safely, and failing to tell police he had changed the address where the firearm was stored.
Defence solicitor Geoffrey Archer said Taylor had faced a number of issues in the weeks before he was caught by police. "His mother had passed away before this, he had some health issues with his liver and heart, and hadn't turned his attention to the other matters on his mind," he said.
"He hadn't turned his mind to the fact that he needed to notify the firearms registry of his change of address, he had all the hardware to install it properly but he hadn't done it."
Magistrate Julie Soars did not penalise Taylor for failing to notify police of his change of address, and imposed two conditional release orders for 12 months - one without conviction.
The court heard the pistol was in Taylor's garage when it was discovered by police.
Mr Archer argued that was a mitigating factor given it wasn't left out on the street.
"He's made a mistake, he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and acknowledges this could have posed a danger to the community - thankfully it didn't," he said.
"The planets aligned that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Police prosecutor Rob Baillie said ordinarily he would argue for a conviction but would not in this case.
Magistrate Julie Soars convicted Taylor on one count of not keeping his firearm safely and sentenced to a conditional release order; a non-conviction on the second charge; and no conviction on the failure to notify police of a change of address.
The conditional release orders will run concurrently for 12 months.
Taylor remains in custody on other matters.