From 103 charges to one, gun dealer fined $2000

06 Oct, 2010 10:19 AM

A BOWRAL gun dealer who faced 103 charges has been convicted of just one charge and fined $2000 for failing to make a quarterly return.

Robert Irving, of Queen St, Bowral, had 65 guns seized and his firearms dealing licence suspended when police targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs raided his home last year.

During the raid, 47 rifles, one shotgun, 10 pistols, seven revolvers and an amount of ammunition were seized.

In Moss Vale Local Court, Irving pleaded guilty to 95 charges of failing to record details of receipts and three charges of failing to make a quarterly return.

Police said Irving’s last return had been in December 2008.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of wilfully altering records, while two charges of stealing and two of wilfully altering records were withdrawn. The contested charge was dismissed, while 97 of the 98 firearms charges were dismissed but found proved by magistrate Robert Walker.

The raid followed the arrest of alleged Fourth Reich bikie gang member Shane Palk at his Sutton Forest property in October last year.

Strikeforce Raptor officers used the raid to conduct a “safe storage” inspection of gun dealer Deborah Bishop, who lived at the front of the Palk property. This led police to Mr Irving who had several dealings with Ms Bishop.

When asked by officers why he had so many anonymous entries in his records he told them he was only trying help out members of his shooting club and knew who the people were.

Questioned about crimes being committed with the guns he bought from unknown persons he said he told his customers and clients it would “come back on them” if the guns weren’t legitimate.

The 63-year-old also claimed the dealers section of the police’s firearm registry knew he was receiving guns anonymously.

The official in question later denied this.

There were also multiple deals with Allan and Angela Palk.


* Shane Palk, arrested after police seized 25 firearms along with various weapons, is due back at Moss Vale Local Court on October 18. Police said they seized detonators, a hand grenade, throwing knives and an anti-tank mine plus a quantity of cannabis at his Sutton Forest address on October 28 last year. The alleged Fourth Reich motorcycle gang member faces 18 charges, including 10 firearms offences and possession of an unauthorised poker machine.