Man thought handgun was a bb gun

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When police found a hand gun during a search of a house a 21-year-old man believed it was a BB gun and did not require a firearms certificate.

James Patrick Downey, Princes Close, admitted possession of the gun without a licence on October 8 2015.

The court heard that police carried out a search of the home of the defendant’s brother and found the gun and ammunition.

Downey said he wasn’t aware a certificate was needed.

A barrister representing the defendant said he genuinely believed it was a BB gun.

The court heard that Downey’s brother, Kevin, had been given a three month prison term, suspended for 18 months. District Judge Peter King said there a difference in the degree of knowledge between the defendant and his brother. He imposed a three month custodial sentence and suspended it for 12 months.