Seven years for unlicensed shotgun

Jeffrey Armando Bush, 29, was sentenced last month to seven years imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of an unlicensed Remington shotgun.

Crown Counsel Nicola Moore said the offence was detected on 14 August 2007 when police attended a West Bay residence to execute a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Law. Someone at the premises was observed dealing crack cocaine.

During the search, officers saw that a room in the front of the house was locked. It was Jeffrey Bush’s bedroom. His father phoned him to come unlock the door, but Jeffrey said he was busy. Officers then gained entry by removing a window air-conditioning unit.

The room was searched by an officer and trained dog. The shotgun was found, loaded with four shells. It was a 12-gauge shotgun, lethal-barrelled and 36 inches in length. Swabs taken from the gun revealed DNA that matched the defendant’s.

Defence Attorney George Keightley urged the court to impose the statutory minimum on the young man, who had no like offence.

Justice Alexander Henderson observed that the shotgun was not sawed-off. He asked why Bush had the shotgun.

Mr. Keightley replied that it was not for any use by him. It was not carried on his person or in a vehicle. The bedroom had a number of exits and entrances, he noted.

He said this was Bush’s first experience in custody and he was finding it difficult and sobering.

Bush’s record of previous convictions was referred to in open court. He had received an order for 200 hours of community service in 2002 for supplying ganja and was fined for an attempted theft.

Justice Henderson commented that there was not much to be said: At 29, Bush had the maturity to understand he would serve at least seven years for the offence.

The Firearms Law sets a maximum sentence of 20 years and a mandatory minimum of 10 years when a matter goes to trial. If the defendant pleads guilty, the mandatory minimum is seven years.

During the search, officers saw that a room in the front of the house was locked. It was Jeffrey Bush’s bedroom. His father phoned him to come unlock the door, but Jeffrey said he was busy. Officers then gained entry by removing a window air-conditioning unit.

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