'Degree of stupidity' in repeat gun charge

·2-min read

A man found with a pistol hidden below his steering wheel had earlier been convicted of having a loaded pen gun, suggesting a "degree of stupidity that is difficult to contemplate".

Ethan Stewart Hopkins had the silver handgun loaded with two 9mm rounds of ammunition concealed underneath a panel when police searched his car.

The officers had spotted Hopkins talking to a motorcyclist at Morayfield, north of Brisbane, on August 30 last year.

They also found more ammunition and two signal jamming devices, with police unable to find out their intended use.

The 30-year-old has a criminal history dating back more than a decade, but had stayed away from courts for a significant time after 2014, prosecutor Edward Coker told a court on Thursday.

One of those convictions was for possessing a pen gun loaded with a 22 calibre bullet.

Barrister Simon Lewis said things seemed to have turned around for Hopkins after his earlier jail time, but a long-term relationship disintegrated and he had a short relationship with a drug user.

Hopkins started carrying a firearm after a drive-by shooting at his house, Mr Lewis told the court.

To come before the Supreme Court twice for firearm offences showed a "degree of stupidity that is difficult to contemplate", Justice Glenn Martin told Hopkins in handing down his sentence.

But the Caboolture resident had shown his ability to work and save money, and was likely to get a job on release from custody.

"Had you not demonstrated that you can stay out of trouble ... I would have imposed a heavier sentence," Justice Martin said.

"Be in no doubt, Hopkins, if you come back before this court on similar charges, you're going to jail for quite a long time.

"If you come back before me I'll make sure that that occurs unless there is something substantial to be said in your favour."

Justice Martin sentenced Hopkins to one year behind bars for the gun possession to be served concurrently with two-and-a-half years in jail for possessing 3.4g of pure meth at the time of his arrest.

Hopkins was given a $500 good behaviour bond for possessing of the signal jammers.

Justice Martin ordered Hopkins be released immediately on parole, taking into account he had been in custody since his arrest in August last year.

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