A Kaikoura man yesterday admitted in Blenheim District Court to offering to sell cannabis, and illegal possession of a firearm.
Mark David Broadhurst, 30, received three months' community detention and 50 hours' community work for the offences.
Judge Denys Barry said if there had been any correlation between the cannabis-dealing operation and the firearm he would have sent the defendant to jail.
However, that link was missing, Judge Barry said.
Broadhurst's lawyer, Nick McKessar, said his client found the rifle in the wardrobe while tidying up in a house he had recently moved into.
Broadhurst, a truck driver, had no sinister intent with the firearm but acted irresponsibly by not reporting it, Mr McKessar said.
Judge Barry said police executed a search warrant on Broadhurst's home on May 17 after intercepting messages on his cellphone that showed he was offering to sell cannabis.
The judge said police found the rifle sitting in the front seat of a vehicle parked in Broadhurst's driveway.
Broadhurst had a total of 21 convictions, including the cultivation and possession of cannabis, dating back to 1999, the judge said.
A pre-sentence report indicated that Broadhurst was motivated to address the factors in his life behind this offending, Judge Barry said.
- The Marlborough Express