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No.28 - February 2006

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Special display for the Minister

The Police Minister Mr Tim Holding has accepted the Guild's invitation to attend a special display of antique arms. This will be held on the last Monday of March (27/3/06).

All members are welcome and encouraged to attend, but the displays will be by invitation only and there will be no vendor tables. Refreshments will be served. This is a splendid opportunity to showcase our very best and demonstrate what real collecting is all about.


AMNESTY EXTENDED AGAIN

Following the amendments to the Firearms Act which resulted from the Government's consultation with the Guild and other collectors, the amnesty for registration of pre-1900 percussion multi-shot pistols has been extended to June 30, 2006.

Antique Handgun Collectors Licence (AHCL)

The extension was granted because the administrative systems needed to process and issue the new Antique Handgun Collectors Licence (AHCL) were not ready. We are advised by the Department of Justice that all pre-1900 pistols that require registration will be included on the AHCL regardless of whether they are multi-shot percussion, obsolete cartridge or centrefire, and whether ammunition is commercially available or not. Naturally this excludes pre-percussion.

No details of the application form or the means by which it will be issued have been given. At this stage we suggest you be patient and wait until you are advised.
(read the letter from Victoria Police regarding these changes here)

Amendments to the Firearms Act

To briefly reiterate what we said in the last issue we have got -

1. The requirement for back-to-base monitored alarms has been removed entirely, and replaced with a requirement for an "effective" alarm. Exactly what an "effective" alarm is undecided at present.

2. All single-shot antique percussion pistols have been exempted from registration.

3. All pre-1900 pistols that require registration will be included on the new AHCL regardless of whether they are multi-shot percussion, obsolete cartridge or centrefire, and whether ammunition is commercially available or not. Pre-percussion e.g. flintlock etc. and single shot percussion are exempt. The AHCL is to have relaxed conditions attached that encompass; no need for display permits, no requirement for fingerprinting and no "effective" alarm requirement unless 15 or more pistols are owned.

4. The system of Permits to Acquire is being re-examined in regard to pistols covered by the AHCL. We will advise members when and if changes are made.

5. Investment has been reinstated as a condition on a Collectors Licence.


Matters that still need clarification

The Guild will be closely monitoring these and we will keep you informed.

1. As the Category 1 Collectors Licence originally covered percussion pistols manufactured prior to 1900 which are now covered by the new Antique Handgun Collectors Licence; this licence should be issued free of charge to people who already hold a Category 1 licence because it has already been paid for. There should be no need for police checks, so charging people again would be unacceptable.

2. People applying for the Antique Handgun Collectors Licence who have not previously held any Collectors Licence should be charged a reduced fee. Police checks will be minimal and fingerprinting is not required.

3. Records pertaining to all previously registered pre-1900 single-shot antique pistols should be deleted from the Registry database as no legal reason exists for their registration. We are advised that these will be deleted upon application by the owner.

4. In the Firearms Discussion Paper we were informed that the Government would seek ways by which the acquisition and disposal of antiques would be made simpler but there is no mention of this in the amendments. We have suggested that this be done by removing the PTA requirement and that Registry rely upon the Dealers' Monthly Return to acquire this data. A similar system operates in Queensland. The Government has taken note of our suggestion and is investigating the matter.


WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED

In late 2002 when we commenced the fight to roll back the legislative changes threatening to destroy collecting, the attitude of Government and police was that we should just accept the changes because they were set in concrete. Now some 3 years later some quite major successes have been achieved, certainly they are not all that were sought, but they far exceed the predictions made by some when the fight started.

It has cost a lot of hard work, money and time. Right at the start we saved modern pistol collectors from being saddled with the same restrictions of calibre and barrel length that was inflicted on shooters, and it was our persistence at the Federal level that won the exemption of single shot percussion in all states. It was our persistent lobbying that was a major cause for the issue of the Firearms Discussion Paper that paved the way for the legislative changes.

We took a leading role because we felt that only collectors can fight for collectors' rights. There is still much to be fought for. We are determined that the whole silly business of registering antiques will eventually be abandoned, and we assure our members that the Guild will continue fighting for collectors.


Caps & Flints

We have a new editor for Caps & Flints. He is Barry Thomas and we look forward to resuming publication.

The delay in getting out this information is because the Committee has had to wait for several official decisions to be finalised. Any questions should be directed to the Secretary on (03) 9584 2907.


© Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.