No.36 - October 2007


Double-Barrel Guns

The Guild in conjunction with the Vintagers will host a display of double-barrel guns and rifles on Monday the 29th of October starting at 7.30. (Set-up is from 7pm, first in, best dressed). A light supper will be served.

This is an excellent opportunity for members to participate with Vintagers in what we hope will be an outstanding display and it is also a social event, so please bring something along to display, however modest.

Note: A display permit is not required for the display (not being a display for sale) of A or B class firearms held under an A and B licence. However, if the A or B firearm is held under (registered to) a Collectors Licence, a display permit is required! You have to obtain it from Registry. We can provide the form of application.

A display permit is not required for the display of exempt longarms. Exempt longarms are longarms made before 1900 which do not take cartridge ammunition or which if they do take cartridge ammunition such ammunition is not commercially available. (Made before 1900 refers to the date of manufacture of the actual longarm being displayed).

Those displaying are of course each solely responsible for their own display, including safety, security and compliance with law. Live ammunition should not be displayed together with any firearm which takes it.

Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2007 - Support from Dr Bill Sykes and the Nationals.

The Guild thanks National MP Dr Bill Sykes, Member for Benalla, and the Nationals for their strong support for collectors and other firearm owners in the parliamentary debate on the Bill in the Lower House. However, the various amendments to the Bill which we and other Firearms user groups had sought were not supported by either the Liberals or Labour. Dr Sykes also supported the Guild in its attempts to establish a permanent amnesty for the surrender or sale to dealers of unlicensed firearms. The Bill will now go to the Upper House for further debate before becoming an Act and we understand that once again the Nationals, in the person of National Mr Peter Hall, MLA, Member for Eastern Victoria, will speak on behalf of firearms owners in that debate as well.

Some of what the Bill Contains.

However even in its present form the Bill contains some significant victories for collectors most of which result directly from the Guild's numerous submissions. These include:

  • Higher categories of collectors licences automatically including lower categories. Under this arrangement a Category 2 Collectors Licence would automatically include Category 1 and Antique Handguns Collectors Licence pistols. A Category 1 Licence would automatically include Antique Handgun Collectors Licence pistols. This, we hope, will reduce costs and the need for multiple applications and renewals. However, we are still arguing for appropriate refunds where when the new regime takes effect.

  • Pre-1900 pistols which take commercially available cartridge ammunition will move from the Antique Handgun Collectors Licence back into Category 1. This will avoid arguments by the Department of Justice that pistols of essentially modern type (i.e. those made before 1900 but which take commercially available ammunition) fall under the Antique Handgun Collectors Licence and so prevent us succeeding in our arguments for greatly reduced storage conditions applying to Antique Handgun Collectors Licences.

  • Those who only want an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence will not first have to been a member of the Guild (or similar approved arms collectors organisation) for six months but will be able to apply for that licence immediately they become members.

  • When the Registry is proposing not to issue etc a licence to an applicant they will, instead of simply issuing a refusal against which the applicant would have to appeal, soon have the option of asking the applicant to make further submissions before a decision is made. This should be helpful and allow some mistakes to be corrected before they occur, rather than after they have.

  • The Guild's request to be allowed to apply for display permits at the request of and on behalf of named members so as to reduce the number of applications and cost has been accepted. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice wants to impose the obligations to comply with a display permit on the Guild's committee as well as the member concerned! Accordingly, the Guild is trying (so far unsuccessfully) to change this amendment so it is clear that the member who is doing the displaying of his or her firearms is responsible for comply with the permit, and not the Guild.

  • Of course, the Bill also contains provisions which are not in our interest. These include:

  • licence holders being deemed to have received certain letters which the Registry say they have sent unless the licence holder can prove that he or she has not received the letter. This, it seems to us, is an example of being held to be guilty unless one can prove one is innocent and offensive to the presumption of innocence which applies in criminal matters.

  • Penalties relating to the storage of ammunition and firearms and the making of false or misleading statements to the Registry will be toughened.

  • Licence holders will have to notify the police within seven days of the occurrence of any change to any reason for which a licence has been issued. Accordingly, for example, if you cease to be a member of a shooting or collecting club you have given as a reason for having a licence you will commit a criminal offence if you don't tell Registry within seven days. Clubs will also commit an offence if they fail to notify the Registry within seven days of a member ceasing to be a member.

  • Note: the above summarises only a few of the many provisions of the Bill. The Bill is not yet law and may change. When and if it is passed we will provide more detail.

    Change of Address by Members

    The Guild understands that moving house is a busy time; however please make sure that you notify us (and Registry, if you hold a firearms licence) promptly when you do. That way we can continue to make sure that you get Very Light and Caps & Flints and you won't be prosecuted and lose your licence!

    We have a small number of members whose mail has been returned to us as no longer at the address - these members put themselves at risk of becoming nonfinancial and in contravention of the Firearms Act if they rely upon Guild membership to retain their collectors licence.

    So please notify us promptly if you change your address.

    Special Sub-Committee

    The committee has set up a special sub-committee to examine ways of attracting new members, expanding Guild activities and making membership more exciting. Once they have settled on their plans we will update everyone.

    New Treasurer

    Following the retirement of John Burke the Guild elected Tim Parker as the Treasurer. Tim is making some changes to the Guild's accounting and financial management, including moving it to the MYOB system.

    Emailing Very Light

    The Committee is eager to cut costs in all aspects of our administration. One simple way of doing this is to email to members the latest edition of Very Light and other items of correspondence.

    If you wish to have your copy of our newsletter and other communications sent by email rather than posted please send your email address to the Guild at antiquearmcollectors@bigpond.com

    Boer War Commemorative Plates

    The Guild has a small quantity of these left. We are offering them for sale at $15.00 each or $12.50 each if bought in multiples. Cost of postage is additional and is $7.00 per plate, but obviously will be in excess of this amount if multiple plates are purchased.

    If you wish to purchase the Boer War Commemorative Plate contact the Guild Secretary on (03) 9584 2907 during business hours.

    Enrol Family Members

    The Guild's Committee, always looking for opportunities to find new members and preserve existing collections, recognises that it is often the relatives and friends of existing members who will in time become the collectors of the future. Such relatives or friends will often have developed an interest through seeing the member's collection and perhaps the member has in mind eventually passing on some or all of his or her collection to them.

    We would like to suggest to members who might be considering such a possibility that they now introduce their potential successors as new Guild members. Not only would this help foster an interest in collecting, it would make any future transfer of the collection more straightforward, since before the necessary Collectors Licence can be obtained a person must have been a member of the Guild for at least six months.

    Caps & Flints

    Our magazine needs articles so if you have any interesting items in your collection or research that you would like to see bought to the attention of your fellow members please write an article about it.

    The Editor may be contacted on barry.thomas@hotmail.com or through the Guild office on (03) 9584 2907.

    Back Copies of Caps & Flints Sought

    Ian Turner would like to buy a complete set of back issues of Caps & Flints. If you have a set you would like to sell, please contact the Guild on (03) 9584 2907.

    Militaria Fair

    There will be a militaria fair on the 10th of November from 10am to 5pm, Ukrainian House, 3 - 11 Russell Street, Essendon.

    Contact Garry McDonald, EK Militaria, (03) 9370 9924 if you wish to book a table.

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