No.49 - April 2010


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Major Noel Hall OAM ED who died on the 18th of April aged 96 following a heart attack.

Noel with Neil Speed and the late Henry Scott founded the Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria in 1963. He had a lifelong association with Guild as Vice-President, President and Patron.

He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and he will be deeply missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him.

1) Knives and other weapons, and 2) Swords (the scope of the Guild’s exemption for its members) 3) a warning about carrying pocket knives.

1 Knives and other weapons.
As members will certainly have noticed, the Victoria Government and the Police have launched a “Knives Scar lives” campaign. The main features are to be advertisements and random searches, including of vehicles, together with an on-the-spot $1000 fine ($2000, if the knife is being carried on Licensed Premises).

The Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic) law recognises three broad categories of weapons;-

Dangerous weapons which the Police Web site (www.police.vic.gov.au/weapons) describe as articles which have been adapted or modified so as to be capable of being used as weapons or any other article which is carried with the intention of being a weapon. The Police describe these as ordinary objects which are carried or modified with the intent to be used for violence.

These can include things that are otherwise lawful, everyday tools, household items, sports equipment etc. Examples listed include cricket bats, cricket stumps etc., screwdrivers, machetes. wrenches, hammers, and so on.

Controlled weapons, which the Police Web site describes as weapons that can be used for legitimate purposes but require regulation because of the possible danger they pose to the community. A person may not possess, carry or use a controlled weapon without lawful excuse. These include spear-guns, cudgels, batons, bayonets, cattle prods, kitchen knives, fantasy knives. hunting knives, fishing knives and pocket - brush cutting knives. These last are illustrated and the illustration shows six similar medium sized folding pocket knives and a medium-sized Swiss army type knife with a blade and various other tools and implements. As you can see, the range of controlled weapons is extremely broad and includes things which are not weapons but are carried with the intention of being a weapon.

However, all knives fall within the definition of “controlled weapon” in the Act and some will also be prohibited weapons!

The last category is that of prohibited weapons. The Police describe these as weapons that are considered inappropriate for general possession and use without a Governor in Council Exemption or a Chief Commissioners’ Approval.

There is a long list of prohibited weapons in the Control of Weapons Regulations 2000 Schedule 2, only some of which are illustrated by the police. The police illustrations includes swords (but see details of the Guilds’ members exemption below) butterfly swords, throwing stars, sai or jitta, numchuaku, cat o’nine tails, studded gloves, knuckle duster, extendable batons, sling shot, taser, lazer pointer (wattage test) oleoresin capsicum spray, dart projector, concealed knive blade, kubotan, manrikigusari, bo-chucks, baton-chucks, ceramic knives, flick knives and body armour. Note that daggers and various types of knives and a lot of other items not illustrate by the Police are also listed in the Control of Weapons Regulations 2000, Schedule 2 as prohibited weapons.

Prohibited weapons can be licensed if you can show special circumstances and forms for this are available on the web site (www.police.vic.gov.au/weapons).

2) Swords

A sword is defined in Schedule 2 of the Control of Weapons Regulations 2000 as follows:-

“ Sword, being a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long blade having 1 or 2 edged and a hilt or handle”.

The Guild has been granted an exemption under 8B of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (the “Act”) to allow its club members (other than prohibited persons) to possess etc swords. This exemption allows the member to bring (or cause to bring) swords into Victoria, to sell, purchase, display or advertise for sale swords, possess use or carry swords for the purposes of studying and/or collecting swords and collecting swords with an historical or cultural significance. It is set out in full in the Victoria Government Gazette G25 17th June 2004 1717

Members relying on the exemption must store the swords safely and securely (which means not readily accessible to a person other than the holder of an approval or other exempt person), Members must also, when the sword is being carried between the usual place of storage and the place where the sword is legitimately used within the exemption, store the sword in a manner calculated to ensure that the sword is “concealed from direct sight” and not readily accessible to non-approved persons (as above).

The Club’s exemption only covers swords.

3) A warning about carrying pocket knives.

In the current climate, carrying even the smallest and least offensive pocket knife is risky.

Some may be Prohibited Weapons and these need a special exemption even to own. All the others are Controlled Weapons under the Act and may only be carried if you have a lawful excuse and in any event must only be carried in “a safe and secure manner consistent with the lawful excuse for which it is possessed or is carried or is to be used”.

What is a “Lawful Excuse”?

Section 6 (3) of the Act says “lawful excuse” includes:-

(a) the pursuit of any lawful employment, duty or activity;
(b) (b) participation in any lawful sport, recreation or entertainment; and
(c) The legitimate collection, display or exhibition of weapons

–but does not include for the purposes of self-defence.

(4) in considering whether a person has lawful excuse to possess, carry or use a controlled weapon, the court must have regard to the circumstances, such as time, and location of the incident.

This is not that helpful if, for example, you carry a pocket without any specific use in mind, other than just cutting things as the need arises. It seems you may need to have a specific use in mind and show that carrying the knife at the time and in the circumstances in which you are doing it is justified by that excuse.

Monday Themes for 2010

For the next 2 meetings of 2010 the following themes are announced –

  • 26th April – Semi-automatic Pistols
  • 31st May - Engraved Firearms and Weapons.

    Monday Night Displays

    We encourage those members who are individually named in the Guild’s Current Display Permit (24th July 2009 to 17th July 2014) (or who hold their own applicable display permit) to take the opportunity to make use of it. It covers all the firearms held on the Collectors Licence(s) the member listed. We set out the Guild’s Display Permit conditions below.

    Members who have items registered to an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence, and continue to hold that licence as a separate licence not rolled into a category 1 or 2 Collectors licence, do not need a permit to display these, so to increase the variety at our Monday nights why not bring some of them along. Collectors Display Permits do not apply to items held under A & B licences. However, such items must not be possessed, displayed, carried or used other than in accordance with any licence conditions and the Firearms Act.

    Display Permits are not required for displays of Exempt Firearms, such as pre 1900 manufactured single barrelled muzzle-loading pistols, or pre 1900 manufactured longarms (which are either muzzle-loading or take ammunition which is no longer commercially available).

    Of course, Guild Displays are not limited to firearms. There is always a lot of interest in displays of militaria, edged weapons, items relating to wars or battles involving Australians and other historical matters of interest to members.

    Licence Renewals and Permits to Acquire

    Just a reminder that all you need to do to have the Guild sign them as the Act requires, is send them with the information required by Registry to the Guild at PO Box 2976, Cheltenham, 3192. Enclose a stamped addressed envelope to Registry and we will sign it and send it on for you. Remember that your PTA needs to include the following – details of the firearm being purchased, the licence number on which it is being purchased and your collecting theme.

    Assistant Editor of Caps & Flints Needed

    The editorship of our magazine Caps & Flints is, like all other Guild activities, carried out by volunteers and if someone leaves or for various reasons is unable to continue in the role then sometimes finding a replacement takes time and delays can occur. In the case of our magazine this delay can mean many months often years between issues. To avoid such an occurrence the Guild is looking for a volunteer or volunteers to take on the role of Assistant Editor and work with the current Editor.

    As a modern organization we value our capacity to continue important functions of which the Editor's job is one, so it is imperative that we have a plan in place to ensure the continuity of our magazine.

    The committee therefore invites any member with an interest in desktop publishing as an adjunct to their antique arms collecting and study interests to take on the role of Assistant Editor. More than one would be ideal to more broadly distribute the considerable expertise necessary to produce Caps & Flints. The Guild will provide industry compatible software and "startup" guidance for interested members. Please give this request your earnest consideration.

    Caps & Flints

    As ever your magazine is in need of articles and notes on things of interest to arms collectors – if you feel a rush of authorship coming on contact our editor Barry Thomas via the Guild Office on 9584 2907.

    Ballarat Show

    The Ballarat Arms and Militaria Collectors Society will hold the 21st Eureka Militaria and Collectors Fair at the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre, Norman Street (off Creswick Rd) Saturday July 10, 2010 from 9,00AM to 3.30 PM. Free entry for anyone wearing a complete military uniform.

    Contact 5342 4433 during business hours for further details and table booking.

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