Very Light Magazine is a magazine of The Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria, Inc.                                                                        No 63 January 2013

Monday Night Themes for 2013

28 January

A Special Talk on The Victorian Navy

John Rogers who is leading the project to restore the HMVS Cerberus will present an informative talk by on the Victorian Navy which will include display items. The committee would like our members who are attending to also bring along any items that they have which have Victorian naval associations to display.

A supper will be provided after the talk. This will be a very informative and enjoyable evening.


February 25Weapons of the World (non-British), (Noel Hall Award night).

March 25Edged weapons, (Noel Hall Award night).

April 29 – The 50th Anniversary of the Guild’s formation and we ask that members contribute a special display of their own choosing, (Noel Hall Award night).

May 27Early Arms, matchlocks, wheel locks, flintlocks and unusual percussion and cartridge arms, (Noel Hall Award night).

June 24Art and Arms, displays of inlaid, gilded and other decorated arms of all types, (Noel Hall Award night).

July 29 - Annual General Meeting. This will include the presentation to the winner of the Major Noel Hall Award and a supper will be provided.

August 26Buy and sell night, all types of arms and paraphernalia except registered firearms (this is not a Noel Hall display night).

September 30Combination Arms and Militaria, including unusual arms (Noel Hall Award night).

October 28 - A general unthemed display night and buy and sell (this is not a Noel Hall display night).

November 28 - Combined Guild/Vintagers night. Theme to be announced and a supper will be served. (This is not a Major Noel Hall Award night)

Display Conditions and Permits

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) of the member listed. We set out the Guild’s Display Permit conditions below.

Members who have items registered to an Antique Handgun 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, 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.

External Lodgement Process

Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) have now been working for at least six months on a new "online" computer program which will enable applications for firearms licences to be made over the Internet. The reason for this is that the present system of "paper" applications is not working efficiently as about 40% of the applications made using the paper system contain errors. This is of course very expensive and time-consuming for both the applicant and the police.

The new system is described as the External Lodgement Process. LRD want to avoid paper applications altogether, if that is possible, by using a computer program to help applicants with filling in the application/renewal form, which forms will only be on-line and not in hard copy. The system works by the computer program reading the information the firearms licence applicant is typing into the application form on line. As information is progressively entered by the applicant the program will automatically adjust the questions still to be asked based on what the applicant has already entered, including removing questions etc, which are not relevant to the particular application and/or applicant.

This “as you go” tailoring of the application form is expected to shorten and simplify the process of filling in the form considerably because, based on the information already entered, so far as practicable, only questions relevant to the applicant’s application are asked. While the process of filling in the form is expected to be greatly simplified from the viewpoint of the applicant for the licence, the writing of the program to achieve this is very complex and accordingly will take some considerable time yet to perfect. We have mentioned to LRD (who were of course aware of the problem), that not everyone has access to a computer or is familiar with using one. LRD accept that this is the case, but nevertheless wish to proceed with creating the new system.

LRD do not want to have to continue to run a paper-based system like the existing one alongside the “Smart Form” online system and to avoid this are working on methods of providing assistance to people who are not able to use the new on-line system without help. This problem will, we believe, need further consideration, as access, direct or indirect, to a computer and computer skills are at the heart of the new system and not all members of the public (or, indeed, all members of the Guild) are able to meet these requirements Once the applicant has completed the form online, he or she will send it, probably on-line, to LRD. If the form is satisfactory, LRD will send the applicant what will be known as a “Application Summary”. LRD will also send direct to the applicant the usual list of registered fire arms possessed by the applicant for the applicant to check and return direct to LRD by post. The list will not need to be provided to the post office, we understand.

The applicant will have to take, before a stated cutoff date, the Application Summary they receive and the required documents to a Post Office* which is equipped with a camera to take the applicant’s firearms licence photograph etc. The Application Summary will list the documents the applicant needs to take to the Post Office to be checked, photocopied and return to the applicant. These documents will include the usual club membership cards, letters of authority, proof of identity, and where appropriate, evidence of passing the firearm safety course etc. The applicant will also have to pay the relevant fee at the post office, and will get a receipt.

*arrangements with the Post Office are not yet finalised but it very likely that post offices will be used].

The amount of information contained in the Application Summary will be minimised to avoid unnecessary security risks. It is expected to contain the name of the applicant, the application number, a description of the licence being applied for and the reason, etc. However, not the applicant’s address nor details of the firearms held.

Note. The Smart Form program, documents and processes are still in the process of design and development and are far from finalised. However, LRD have shared the above with members of the Firearms User Group including the Guild, so that we might keep the membership up to date with the project (which is about half way complete, they believe). The Guild will keep our members advised of the progress of this project.

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.

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