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FROM THE MINISTER FOR POLICE & EMERGENCY SERVICES

DATE: Thursday, October 6, 2005


REVISED GUN LAWS FAIRER FOR EVERYONE: HOLDING

Paintball players will no longer be required to hold a shooting licence under proposed new laws announced today by the Bracks Government.

Police & Emergency Services Minister Tim Holding said the new laws meant Victorian paintball players would no longer have automatic access to ‘real’ firearms.

The Government today also announced new and less onerous licensing requirements for collectors of antique handguns, a restriction on the availability of ‘high capacity’ gun magazines and new ‘counting rules’ for handgun target shooters.

“Victoria has some of the toughest firearm laws in the nation, but it’s important law abiding citizens are not unfairly restricted from pursuing legitimate hobbies,” Mr Holding said.

“These changes to Victoria’s Firearms Act are sensible, they are practical and, importantly, they in no way weaken what is one of the toughest gun control regimes in the country.”

Currently, Victorians are required to obtain a category A longarm licence in order to play paintball. Under the existing laws, licence holders are then entitled to go on and purchase real firearms.

“The current arrangements have not served our community well,” Mr Holding said.

“Requiring paintball players to have a gun licence serves only to increase the number of people in our community entitled to own gun.

“Paintball is a legitimate recreational activity. These new laws recognise that.

“They also bring Victorian laws into line with those in other mainland states, ensuring that Victorian paintball operators are able to compete with their interstate counterparts.”

Mr Holding said changes to antique firearms laws reflected the lower risk they posed to public safety.

Under the new laws, which balance the interests of community safety with the needs of legitimate antique collectors;
·Collectors will need an alarm if they have more than 15 guns. These alarms do not have to be back-to-base monitored;
·Collectors will no longer need to be fingerprinted; and
·Display conditions will be relaxed.

Tougher controls on the use of high capacity detachable magazines are also being introduced.br>
Changes to the law are being made to limit the use of high capacity detachable magazines in combination with different types of rifles.

Mr Holding said other changes to the Firearms Act would clarify minimum participation requirements for handgun target shooters, and excuse those licencees who do not own a firearm from minimum participation requirements.

Currently, all licensees are required to compete in at least six target shooting matches as a competitor.

The substantive change in this area is to exempt handgun target shooting licensees who do not own weapons from the minimum participation requirements.

“This change is recognition that if you don’t own a gun and therefore can’t take a gun away from a range, then you represent less of a risk,” Mr Holding said.

“Judges and officials of club competitions should not be at risk of losing their licence because they cannot compete in six or more tournaments.”

Mr Holding thanked the members of the State Government’s Firearms Consultative Committee for their work in considering and advising upon the amendments contained in the Bill.

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