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FROM THE MINISTER FOR POLICE & EMERGENCY SERVICES

DATE: Friday, May 20, 2005


SIX MONTHS GRACE FOR FIREARM COLLECTORS

Owners of antique firearms have been given a further six months to comply with the State Government's new gun ownership laws, the Minister for Police & Emergency Services, Tim Holding, said today.

Mr Holding said the existing amnesty covering pre-1900 percussion and post-percussion handguns would now extend until December 31, 2005.

He said handguns required to be registered as part of the amnesty included handguns initiated by a percussion cap, percussion muzzle loader and percussion cap and ball, together with pinfire, metallic and other cartridge handguns, irrespective of the age of those handguns.

Pre-percussion handguns such as those using a match lock, flint lock, wheel lock and similar types of ignition systems, are not required to be registered.

Under changes made in 2003 to Victoria's Firearms Act, all other handguns must be registered with police, and anyone storing more than five firearms in the one place must have a monitored alarm system.

"Tightening gun ownership laws was part of a national reform following the shootings at Monash University in 2002," Mr Holding said.

"Victoria now has some of the toughest firearm laws in the nation, affecting a large number of people.

The Firearms (Trafficking and Handgun Control) Act 2003 amended the 1996 Firearms Act to implement the National Handgun Control Agreement and the National Firearms Trafficking Policy Agreement in Victoria.

The Firearms Act 1996 now provides for significantly increased penalties for the illegal possession or misuse of firearms, particularly handguns, as well as introducing new interstate trafficking provisions. The Act also now allows the Chief Commissioner to refuse and revoke firearms licences and applications for firearms licences on the basis of criminal intelligence.

For further information on amnesties, gun owners should contact the Victoria Police Licensing Services Division on 1300 651 645.

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