Thursday 13 December 2012

Could lose my antique guns. Their Ignorance!

I had a gun inspection yesterday, but the attending police officer, a sergeant, knew very little about the present gun legislation or about guns! He refused to believe that my antiques were in fact antiques, he also did not know the difference between a breech loader & a muzzle-loader. The officer thinks I should register these guns, firearms registry don't want me to register these guns!
To register guns NOW, I have to take them to a dealer. The dealer has to accept these guns into his stock in order to register them. Then I have to apply for a "Permit to acquire a firearm" in order to get my own guns back again! BUT, (a) two of these guns are not complete, and (2) I am not supposed to require a "Permit to acquire a firearm" if it is an antique!!!
So it looks like I might lose these antiques just because no one in firearms registry or the local police service no what they are talking about. These guns were left to me by two of my dearest late close friends, with the request that I look after them and keep them in the family.  The problems as I see it are (1) the dealer may not be able to register them as two are incomplete, and (2) I will have trouble getting them back if they do register them because I am not supposed to require a "Permit to acquire a firearm" if it is an antique. I simply just can't win.
If it were not for the fact that these guns mean so much to me I would smash them with a sledge hammer and deliver the bits to Armidale Police Station!

W. Hollis.
A Belgium Trade barrel with a snail drum integral to the breech plug.

The W. Hollis breech.
How anyone can confuse these with a modern breech loader I really do not know. I can't even imagine a police officer being allowed to do firearms inspections without some basic knowledge of firearms in general.

Antique Firearms in Question.
1.    15 gauge muzzle-loading double barrel W. Hollis percussion shot gun.  Serial number 4027. (Not complete and not able to be used).
2.    44 gauge Belgium smoothbore single barrel percussion muzzle-loading shot gun. No maker’s name visible. Serial Number 0218. (Barrel only).This has a 19th century snail drum but no nipple.
3.    14 gauge smoothbore single barrel percussion Muzzle-loading shotgun. Maker: Samuel Marson and Company Birmingham. Serial Number 3702.
All three guns are pre 1900ad.

Keith H. Burgess

Wychwood Forest, MSF 2007, Armidale NSW 2350.


To: The Commissioner Of Police NSW.
Dear Sir,
Yesterday I had a firearms inspection. The officer attending did not know the content of the present gun legislation or the updates. He was not sure what the difference was between a muzzle-loading gun & a breech loading gun, & said he thought that my three antique muzzle-loading guns needed registering.
I have received no help from firearms registry, they say these guns should not be registered unless necessary. I can’t find anyone in the area who can identify these guns for me. The one gunsmith that is supposed to live in Arding somewhere is unlisted & I can’t contact him.
I decided that I would get these antiques registered to save me the trouble, I live out of town & am not mobile at present due to a recent hip replacement. Firearms registry tell me that I must take these guns to a dealer to get them registered, & then, I must apply for a “Permit To Acquire” a firearm, even though the legislation clearly sais that I do not need to have a permit to acquire an antique gun made before 1900.
This surely is total madness! No where in the legislation have I read that I need to find someone to authenticate my antique firearms, to anyone with an ounce of common sense it is perfectly obvious what they are. I do not wish to use these guns, I do not wish to fire these guns. They were family possessions of two dear close friends of mine who left them to me with the express wishes that I look after them & pass them on in my family. If this were not the case I swear I would destroy them & take the pieces to the police station.
Parts of the legislation are open to interpretation.. On top of this we have police officers who know very little of the firearms legislation or about firearms. This is going to cost me time & money, in deed it already has because I have had to spend today researching & copying the legislation so I can better understand what the problem is.
The main problem with this legislation is that it states there is a difference between an antique muzzle-loading gun and that of a post 1900 muzzle-loading gun, which of course there is not! Both are muzzle-loading, both require black powder. The flintlock still requires a piece of flint for ignition. If this had not been written into the legislation I could simply have either had all my muzzle-loading guns registered earlier without having to go to a dealer, OR none of them would require registering, which would have been more sensible.
I fear that somehow no matter what I do now it is not going to be easy. Two of these antique guns are incomplete & not usable. I think that (a) I will have trouble registering them, and (b) I am going to have trouble acquiring a permit to acquire in order to get my guns back if the dealer is willing to register them.
If you can think of any solution to this problem I would appreciate your assistance in this matter.
Sincerely, Keith H. Burgess.


Gorges Smythe said...

I would never have let them know that I had the guns in the first place. I'd never mention them again.

Hutch said...

There is a third option, Keith: resist. The inspectors, government and whomever...they have no business knowing what kind, how old, or how many firearms you own. Procuring food and self defense is natural right, superseding all government authority. We in the states have that right enumerated in our Constitution, though, democrats and some republicans don't have a good concept of what natural rights are.

Sandra Brake said...

Contact your local member about it as he or she is your local elected representative. That usually gets action.
If your local member doesn't get things done, contact the Minister's office and make it a Ministerial matter and things will have to be sorted out.

Jenny said...

Best of luck Loup!

One more reason for free states never get a registry if you can help it. The people who actually do the enforcement - and who can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or even jail time if you dot the i or cross the t wrong - are rarely as up on the law as the people they're supposed to be "protecting."

Makes for a dangerous situation for lots of people.

The only thing that's worked here is outreach - try your darndest to get as many people as you can into your sport.

MuddyValley said...

Might I suggest donating them to a local historical society or museum as a last resort? Or are the gun laws in Australia so completely insane as to prohibit even that? You have my sympathy.

MuddyValley said...

And I might add, that along with the gun laws your country has adopted, comes ignorance about guns in general. If the inspection officer is not willing to be educated, then perhaps his superior might be. I would also consider contacting the local news media, but that might backfire depending on the true feelings of the local population to Australia's unfair and unreasonable gun laws.

Loup Espi├Ęgle said...

Bloody bureaucrats !!!!!

Feathers & tar for all these parasites.

Good luck to you anyway.

elmo iscariot said...

Whoof-- I'm so sorry. I hope this ends better than it began.

Keith said...

Well the law sais I can have antiques, no licence or registration required. I saw no point in hiding them. When they did the house check my guns were in the cabinette to see.
But this certainly makes one think twice about obeying the law. Never again.

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

While I sympathize with you, I find it quite funny. I have taken the liberty of blogging about it at http://rummuser.com/?p=9257

I hope that it all resolves satisfactorily soon.

ExHelot said...

This should serve as a warning to people in the U.S. Once the government gets its fat little fingers into your life, they just push them in further and further.

By the way what on earth is this house inspecti you refer to?on

TJIC said...

Ended up at your blog because of a link from Jenny (http://cradleofliberty.blogspot.com/).

I live in the US. Because of a joke I made, the police seized my entire collection of legally owned firearms. I've spent $15,000 fighting to get them back. Most are now in my lawyer's hands, but my great-grandfather's black powder side-by-side birding shotgun is so old that it's an antinque (pre-1900 and thus LEGALLY not even a firearms (according to the Gun Control Act of 1963)) has been sent off to the BATF to see if they can figure out what the local idiot donut eaters can not.

Short version: I'm in a fairly similar situation - I may very well lose a family heirloom.

Good luck in your struggle.