Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Firearms Legislation. What Do We Need?

Firearms Legislation.
What Do We Need?

By any type of firearms legislation, what is the main goal? What do we want to achieve? Firstly I think we need to achieve a reasonable level of safety for Australian citizens, without impeding the freedom & rights of Australian gun owners. Note I said “reasonable level of safety”. I say that because there will always be a criminal element in our society that will ALWAYS have access to illegal firearms, no matter what our government may legislate. You simply can not expect criminals to obey the law; that is why we call them criminals!
At present in New South Wales, a person wanting to own a firearm must pass a written & practicle exam before they can obtain a firearms licence. When they want to purchase a firearm, they must apply for a “permit to purchase”. This permit must show the exact firearm that the licensed person wants to acquire, & this is done by recording the serial number of the firearm that is for sale. If that firearm is sold by the time the permit is issued, then the licensed person must start all over again, finding another gun, & applying for another permit to purchase.
Once the gun is purchased & in the charge of the licensed gun owner, it must be at all times, other than when in use or being cleaned, lock in a secure firearms safe that meets all legislation requirements. Next this firearm must be registered with the New South Wales Firearms Registry. Only two of these requirements do anything to partially secure the safety of the Australian public, & that is the licensing of the would-be gun owner, & the requirement that the firearm be secured in a gun safe. Permit to purchase & firearms registration does nothing except add more cost for the gun owner & the Australian tax payer, & of course more work & cost for the NSW Firearms Registry which is a part of the NSW Police Service.
air rifles
rimfire rifles(other than self-loading)
shotguns (other than pump action or self-loading)
shotgun/rimfire rifle combinations.

muzzle-loading firearms (other than pistols)
centre fire rifles (other than self-loading)
shotgun/centre fire rifle combinations.

LICENCE CATEGORY C: (prohibited except for occupational purposes)
self-loading rimfire rifles with magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds
self-loading shotguns with magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds
pump action shotguns with magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds.

LICENCE CATEGORY D: (prohibited except for official purposes)
self-loading centre fire rifles
self-loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds
self-loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds
pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds
any firearm to which a category C licence applies.

pistols (including blank fire pistols and air pistols).
Special licensing requirements apply for Licence Category H. They are not addressed in the Handbook. For information on pistol licences contact the NSW Police Firearms Registry.

In all Licence Categories, the licensee is authorised to possess or use registered firearm(s) of the kind to which the licence applies, but only for the purpose established by the licensee as being the genuine reason(s) for possessing or using the firearm(s).
Please note that certain classes of firearms are restricted; every would-be gun owner MUST give a good reason for owning any firearms. This of course only applies to law abiding citizens; criminals have no restrictions placed on them at all.
Also note that Muzzle-Loading firearms other than pistols require a B Class licence, the same as centerfire firearms.
Shotguns require an A Class licence. But some Muzzle-Loading guns are also shotguns, but they are on a B Class licence.
Firearms made before 1901 are classed as antiques, & providing modern ammunition can not be purchased over the counter for these guns. These antiques require no licence, permit to purchase, or registration. It is interesting to note here, that modern made Muzzle-Loading firearms are no different in design or operation than an antique Muzzle-Loading gun, yet the modern replica requires a licence, registration & permit to purchase.
Let me give you a quick run down on how a Flintlock Muzzle-Loading gun works. Gunpowder must be loaded loose, down the barrel from the muzzle using a powder measure. The shotgun is then loaded with two wads down the barrel, then loose shot also with a measure, then another wad is loaded on top. Each wad load must be pushed down the barrel with a ramrod or wiping stick. Then you have to prime the pan with more loose gunpowder. Ignition is supplied by a piece of rock, yes rock as in stone. This rock is held in the jaws of a cock. When the trigger is pulled, the cock flies forward & the piece of rock strikes the hammer. This causes sparks to fall into the priming pan igniting the priming powder which flashes through a vent into the breech of the barrel & ignites the main charge in the barrel & the gun fires.
Now I am sure, even if you are a firearms novice, that you will see that not just anyone will know how to make this gun work properly. It is NOT the choice of criminals, it is NOT the choice of people wishing to commit suicide, & it is NOT the choice of mentally ill people wishing to slaughter their family or anyone else. This gun is the choice of Living Historians, Historical Reenactors & Muzzle-Loading enthusiast, & yet the same restrictions are placed on this primitive tool as is placed on centerfire breech loading cartridge firing firearms.
1.        I propose that the registering of all firearms be abolished. I see no reason for registration. It does allow the government to keep track of who owns what so they can be confiscated at any time, but this does not add to the well being of the general public.
2.       I propose that the Permit To Purchase be abolished. This too serves no purpose that I can see, other than to make it harder for a law abiding citizens to acquire a firearm.
3.       I propose that permit to purchase & registration be abolished for the ownership of all reproduction FlintlockWheellockMatchlock, & Tinderlock firearms, including; pistols, shotguns, rifles, fusils, muskets, swivel guns, wall guns, palisade guns, & blunderbuss. Compared to the array of modern firearms available on the black market, this type of gun poses no threat to the general public what so ever, & to suggest that it does is simply not sensible or practicle & shows total ignorance on the part of the law makers.
4. I propose that all muzzle-loading guns other than percussion locks & cap & ball revolvers require only a Category A licence.
5. I propose that percussion lock muzzle-loading guns & cap & ball revolvers require only a Category B licence.
6. I propose that the requirement for all muzzle-loading pistols & cap & ball revolvers be for Hunting  & that pistol club membership not be mandatory. These primitive arms have been used for a back-up for hunting for centuries, as the muzzle-loading long arm is usually only a single shot. Carrying a muzzle-loading pistol is a humane way of dispatching game if it is wounded, & carrying one when hunting wild boar is a safety measure for the hunter.

If anyone has any views or suggestions relating to this article & firearms legislation in Australia, I would welcome their comments.


The Matchlock gun requires a length of burning match cord to supply ignition.

The Wheellock gun requires a piece of pyrite rock to supply ignition, & a key to wind up the lock.

The Flintlock gun requires a piece of flint rock to supply ignition. If the flint is not sharp, or if the weather is wet, then this gun may not fire.

The swivel gun must be mounted on a post or a wall, it can not be fired freehand. Ignition is supplied by a burning match cord secured in a linstock. The burning match must be placed in the vent by hand to make this gun fire.

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