Thursday, 3 March 2016


"To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled".
Parliament House
6 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000.
The Petition of Keith H. Burgess.
President of the New England Colonial Living History Group.
Brings to the attention of the House the matter of firearms licensing in relation to muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded).
At this present time, working replica (replicas of original 17th and 18th century antique muzzle-loading pistols) muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types matchlock, wheellock, tinderlock, doglock, snaphance, and flintlock can only be owned by a person possessing a category H gun licence, and these pistols can only be legally fired on a registered gun range. This requirement excludes the use of these antique replicas for Living History and Historical Re-enactment purposes. It also excludes the use of these antique replicas for use as a back-up safety for muzzle-loader hunters hunting on private property who are hunting with single shot muzzle-loading rifles or smoothbores.
Historical Re-enactment groups and Living History organisations have re-enactment rules which preclude the use of live ammunition and preclude the use of a ramrod during any and all re-enactment displays. There is also a permit requirement; this permit is for historical re-enactment organisations wishing to conduct an historical re-enactment event involving the possession and use of firearms by participants. Clause 61 - Firearms Regulation 2006.
Replicas of muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types mentioned are slow to load and require a good deal of knowledge and training to ensure the workability of this type of gun. Ignition even when used by a competent person can not be guaranteed. Therefore these muzzle-loading guns are not suitable for criminal use.
The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to change the licensing requirement for these replica antique muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded) from the present category H class licence to the category B class licence.

Some Facts About Muzzle-Loading Pistols.
Living Historians will always praise the workings of a muzzle-loading gun, because we have gone to the trouble over some years to learn how to make these primitive tools work. But the average person first acquiring a muzzle-loader is not likely to get much satisfaction out of it.
If the weather is damp then a muzzle-loader may not work because Black Powder attracts moisture & it may not take fire. If it is raining you have to first take a little tallow (rendered & cleaned animal fat) & sparingly smear it around the joints of the pan to help keep the water out. Then you need to use a cow’s knee lock cover (or similar shaped piece of leather) to place over the whole gun lock to keep the rain out. Of course in order to then fire this gun, you have to remove the lock cover & fire as quickly as you can before the lock gets wet.
There are many other skills to learn before you can use a muzzle-loading gun, & unless you are a lover of these guns you are not likely to bother learning the skills. Matchlocks & tinderlocks require a lit burning fuse to be attached to the gun to make it fire. Can you imagine trying to hide one of these in your pocket or under your clothing without catching yourself on fire?!!! Yet these primitive tools are considered a danger to the public & are placed on a restricted H class licence. Why? Simply because the people who make these laws know nothing about these muzzle-loaders & very little about any other firearms. Smoothbore muzzle-loaders require a B class licence in NSW, but smoothbore breach loading shotguns of modern manufacture only require an A class licence! Does this make any sense to you?
You may not be a lover of guns, you may not be a Living Historian or a Historical Re-enactor, but to us that are, these guns are an important part of what we do, an important part of our hobby & enjoyment. Please sign this petition to allow us to acquire these primitive guns on a B class licence which will allow us to carry these muzzle-loaders during club activities (even though they will not be loaded with live ammunition, only blanks when in public displays). Obviously they are not a risk to the general public, they can not be obtained without a licence & there are strict “reasons for purchase” rules that apply to a B class licence.
Thank you
Keith H. Burgess.

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