Partial Decision Made on Victoria's Weapons Policy

Master Delbert von Strassburg, Seneschal for the Kingdom of Lochac, has announced the latest ruling regarding weapons policy in the state of Victoria, Australia. Master Delbert writes:
Hi,

Here is the current state of play, for everyone that's been following this, which should include most people:

The department of justice has decided to proceed with some of the regulations (the ones we weren't concerned about) but delay implementation until next year, and has extended the comment deadline on the others until October 10th.

Here is the wording from Chris Shea at the Department of Justice:

Following consideration of the submissions received, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services has now notified his intention to:

- proceed with the making of the proposed Regulations:

- prescribing the manner in which searches without warrant in a public place under the Control of Weapons Act 1990 and Firearms Act 1996 shall be undertaken and the particulars to be included in records of such searches (subject to some amendments);

- prescribing new fee levels for an Approval from the Chief Commissioner of Police to possess, carry or use a prohibited weapon and the fee for an application to vary an Approval;

with the proposed Regulations in these respects now planned to commence on Sunday 5 October 2004;

- extend the deadline for submissions on the proposed Regulations in respect of:

- classifying swords as "prohibited weapons", thereby reducing their general availability to the public;

- classifying crossbows as "prohibited weapons", thereby reducing their general availability to the public; and

- classifying inert and imitation explosives as a controlled weapon, thereby making their lawful possession and use contingent on a lawful excuse;

Further public submissions on the proposed Regulations and RIS in respect of the proposals relating to swords, crossbows and inert and imitation explosives are invited. Persons and organisations which have already made a submission are welcome to make a further submission if they wish.

The closing date for receipt of written submissions on the proposals in respect of swords, crossbows and inert and imitation explosives is now Friday 10 October 2003.

Master Delbert von Strassburg
Seneschal, Kingdom of Lochac
Society for Creative Anachronism Australia

In response to this policy, members of the SCA and other living history groups have drafted the following:

Master Delbert writes:

In response to the extension of deadlines of the commenting period, the SCA, the Australian Living History Federation (ALHF), the New Varangian Guard (NVG) and the Sydney Ancients Association have met and prepared a very brief joint position statement, covering just the main points of our combined argument.

This position statement is attached at the end of this e-mail. The position statement is in no way binding on anyone -- we have just prepared it so that the majority of us are arguing from a common ground and as a guideline for others that wish to prepare submissions.

We are encouraging all people within the SCA and living history communities to submit a brief comment to the Department of Justice, covering the main points that we have adopted, adding any other points you feel relevant, and send this comment to:

Mr Chris Shea
Justice Policy
Level 3, 55 St Andrews Place
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Fax: (03) 9651 6922
Email: chris.shea@justice.vic.gov.au

by 10th October.

--

The following is a short joint position statement on the PROPOSED CONTROL OF WEAPONS (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS and PROPOSED CONTROL OF WEAPONS (SEARCH POWERS) REGULATIONS, as announced by the Victorian Department of Justice.

The statement was prepared by:

Sue Drain, Secretary/Public Officer, Australian Living History Federation.
David Elson, National Coordinator, Society for Creative Anachronism.
Donyale Harrison, President, Society for Creative Anachronism.
Christopher Morgan, Public Officer, New Varangian Guard.
Craig Gascoigne, Secretary, Sydney Ancients Association.

Our position is that:

Regulations 11 and 12 -- "Application fees for approval" and "Method of conducting searches", for weapons that we agree should be prohibited weapons -- no objections.

Amendments to schedule 2, parts 13 and 47, dealing with swords and crossbows becoming "prohibited weapons" from their current state of "controlled weapons" -- we believe that these amendments should be dropped.

Second option:

A sword or crossbow that is used for the purposes of re-enactment and historical swordplay, and those swords used for theatrical purposes, should not be classified as a prohibited weapon.

Third option:

A recommendation that the governor in council grants exemptions to specific classes of people to use swords and crossbows in their activities. These exemptions should apply to historical re-enactment groups, historical swordplay and fencing groups, and entertainment and theatrical groups (eg: Highland dancers, Australian Ballet and Opera, etc).

Fourth option:

That the definition of sword in schedule 2 part 47 be amended to exclude blunt weapons.

Master Delbert von Strassburg
Seneschal, Kingdom of Lochac
Society for Creative Anachronism Australia