Victoria will be introducing legislation to make swords a prohibited weapon as of the 1st July. We have been fighting against this for some time, or at least fighting for amendments to it, but in essence we have won a substantial victory, in that:
* The definition of sword is to be amended.
* The SCA will be exempt from the legislation.
Firstly, I have asked Simon MacFaolin to take on the job of talking to the justice department in Victoria to get them to accept a sensible definition of the word "sword". We are trying to get them to adopt the same one that is in use in Queensland, which is very reasonable.
Secondly, despite this, it appears that swords of some form will become prohibited, however the SCA will be entirely exempt from the legislation, as will other re-enactment groups. That means that SCA members will be allowed to own and carry what would, to other people in Victoria, be a prohibited weapon.
Remember that this legislation is not aimed at the SCA or the re-enactment community, it is aimed at the loonies who keep cutting each other up with swords in public parks. As long as we play by the rules, the rules will play by us.
To comply with the rules, SCA members will be REQUIRED to carry one of the following AT ALL TIMES while in possession of or transporting a sword in Victoria:
* A current SCA membership card.
* A current fighter authorisation card.
* A current fighter-in-training card, available from the marshallate.
This is the same situation that will exist in Queensland from the 1st July. This is the same situation that is RECOMMENDED for all other states in Australia.
To quote what I said on this list earlier:
* When you are carrying swords (eg: to and from training), whether they are SCA swords, blunt ceremonial swords, knights' swords, etc., please carry either your SCA membership card or your SCA fighters' authorisation card with you at all times.
* If you do not have a fighter authorisation card yet and are not a member, then please ask your local marshal for a fighter-in-training card. These can be issued for a period of one year by any authorised marshal. Marshals, if you need these cards please contact Margie of Glen More who can get you copies.
* Be prepared to explain to any member of the police force that the SCA is a medieval history group, that you are carrying the swords for historical and recreational purposes, where you are going, what time training starts and finishes, and some details about what you do with your swords.
* The police are generally aware of the existence of historical reenactment groups, and aware of the types of activities that we do. Don't treat them like idiots.
* Don't carry weapons of any kind about your person or in your car when you are not going out for SCA / historical purposes. Leave them at home unless you are going to or from training or an event.
Master Delbert von Strassburg
Seneschal, Kingdom of Lochac
Society for Creative Anachronism Australia
Please forward to all appropriate mailing lists; local newsletters too, please.