Meg Baron writes:
Unto the membership of the Society, greetings:
Below is a missive from a representative of the Board of Directors of SCA - Australia regarding changes to Australian law affecting the SCA there. If you plan to travel to Lochac, please be aware of these laws and plan your travel and packing accordingly. Should you plan such a visit, it is suggested that you contact the Lochac Kingdom Seneschal shortly before departure for the latest updates.
President, SCA Inc.
This is to inform you of legislative changes recently occurring within Australia that may impact on SCA members from other Kingdoms who choose to travel to the Kingdom of Lochac (Australia and New Zealand) from now on.
As the result of several recent incidents between members of the public here (not SCA members) and State Police Forces, the owning of and carrying of swords is now outlawed in the states of Victoria and Queensland. People caught with them face possible fines, prosecution, and, potentially, jail sentences.
In addition, New South Wales is preparing legislation to ban the carrying of swords in that State as well, and the Premier of South Australia has publicly signalled his intent to follow the lead of the other states in the near future.
While the Queensland legislation carries a clear definition of 'sword', the Victorian legislation doesn't, so at the moment we believe that normal SCA rattan swords may be caught there.
There are exemptions to the legislation for a number of specified groups, including the SCA. SCA members may carry swords into these states and use them according to the activity, but there are a number of provisos to the exemption. These are:
- The person carrying the sword must also be carrying at the same time, one of either an SCA membership card, a fighter authorisation card or a trainee fighter card.
- The sword must not be carried in plain sight, and should not be easily accessible to anyone else (it's recommended that they be locked in a car trunk, for example).
- While able to be carried, worn or used at SCA-related activities, they should not be carried (unless well-disguised), or worn at other times.
- Steel swords should not be sharpened and should have a rounded tip, or squared-off in the case of rapiers.
In addition, crossbows are now banned weapons in Victoria from 1 July 2004, joining New South Wales, which has long banned them. The SCAA has until 31 August to apply for an exemption for SCA members in Victoria to continue to be able to use crossbows, the exemption planned to be for bows with a maximum 700 inch lbs, for combat archery only. The exemption is being prepared now and will be lodged in time. Until the result of that is known, crossbows should not be brought into the State.
Aylwin Greymane (Adrian Nicholas)
on behalf of the Board of the Society for Creative Anachronism Australia (Inc in SA)
7 July 2004
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
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