Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Front: Licensing

In the process of making my own laser-tag tagger, I ordered and imported some parts that were seized by Australian Customs. Woops. It didn't occur to me that certain paintball accessories, namely a
SCAR-H stock mockup and a magazine mockup would trip the rules (not being actual markers, but accessories) but I was wrong. I was given the option of giving up my goods and going I record as having been warned, or going through the licensing processes to import paintball markers (and/or parts). This is a two tier process where one needs to apply for an import permit, and to do so requires either a retailers license as a reseller, or a Class P long arm shooters license.

There are a variety of classes of shooters license in Victoria, each covering a particular variety of firearm;
A-(Airguns,rimfire, non pump/semi shotguns),
B-(Muzzle loaders, center fire but not semi or full-auto rifles),
C-(semiauto rimfire with no more than 10rnd mag, semi-auto or pump shotguns with no more than 5 rnd mag, tranq guns),
D-(semi-auto rimfire with more than 10rnd mag, semi-auto or pump shotguns with more than 5 rnd mag, center-fire semi-auto rifles)
E-(military or paramilitary weapons MG's, mortars, RPGs, carbines (less than 75cm))
H- (handguns)
P- (Paintball markers)
Its worth noting that as far as legislation and enforcement is considered, all the above weapons are all treated the same. A paintball marker left in the back-seat of your car is apparently no different to an M-249 LMG, a SPAS-12 shotgun or Dirty Harry's "most powerful handgun in the world" so, I want to do the right thing.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a gun-nut; we don't have any large terrestrial carnivores where I live, armed violent crime is pretty much a non-event here, we are unlikely to ever be invaded, I don't do sport hunting. I have probably an inordinate affection for militaria and I don't routinely hunt. So apart from a casual interest in collecting firearms of the world which I may well peruse to complement my collection of swords, knives and daggers, I don't have what I would consider a -pressing- need for a firearm, especially for my own day to day well-being, as I might were I back living elsewhere in the world. (Libreville, Houston, Dubai). I do like my Stargate LRP Lasertag pew-pew-pew and I have enjoyed paintballing in the past. Bush-ball, rather than tournament style.

So, in order to get my paintball parts, to build my laser-tag marker (which in and of itself doesn't yet require a license, but may soon, as an "imitation firearm" depending how the laws go) I fronted up, and sat a paintball safety course exam, and joined a paintball club as a financial member. I have filled in the forms to get my Class P license, and to import my parts. I already have a suitable storage container (being a steel locker, which can be "permanently affixed" to the place of storage, as it is less than 150kg empty). I will also submit my "Permit to Acquire a Longarm" form and THEN apply for customs to release my parts, which they may, or may nor do. They may also bill me for their trouble if I am unsuccessful.

A lot of trouble for a trumped up toy, perhaps, but I want to do things by the book.

I did so in getting my Governor in Council Exemption Order for the Control of Weapons Act 1990, as a bona fide collector of swords, knives and daggers, which along with my membership to the Australian Kendo Renmei keeps my collection of pointies above-board.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...