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    Legal issues??

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    unsane_chimera

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2012-09-17
    Age : 31
    Location : Melbourne

    Legal issues??

    Post  unsane_chimera on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:15 pm

    Hey guys,

    Sorry if this has already been covered before, I tried looking but didn't find a thing.

    OK, long post, well.. So, I have been thinking about doing a homemade, along the lines of the FAR(by Boltsniper). Which is fine, I have the idea almost 100% sorted out and materials in the post. The issue comes from the legal side of things, being in the nanny state of Victoria, of if it classes as an illegal firearm. Sounds stupid I know but take a look at the Firearms Act 1996 specifically these parts;

    "category A longarm means any of the following-

    (a) an airgun;"

    "air gun" means a gun that:
    (a) can propel, or is designed to propel, a projectile:
    (i) by means of any gas or mixture of gases, including air but not including a gas or mixture of gases generated by an explosive, or
    (ii) by means of a spring, and
    (b) is operated or designed for operation by means of a trigger or similar device.
    "ammunition" includes:
    (a) any article consisting of a cartridge case fitted with a primer and a projectile, or
    (b) any article consisting of a cartridge case fitted with a primer and containing a propelling charge and a projectile, or
    (c) blank cartridges, airgun pellets, training cartridges or gas cartridges, or
    (d) any other article prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition."


    Also;

    "What is a toy firearm?
    Toy firearms are items that cannot be mistaken as working firearms by the general public, and do not have the functionality of a working firearm. They are manufactured as a plaything or for providing amusement; and their method of operation (if applicable) falls outside the definition of a firearm in the Firearms Act 1996; and they have a resemblance to a firearm, however their appearance cannot be mistaken for a working firearm by a reasonable person due to their shape and size; and/or the barrel and/or butt is of a colour not normally associated with a working firearm (e.g. fluorescent, or multi coloured); and/or it is made using material of a kind not associated with a working firearm—such as wood or transparent/coloured plastic.
    Examples of toy firearms
    Water pistols and foam dart guns that are made of transparent or florescent plastic/wood, and that smaller or larger than working firearms are examples of toys."


    OK, so from what I can gather is that if I use a metal barrel and breech, combined with a magazine feed and air compression via the spring, I will have made a category A or military class firearm?? Is this assumption correct? or should i seek legal advice?

    According to that, anyone who has done a brass breech mod could be subject to a visit from the police, seems strange to me.

    The final build of my homemade will be similar to the FAR, excepting that the barrel/breech/shells will be brass and other minor differences(including bright paint). Does that cross the toy/imitation/firearm line? I don't think a reasonable police officer would arrest me over it but i would like to have my bases covered before building this. last thing I need with a baby on the way is a fine and/or possible jail time over a toy...

    Thanks for any input guys. Much appreciated.

    P.S. Reference links to the specific pages that have been quoted would have been linked but I haven't been a member for long enough, sorry!
    avatar
    Jeo

    Posts : 462
    Join date : 2011-01-27
    Age : 30
    Location : Canberra

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  Jeo on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:37 pm

    Assume everything you do in this sense is illegal and you'll be far better off.
    avatar
    unsane_chimera

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2012-09-17
    Age : 31
    Location : Melbourne

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  unsane_chimera on Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:04 pm

    LOL, always pays to be cautious.
    avatar
    Jeo

    Posts : 462
    Join date : 2011-01-27
    Age : 30
    Location : Canberra

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  Jeo on Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:05 pm

    I think it's more that getting involved in a legitimate legal discussion on a public forum is going to amount to a bunch of half informed people making calls that they are in no way legal definitions, yet others will view that as the gospel. Have a look at some of the arguments that start up over the whole 'orange tip' thing and whether or not it's an Australian regulation if you're curious.

    As you've already pointed out the firearms act views our whole hobby as a bit of a gray area. Gray areas either mean you lose, or things get expensive.

    If you want real advice, go hire a lawyer, and even then prepare to get told you're wrong.


    In answer to your specific questions...

    OK, so from what I can gather is that if I use a metal barrel and breech, combined with a magazine feed and air compression via the spring, I will have made a category A or military class firearm?? Is this assumption correct? or should i seek legal advice?

    Probably a firearm.

    According to that, anyone who has done a brass breech mod could be subject to a visit from the police, seems strange to me

    Probably. Doesn't seem that strange really does it? You could kill someone with a ball bearing and a high powered springer.

    The final build of my homemade will be similar to the FAR, excepting that the barrel/breech/shells will be brass and other minor differences(including bright paint). Does that cross the toy/imitation/firearm line? I don't think a reasonable police officer would arrest me over it but i would like to have my bases covered before building this. last thing I need with a baby on the way is a fine and/or possible jail time over a toy...

    Possibly. I think the discretion of the officer in question would probably come into play a fair bit here, which means your actions at the time also come into play. Basically if you're not being a dick with it, I'd say that you're probably safe. Ideally this would mean playing in a clearly organised game with other people in a safe and sensible manner, as opposed to one dude taking pot shots at houses on he other side of a park. Ultimately what you're proposing to make is probably illegal, but assuming you use it responsibly, you should be fine.


    tldr/ See my above post.
    avatar
    Joey

    Posts : 551
    Join date : 2010-08-07
    Age : 30
    Location : Brisbane

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  Joey on Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:38 am

    Jeo wrote:Assume everything you do in this sense is illegal and you'll be far better off.

    ^^ This is basically it.

    I year or so ago the forum exploded in a couple threads (derailed threads) about legal issues with nerf guns. Doesn't help that each state has a different policy and of course we got nowhere.


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    Coolys1000

    Posts : 17
    Join date : 2012-05-21
    Age : 18
    Location : Melbourne

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  Coolys1000 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:06 am

    The laws have been updated so the 1996 laws are outdated. I'm not sure where to find the new ones.
    Sorry if that's no help.
    avatar
    Luke

    Posts : 986
    Join date : 2011-02-04
    Age : 19
    Location : Patterson Lakes, Melbourne

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  Luke on Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:03 am

    Coolys1000 wrote:The laws have been updated so the 1996 laws are outdated.
    They are not outdated.

    Victoria Police wrote:Firearms and imitation firearms are regulated under the Firearms Act 1996 and Control of Weapons Act 1990 respectively in the State of Victoria.

    Victoria Police wrote:Classification of firearms and related items
    Release date: Fri 30 December 2011
    Last updated: Thu 12 April 2012


    Differentiating between an imitation firearm, replica firearms and other firearm paraphernalia and toys

    There are a wide variety of firearm-themed items available on the market aimed at children or firearm enthusiasts. Depending on the overall appearance and function of these items, some may be classified as a registrable firearm, a replica firearm or an imitation firearm. These require an authority to possess, carry or sell in the State of Victoria regardless of the intent of the manufacturer.

    The information contained within this page and downloadable Quick Guide to Imitation, Toy & Other firearm paraphernalia has been published to assist you to recognise the distinguishing characteristics of an imitation firearm as opposed to a toy or other firearm paraphernalia to assist you to comply with Victorian laws in this area.

    Generally, if an item cannot be mistaken for a working firearm by a reasonable person and does not have the function of a firearm, it will be treated as a toy firearm or other firearm-themed paraphernalia and can be owned without a licence or other authority.

    However, items that have the appearance of a working firearm, even where they do not function as one, are classified as imitation firearms. As imitation firearms can cause public alarm, only people with a Chief Commissioner's Weapons Approval or Governor in Council Exemption can possess, carry or offer them for sale in the State of Victoria.

    LRD has made determinations with regards to some of the more readily available devices available for sale in the community. For advice regarding these devices, click here.

    Replica firearms are not the same as imitation firearms. They are working copies of an original firearm and anyone in possession of a replica must register it and be the holder of the appropriate firearms licence.

    If you are still uncertain about whether a "toy" fits into the definition of an imitation firearm or firearm based on the above guidelines, LRD recommends that you seek independent legal advice.

    Read more on it at http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=34442
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    unsane_chimera

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2012-09-17
    Age : 31
    Location : Melbourne

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  unsane_chimera on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:25 am

    Thanks for the input guys. I suppose as a grey area it would depend on the situation at hand. I assume most police would see it as a toy.

    I'll just keep it at home for private use and only crack it out at certain nerf wars. Just to be safe.
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    clunk07
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2011-02-02
    Age : 37
    Location : Blackwater, Queensland

    Re: Legal issues??

    Post  clunk07 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:24 am

    Congrats to those involved in this discussion for not running off on a tangent.

    This topic has been discussed so many times in the past. Like Jeo and Joey said, assume that everything you make is illegal, then you're at the very least prepared. There's so many variables within the police force, not only with different states, but population/area etc.

    I live in a rural area, know most of the cops in town, never had an issue using my blaster's in public, including a singled titan and a singled PAS in stock colours. Obviously not in a public park, but still in a residential area.

    Exercise caution, and you should hopefully be fine.

    Cheers,


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