Firearms Lawyer Simon Munslow answers your legal questions.

Four Legal Questions Answered


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IN QUEENSLAND, CAN I BREAK A TRIP AND CALL IN AT THE SHOPS ON THE WAY BACK FROM A SHOOTING TRIP?

You are required to ensure that your firearm is safely stored, and that it does not become stolen or fall into the hands of someone who is not authorised to possess it.

Section 61 of the Weapons Regulation 1996 states that a person in control of a weapon must ensure the weapon is not placed in or on a vehicle unless:

1. If the vehicle has a lockable boot, the weapon is locked in the boot; otherwise:

(a) the weapon is locked in a metal container fixed to the vehicle; or

(b) the weapon is in a securely closed container that is out of sight in the 

vehicle.

2. The metal container and anything on or attached to it, must not suggest that a weapon is inside.

3. A person in control of a weapon (whether or not the person has custody of it) must ensure the weapon is not left in an unlocked vehicle if the vehicle is not being attended by someone licensed to possess the weapon.

Note: This does not replace your usual secure storage facility as defined by section 60 of the Weapons Regulations 1996. 

So, you could leave the firearm in a vehicle if the vehicle is locked. Ideally however, a firearm should not be left attended by someone who is not licenced to possess it. If you must leave it, ensure that you take all reasonable precautions to keep the firearm safe.

I suggest you also read my blog of 29 April 2014 ‘Removing Bolts while travelling- law or not?’ and the lengthy comments following the blog.

POLICE PURSUIT OF SHOOTERS WHERE FIREARMS ARE STOLEN

Front page news in a recent edition of this website was the story of a farmer in Queensland charged with breaching storage laws when his firearms laws were stolen.

This type of situation is more common than you think, and I have acted in situations where the Police have been more interested in charging the firearms owner than pursuing the thief.

Presumably they feel that catching the thief will be hard or impossible to achieve, and the Firearms Owner gives them an easy ‘result’ for their time.

MAGAZINE PROBLEMS WITH CUSTOMS

I had a call a few weeks ago from a chap who was importing a rifle from overseas. He had owned it for some years, It was a type of rifle that is well known, and was accompanied by a number of after market magazines from a well known supplier who is also present in our market place.

His difficulty was that Customs tested the magazines and they took eleven rounds.

I commented that I was familiar with magazines of that brand, and knew people who had owned a number of them without problems. Had he left the magazines loaded for long periods? He advised that he had.

Many shooters are not familiar with this as being a problem. Security and combat troops often do not fully load magazines for this reason or, if they do, they ‘rest’ them periodically to relieve pressure on the spring.

I speculated that the magazine springs had simply stretched, which is an easy fix that could be remedied to Customs satisfaction by any competent gunsmith.

QLD PERMITS TO ACQUIRE

I have had a number of enquiries about whether you need a PTA when trading in a firearm and acquiring another of the same class and calibre, ie ‘like for like’ in Queensland.

The short answer is no. This reform was introduced a few months ago, and it enables a person who has a firearm to trade in or ‘swap’ a firearm for one of the same chambering, class and calibre. The firearm does not need to have the same action or necessarily the same magazine capacity so, for example, a single shot could be replaced with a bolt or lever action.

It is good to see the Queensland Firearms Registry is looking to save on unnecessary administration. Hopefully other States and Territories shall adopt it.

DO YOU NEED SOME FREE ADVICE OR HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR A BLOG? IF SO, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

Simon Munslow 02 6299 9690, solicitor@bigpond.com

 

 


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Simon Munslow

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