View Full Version : Swords in Victoria, Australia to become prohibited weapons

Howard Quick
11th August 2003, 12:37
Hi All,
I was sent this link today by a colleague.
For all you Aussies out there, you really should read this!!!

Dear Friends in Nihontô,

The Victorian Government has given notice that it intends to declare ALL SWORDS to be prohibited weapons. All sorts of nasty consequences flow from this including import bans. A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is available by mail or via the Justice Department’s website. I urge all Australian collectors to request a hard copy by mail and/or download the documents and read them thoroughly. Submissions close on Monday September 8th.

This is particularly important for ALL Australian collectors. I believe that any law passed in any State jurisdiction can then be immediately written into law WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION by any other State. As the proposed banning of swords arises out of an all-Australian Police Commissioners meeting you may be sure that if this gets up in Victoria we will see swords declared prohibited weapons without notice all over Australia.

Any lover of swords anywhere in the world is also quite free to download the RIS and make a submission to the Victorian Government. I would be eternally grateful to anyone who did so and the cause of Nihontô as Art swords will surely be advanced. Important swords have been found in Australia and will continue to be found - unless they wind up being broken and melted down.

Calling Colonel Cadwell, where are you…

I will try to set something up on a website - Richard Turner??

Go here to find the Regulatory Impact Statement.

justice dep't (http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/CA2569020010922A/Homepage?OpenForm)

Click on the top link labelled

"Draft Control of Weapons and Firearms (Search Powers) Regulations 2003"

and you will pull up three documents as follows:

RegulatoryImpactStatement.pdf (173kb)
ProposedControlofWeapons(Amendment)Regulations2003.pdf (14kb)
ProposedFirearms(SearchPowers)Regulations2003.pdf (12kb)

Best regards,

Barry Thomas

(Melbourne, Australia)

For those who thought it would never happen:rolleyes:

11th August 2003, 16:35
Seems the order has progressed from “Bend Over!” to ”Bend Over Further!”

Care to unload some of those evil forbidden dangerous art objects for pennies a pound? Or if you prefer we can just “hold on to them” for you...

Nathan Scott
11th August 2003, 23:29
Man, that really sucks.

I believe that this is going to happen everywhere eventually. Politicians can't/wont' make any important changes during their term of office, so they will continue to push frivolous legistlation in hopes of increasing their public perception. The legislation won't have any real affect on the intended issues, but they can claim that "they were the ones who drafted/supported the bill to ban weapons" (complete with a bunch of irrelevant personal agenda issues tagged at the end). Real changes would require groundwork that would need to be continued into the next term of office, and as a result, the current politician would not get credit for doing something productive. That is why we see so many short-sighted solutions to larger issues. Politicians are simply trying to keep their perception up, not work towards solving larger issues.

Point being, stupid bans like this will continue to happen, because people like us are the voting minority, while the majority of voters will think that "banning dangerous weapons" sounds like a good idea. We will need to really make a lot of noise to counter such BS.

I've been saying for years now that we need to regulate ourselves, otherwise, the government will be happy to regulate us - for a small fee. Aside from pushing the importance of seeking qualified instruction, the only other thing I can think of would be to ask those businesses selling repros/shinken to the general public to set up a more selective criteria for their client base. For example, selling only to dojo, and not to individuals. This would of coures reduce sales, but would also ensure that sales are possible 5-10 years from now. Those receiving formal instruction would have no problem getting live blades, but those with essentially no business buying martial art grade shinken (not antiques) would have a tougher time possessing them. It would also show a commendable effort on the part of the "professional sword/MA community".

As far as repro wall hangars, I wouldn't be opposed to banning the production of these things altogether. What purpose to they serve? Do they think that the consumers will not want to play with them (swing them around, sharpen and cut with them, etc.)? They advertise them on TV with some stupid guy twirling the blade around his fingers. These things are simply dangerous and crappy, and are the blades typically used in violent crimes, from what I've noticed.

The first generation owners are also probably not as problematic as future generation owners of shinken. Teenagers will be able to buy used martial art grade shinken, originally selling for say $500, for $100 and up.

What do ya'll think we should be doing to combat poor, unprofessional public perception and frivolous legislation?


12th August 2003, 00:38
Originally posted by Nathan Scott
What do ya'll think we should be doing to combat poor, unprofessional public perception and frivolous legislation?

Put rancid butter in our hair, paint our faces blue and kill them with swards? :nin:

I’ll believe that weapon confiscation works to save lives when they apply it to the police first as a test run. If it works there — protecting the lives of cops on the beat, controlling crime, etc. — then I’m all for it.

12th August 2003, 01:55
What a masterpiece of vagueness the proposed legislation is as well:

The definition of a "sword" within Schedule 3 is "a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long blade having one or two cutting edges and a hilt".
Who decides precisely what is "long" and what isn't, qualifying it as a "sword" or not? And what of the rapier, which generally has no cutting edges, being a thrusting weapon? Apparently it is not a sword, and thus quite legal. Perhaps an inventive smith could fashion a blade triangular in cross-section, having three edges and thus exempt.

Here's something:

Controlled weapons - these are weapons that can be used for legitimate purposes, but
which need to be regulated because of the danger they pose if misused (eg. spear guns,
some martial arts equipment, knives). Any person may possess, carry and use controlled
weapons provided they have a “lawful excuse”. “Lawful excuse” includes legitimate
recreational, sporting, collection or employment activities(snip)

So perhaps there's hope even if this ridiculous legislation is passed. As much as I regard wall-hangers to be idiotic and dangerous things, I still would not be for banning them. This would be a concession to those who wish to ban all swords - and would only make it easier to extend the ban to MA grade weapons and nihonto in the future. Also there are in fact folk that simply collect these 'fantasy' things. I know a guy who has all kinds, yet he doesn't try to cut things with them.

Another funny thing about the document is that most of it is about calculating all the monies that will be gained from various fees incurred while applying for a weapons license, modifying said license, etc. One gets the impression of somebody greedily rubbing their hands together while they authored it ;)

I dunno, the whole thing is so mind-boggling. Surely crimes committed with swords (of all things!) aren't that rampant in Australia...or are they? Hide your kitchen knives and cricket bats, gents..they'll be next...

13th August 2003, 05:42
Last year, two gangs of vietnamese fought outside the club in south yarra. I think 3 people died in the incident and one of the gang was believed use samurai sword. Well, thank god I already bought my iaito. This place is too safe, it made you coward. Every time I went back to Indonesia, I pissed off all the time and unsafe situation made you very careful. But here,one morning a guy scolded me and I didn't do nothing. Well safe indeed but made you bored.

Howard Quick
13th August 2003, 13:30
Hey all,
good points!
David, you must have read my mind. I was thinking exactly the same things as you pointed out.
Does this mean carpenters will need a prohibited weapons permit to own and use their hand saws(long bladed cutting weapon).
As for the 'long' thing, vague is an understatement! 6" is long compared to a 'box cutter'.:rolleyes:
Funny thing is, anyone can go into the local hardware store and buy a machete:(

13th August 2003, 14:21
Dear Howard et al:

Personally I can't think of a better thing to have happen!! In fact I think that the government needs to put a complete ban on ALL martial arts weapons and all martial arts of any kind. I think that it should be against the law to practice a martial art or to own a weapon and that violations of the law should be punishable by fines AND imprisonment. No exceptions. Thats right--- you read right--- a complete ban on ALL martial arts and ALL martial arts weapons!!

I'm sorry, Howard but I think that the martial arts world desperately needs the sort of ban we have always read about and heard about in the histories of the various arts. In China common folks were banned from training and so were the Koreans and the Japanese. Personally I think that it was good for the Martial Arts. Just consider the result.

1.) Folks who practiced the arts did so with dedication and dilligence. Wannabees were non-existent because noone would risk punishment on a simple caprice, right?

2.) MA practitioners were forced to develop trusting relationships among discrete groups of practitioners. People knew who was the genuine article and who was a commercial wannabee.

3.) Things that were practiced were more authentic in that with surveilance one needs to get down to the nitty-gritty and not fabricate theatrical stuff or whimsical fantasy material.

4.) MA material stayed out of the hands of irreverent, disrespecful or abusive misusers of material. People who trained did so with an intent to maintain and perpetuate their arts from a position of something greater than themselves.

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit harsh and a little bit against the common grain, but I have grown tired of seeing folks play fast and loose with traditions and maybe being put into a situation where things must be done with one eye over ones' shoulder is what it is going to take to clean some of the fluff out of our systems. FWIW.

Best Wishes,