This article is an update of
To import and legally own a sword in Victoria Australia the cheapest and easiest way is:
1. Join the AUSTRALASIAN KNIFE COLLECTORS (AKC)
2. When importing the sword into Australia tell Customs you are a member of the Australasian Knife Collectors club. Customs will let the sword through as long as you have an exemption with the Victorian Police. Being a member of the club is a valid exemption.
3. Check out the storage requirements for swords. Make sure you comply with them.
4. Thank the Victorian government for protecting the public from the likes of you
The Victorian Department of Justice defines a prohibited weapon as
Prohibited weapons are weapons that are considered totally inappropriate for general possession or use because they are exclusively offensive in nature. Such weapons cannot be imported, manufactured, sold, possessed or carried.
A person may have access to a prohibited weapon only if she or he has obtained an Approval from the Chief Commissioner of Police, or falls within an Exemption made by the Governor in Council.
The following items are prohibited weapons:
1. “Sword”, being a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long blade having 1 or 2 edges and a hilt or handle.
The penalties for breaching the Control of Weapons (Amendment) Act 2000 include a fine of up to $12,000 or six months imprisonment.
Australian Customs say it is OK to import a sword as long as you have permission of the police in the state that you live.
The following items are not controlled under the Regulations at present. However, you should contact the Firearms/Weapons Registry of your State/Territory Police Service to determine any requirements they might have on the possession of an item.
HOW TO GET AN EXEMPTION or how not to get your arse kicked by the police
The easiest way to get an exemption from the sword legislation is to become a member of a knife/sword club. The AKC(Australasian Knife Collectors) costs $25 per year which will allow you to buy as many swords as you wish in Victoria. It is a lot easier and much cheaper than a prohibited weapons permit from police licensing.
As you are probably aware, in 2004 the Victorian Department of Justice called for submissions to the Regulatory Impact Statement on the control of Weapons (Act) and the proposed elevation of swords to the status of prohibited weapons under the Control of Weapons Regulations 2000. Australasian Knife Collectors (AKC) responded, arguing that swords should not be included in the schedule of prohibited weapons.
The new regulations that elevated swords to the status of prohibited weapons in Victoria came into effect on 1 July 2004. However, the Act does not provide a complete ban on prohibited weapons and the Government recognised a range of circumstances for a person to possess and use a prohibited weapon. While individuals need to apply for approval to possess a sword, by completing necessary forms (and paying the required $125 fee for a 3 year period), a number of exemptions for certain classes of people have been granted. The AKC is one of those exempted groups.
Financial members of Australasian Knife Collectors (AKC) – annual fee $25 – who are not prohibited persons, and who comply with the conditions in the modified Act are not required to apply for an exemption. Financial members are covered under the general exemption granted to the AKC.
What does this mean for Victorian AKC members?
* AKC members do not need to apply for an exemption for sword ownership.
* AKC members do not need to send in a $120 application fee to Licensing Services.
* AKC members are covered for sword ownership in Victoria under Section 8B for “collectors to possess swords provided they are not a prohibited person, and comply with the conditions of the Act.”
Extent of Exemption: The exemption allows members to:
# bring swords into Victoria; cause swords to be brought or sent into Victoria; sell or purchase swords; display or advertise swords for sale; and possess, use or carry swords for the purpose of studying and collecting swords with an historical or cultural significance.
# When not being used in accordance with the purpose outlined above, swords must be stored safely and securely; and a member of the Police force must be permitted to inspect storage arrangements at any reasonable time.
To be stored safely and securely means stored in a manner to ensure the sword:
(a) is not readily accessible to a person other than the person relying on the exemption and is not available for possession, carriage or use by a person who is not an exempt person; and
(b) when being transported between the usual place of storage of the sword and places where it is legitimately being used (see extent of exemption), is stored in a manner to ensure that the sword is not readily accessible to another person, and that the sword is concealed from plain sight during transportation.
Storage Requirements for Prohibited Weapons:
You should also be aware that prohibited weapons are already subject to specific storage requirements.
As such, it is expected that swords will also be required to satisfy the following storage conditions:
Weapons should be stored in a locked cupboard, cabinet or safe of sturdy construction, and if glass fronted, the glass will be a minimum of 5mm. It the mass weight is less than 150kg it shall be fixed to either the frame of the floor or wall (where applicable) so as to prevent easy removal. Wood screws are not acceptable but ramset/dynabolts are sufficient. The locks fitted to these receptacles shall be of study construction. Padlocks shall have shanks of hardened steel.
Sales of Swords:
There is also a requirement for all sales to be recorded – the name, address, telephone number and date of birth of the purchaser, and the date of sale. The purchaser must also prove their identity and the basis of their exemption. Records must be kept by the seller.
Should you have further specific inquires in relation to storage requirements of prohibited weapons, you should contact the Licensing Services Branch of Victoria Police 92473227 or 1300 651 645.
If you have questions relating to the Act itself, you should contact the Department of Justice, Melbourne, on 03 9651 6988.
[It is not a requirement under the Weapons Act that the AKC provide a list of its members.
The Australian Knife Club article was written back in 2004 before the legistlation came into force. As such it is possible that points like the storage requirements for swords are wrong, but probably not likely