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Thinking about a firearms licence

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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:22 pm

Haha nice post POLAND :D

In my email I asked specifically about homemade air rifles, which are fairly common in N.Z. due to bored farmers, and why there was a grey area unlike in the U.K., Poland and Canada where there is an exact number that can tell the difference between a restricted air rifle and a non-restricted air rifle.

The problem is even tough a powerful spudgun is considered like a firearm, it doesn't mean it's legal to use one with a firearm licence, they often have to be declared and often have to go through a whole load of tests to establish that they are safe to use etc...


I think only my hybrid would technically fall under a firearm, all my pneumatics would still be air rifles but just require a firearms licence. There is a permit required if you want to make firearms but I guess I'd have to ask if that extended to air rifles.
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Unread postAuthor: al-xg » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:52 pm

Is that what they are regarded as though?
I was thinking that the word firearm was just being used loosely, and just meant weapon. Im only used to the french situation, where air arms, firearms, restricted equipement were just put into different categories of severity (which tend to be more like barrel length magazine capacity etc...), so it doesn't matter if it uses fire or not.
I was hoping to manufacture one of the airguns from a design project I worked on a few years ago and had to read through a lot of legislation, but in the end we ran out of time as unis were on strike for quite a few weeks and the project had to be cut short.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:01 pm

ThornsofTime wrote:Man oh man... I guess I just never knew how easy we had it here in the states...

Here, when you want to own a gun there is no license involved. The gun shop salesman checks your ID for your age (18 for rifles and 21 for pistols) and then calls in an FBI/ATF background check to see if you're a convicted felon. If the FBI/ATF give the thumbs up... you hand over the cash and drive away with your gun.

This varies from state to state. Try the above in California and you'll find yourself in handcuffs in short order.

There is no limit to the # of firearms a person can own, and the only license I know of is for concealed carry.

Again, this varies by state. Several states require licensing for the purchase of firearms.

Other than that you need to have special permits for full-auto, silencers and large caliber weapons.

So... rifles, shotguns, air-rifles, air-soft, spudlaunchers... they dont care so long as you're not shooting in town @ your neighbors dog or something. lol

Keep in mind that many of the spud guns on this site could easily be classified as a large caliber weapon (the legal term being "destructive device") should the ATF choose to do so. Many of them meet the definition; the ATF has simply chosen to not worry about them because they haven't been used in serious criminal endeavors. Should that ever change, you can bet that the ATF would reclassify.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:15 pm

Got a reply from the police (I used a fake email, fake name and a proxy, though to be honest, they probably have better things to do than track me down anyway)

Hi

It is hard to say with out any details of your "home made" airgun.

If your airgun is precharged from a dive tank or similar then it would be a Specially dangerous airgun and you would need to have a firearms licence.

You would need to be 18 years or older to posses any other airgun (or 16 years with a firearms licence).

regards


Paul Gatland
Advisor: Firearms Licensing
Office of the Commissioner of Police
National Headquarters
Wellington
NEW ZEALAND
Email: paul.gatland@police.govt.nz
DDI: 64 04 4749539


Sounds like anything attached to a compressor is illegal, anything that uses a track pump isn't. Since most of my cannons are interchangable between compressor and track pump...that doesn't really mean much.
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Unread postAuthor: jonnyboy » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:25 pm

I would try to just stay under the radar. I don't know about NZ but I know some countries if you have a firearm permit the police can search your house without a warrant.
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Unread postAuthor: r00kie » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:43 pm

Interesting topic.

I'd recommend you simply lay low MrCrowley. Getting a licence will probably result in more attention than you want.

I'm in Australia, commercial airguns have technically required a license for quite a while now. Two of my friends have fairly high powered scoped airguns that they've bought under the table, and the police haven't come knocking, the neighbours have seen us out the back a few times shooting at cans and beer bottles, we wave at them when we're out there. They haven't gone and said anything, but I guess that depends on your neighbours.

I've also got a basic marble launcher running on a sprinkler valve that I use as a party trick in my backyard, it's pretty loud, so I use it sparingly (being in a surburban area), but I've never had a problem with the police.

That said, a proxy doesn't grant 100% anonymity, and if the police really wanted to track you down, they'd do so through the proxy. Personally I would have sent and checked that email from an internet cafe or something.

I think that as long as you don't draw any attention to yourself and are generally responsible with what you do, the police will leave you alone. They've got more important things to worry about than my garage hobbies.
If they ever do come knocking, I plan to just bat my eyelashes and feign ignorance.
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Unread postAuthor: Matt_NZ » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:33 pm

jonnyboy wrote:I know some countries if you have a firearm permit the police can search your house without a warrant.


They can search search your land/building if the commissioned officer (i think this is a second lieutenant or above) suspect that you have a firearm or airgun that breeches the arms act.

So in a real world situation, they hear a firearm going off and they suspect it was in your land. Then they can search it.

Sorry this doesn't help your situation much MrCrowley, not to mention my situation. :x
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:52 pm

jonnyboy wrote:I would try to just stay under the radar. I don't know about NZ but I know some countries if you have a firearm permit the police can search your house without a warrant.


*shrug*

The ATF can search my home anytime they like without a warrant. In the 5 years I've had my license, I've never even spoken to them on the phone let alone had one show up at my door to talk let alone had one search anything. The point being that just because they CAN doesn't mean they care enough to do so (unless you give them a reason).
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:59 pm

Though as Matt_NZ mentions, if someone reports loud noises that sound like a firearm/fireworks/spudgun in my area, they can come check out my garage without a warrant because I assume they can check to see who has a firearms licence in that area.

Chances of that happening are small but I think staying off the radar is the best plan for now. Then the only way they can search my garage is with probable cause or a warrant.

Funnily enough, I think misuse of a firearm and unlawful use of a firearm without a licence carry similar penalties. So even with a licence, all I'm doing is changing the law I broke.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:39 am

MrCrowley wrote:Sounds like anything attached to a compressor is illegal, anything that uses a track pump isn't.


Not quite, I mean the Monsoon which is the specific target of this legislation can easily (well, relatively) be filled with an FX stirrup pump, I think "precharged" in this case means having a compressed gas reservoir.

How exactly do they define "specially dangerous" though, it's a pretty vague and unscientific way of categorising airguns.

In the UK it's fairly straightforward, anything above 12 ft/lbs and it needs a firearm license - though this has its own difficulties, airguns at the limit might go over if used with say heavier pellets. Is there a similar muzzle energy guidline or is it up to the police discretion?
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Unread postAuthor: Matt_NZ » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:46 am

MrCrowley wrote:
Chances of that happening are small but I think staying off the radar is the best plan for now. Then the only way they can search my garage is with probable cause or a warrant.


I agree, staying off the radar sounds like the best plan.

MrCrowley wrote:Funnily enough, I think misuse of a firearm and unlawful use of a firearm without a licence carry similar penalties. So even with a licence, all I'm doing is changing the law I broke.


I disagree, I would think it would break both unlawful possession of firearm and discharging near houses.
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Last edited by Matt_NZ on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:47 am

police discretion

Exactly that. He didn't even answer my questions regarding lack of ft/lbs guidelines :(

"specially dangerous"

I think they leave it vague for a reason. That way, little can fall through the cracks. I know one of the sites you commonly link to with homemade air rifles/rifles/pistols from around the world has a few NZ contributors. Kiwi ingenuity is well known by Kiwi's, and cops are Kiwi's too, so I guess they could've left it vague to cover all the farmers machining homemade stuff in their tool shed :wink:
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