When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

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When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 12 Apr 2023, 10:26 am

Following up on a discussion on another thread.

I would like to hunt with my ML on public land in Victoria. But that requires that a "loaded" ML not be carried or transported on public roads/tracks or public places, such as camp sites. ML /firearms must also be stored at home in an unloaded condition. This requirement of course would cause a bit of grief hunting near tracks, roads, camps, as unloading a ML is not a simple matter.

So, cutting to the mustard, I asked LRD the following questions a couple of months ago: (abridged version)

* When is a muzzle loading rifle legally (for the purposes of the Firearms Act) considered to be loaded?
* If a muzzle loading rifle has gunpowder and a ball in the barrel but no percussion cap fitted, is this considered to be loaded?



Well, I just got a reply quoted below:


"Afternoon N*****,

The Act is silent on when a firearm is loaded. (I guess should read ML)

I’d suggest, if it has powder and a ball in the firearm then it would be loaded.

Regards"



I find this a little frustrating. It does sound more like an opinion rather than a formal determination. No policies, procedures or court documents quoted.

But given the above reply and where it has come from I think it wise ML hunters think very hard about how they go about hunting on public land in Victoria. I certainly will.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Jackaroo » 12 Apr 2023, 10:43 am

Loaded would be capped.

I shot Black Powder pistol (Revolver adjustable sights, Revolver non-adjustable sights and single shot pistol competitively for 30 years, you are allowed to load powder and projectiles into your firearm on the shooting bench whilst the range crew is forward scoring targets etc.
Only after the range crew is back and the range is cleared is the command to cap pistols given by the RO.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by bladeracer » 12 Apr 2023, 10:52 am

Jackaroo wrote:Loaded would be capped.

I shot Black Powder pistol (Revolver adjustable sights, Revolver non-adjustable sights and single shot pistol competitively for 30 years, you are allowed to load powder and projectiles into your firearm on the shooting bench whilst the range crew is forward scoring targets etc.
Only after the range crew is back and the range is cleared is the command to cap pistols given by the RO.


I would agree, it's not loaded if it can't be fired.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Fionn » 12 Apr 2023, 11:09 am

The LRD are correct of course, loaded isn't defined in the Act

Powder and ball would be considered loaded by the court.

Note that loaded doesn't mean by any definition that the weapon can or can not be fired.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by deye243 » 12 Apr 2023, 1:06 pm

Yes just like in Victoria if you are found with a loaded magazine in your pocket that is classified as a loaded firearm absolute insanity but that's it
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by CRF » 12 Apr 2023, 1:19 pm

Is a modern bullet without a primer and in a gun with the bolt open considered loaded? Pretty much an apple for apple scenario to me.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 12 Apr 2023, 3:38 pm

CRF wrote:Is a modern bullet without a primer and in a gun with the bolt open considered loaded? Pretty much an apple for apple scenario to me.


Well, that is my opinion also. But not LRDs.

But, then, as I mentioned there was no supporting documentation provided such as a judges decision, policy, procedure, whatever.

And the wording "I'd suggest" sounds to me like there could be some "uncertainty".

But it is what it is. Although it my seem "nuts" it would be wise to keep it in mind when hunting on Victorian public land.

And none of us are in the position to predict a courts/judges decision.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by rc42 » 12 Apr 2023, 3:58 pm

It's not unusual for specific scenarios to not be laid out exactly in legislation or for certain parts of legislation to just be unclear, the 'common sense' interpretation is what the police will typically use if they decide to charge somebody and the court will then listen to arguments and further enhance case law about where the line is actually drawn.

If you have any propellant powder or even a percussion cap in the firearm then you're taking a risk and any outcome will depend on which cop you meet and if you get the wrong one, which judge. So you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky?
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 12 Apr 2023, 6:52 pm

rc42 wrote:It's not unusual for specific scenarios to not be laid out exactly in legislation or for certain parts of legislation to just be unclear, the 'common sense' interpretation is what the police will typically use if they decide to charge somebody and the court will then listen to arguments and further enhance case law about where the line is actually drawn.

If you have any propellant powder or even a percussion cap in the firearm then you're taking a risk and any outcome will depend on which cop you meet and if you get the wrong one, which judge. So you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky?


You are of course correct.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by womble » 12 Apr 2023, 7:11 pm

Boldly into the act I ventured once again :wtf:

I think the general vibe is that if you’re in possession, meaning you own, meaning it’s somewhere, a gun. Then it’s loaded.
Therefore your best defence would be to deny that its your gun. You cannot recall ever seeing that gun before.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by No1Mk3 » 12 Apr 2023, 7:27 pm

In Vic, an R/O would consider a charged M/L to be loaded, and will require you to discharge that firearm before calling Cease Fire. If any Victorian did what Jackaroo posted you would be removed from the range, you may not handle firearms during a Cease Fire. As to the Law, read rc42's post, then read it again, with the knowledge that several members of VicPol shoot M/L firearms and know SSAA procedures regarding charged M/L firearms. If you are hunting and you have to cross a road, pull the charge don't take the chance, and to show what can happen a friend of mine was hunting one evening in the back blocks above Cann River over towards Club Terrace (for Interstaters this back of beyond land) when to cross a road he removed the mag and put it in his pocket, stepped onto the road and a Police Landcruiser came around the corner, saw him and stopped him. His luck was in, the local Sergeant knew him and gave him a warning, no charges but it could have gone the other way.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 12 Apr 2023, 7:44 pm

SORRY No1, but these sorts of statements really do pee me off.

The SSAA does not dictate Victorian Firearms Law.

The Victorian Parliament does.

The discussion is about Victoian LAW. NOT SSAA Range rules.

"In Vic, an R/O would consider a charged M/L to be loaded"
Well State Forest, last I checked is not a SSAA Range.

I also note, "that several members of VicPol shoot M/L firearms and know SSAA procedures"

That's great but I do hope they realise SSAA rules are not legislation. And they apply the Victorian law, not SSAA range rules when policing. Next the police will be applying Irish or Italian law if it suite's their agenda.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Jackaroo » 13 Apr 2023, 9:23 am

No1Mk3 wrote:In Vic, an R/O would consider a charged M/L to be loaded, and will require you to discharge that firearm before calling Cease Fire. If any Victorian did what Jackaroo posted you would be removed from the range, you may not handle firearms during a Cease Fire. As to the Law, read rc42's post, then read it again, with the knowledge that several members of VicPol shoot M/L firearms and know SSAA procedures regarding charged M/L firearms..


What does the SSAA have to do with my post? I've shot and competed at hundreds of pistol clubs in many States including many Black Powder State Title competitions in Victoria and NSW and I have never fired a shot nor even stepped foot on a SSAA range.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by bigpete » 13 Apr 2023, 11:00 am

Plus, ever actually pulled a load ? I've done it twice,and both times required the use of tools and a vice in my shed at home. Not exactly easy.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by No1Mk3 » 13 Apr 2023, 12:39 pm

For those who wonder what SSAA have to do with legislation, not much, but if you think VicPol and the Courts don't consider SSAA practices when determining decisions to prosecute or convict you are wrong. Two Magistrates of my acquaintance have stated in conversation that when considering "general practice" they look to SSAA procedures for guidance, so like it or not SSAA are the biggest and most influential shooting organization in the land, and the only one with NGO Status at the UN, and are viewed by those who can judge us as a guide to proper behaviour.
As for what SSAA have to do with your post Jackaroo, what I said above, SSAA are the biggest shooting mob in Victoria, run the most ranges and therefore the most BP target, so most BP shooters would be on a SSAA range and would abide by SSAA procedures, I don't know which "hundreds of Black Powder clubs" you refer to but the only non-SSAA BP club I've shot at also didn't allow touching of guns during cease fire, would be interested to know those Victorian BP Clubs who did..
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 12:45 pm

bigpete wrote:Plus, ever actually pulled a load ? I've done it twice,and both times required the use of tools and a vice in my shed at home. Not exactly easy.


I noticed that comment too. ("If you are hunting and you have to cross a road, pull the charge don't take the chance,")

Yep, not a 20 second job that's for sure.

Go hunting in SF and pull the ball 5-6 times a day. POPs. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 12:59 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:For those who wonder what SSAA have to do with legislation, not much, but if you think VicPol and the Courts don't consider SSAA practices when determining decisions to prosecute or convict you are wrong. Two Magistrates of my acquaintance have stated in conversation that when considering "general practice" they look to SSAA procedures for guidance, so like it or not SSAA are the biggest and most influential shooting organization in the land, and the only one with NGO Status at the UN, and are viewed by those who can judge us as a guide to proper behaviour.
As for what SSAA have to do with your post Jackaroo, what I said above, SSAA are the biggest shooting mob in Victoria, run the most ranges and therefore the most BP target, so most BP shooters would be on a SSAA range and would abide by SSAA procedures, I don't know which "hundreds of Black Powder clubs" you refer to but the only non-SSAA BP club I've shot at also didn't allow touching of guns during cease fire, would be interested to know those Victorian BP Clubs who did..



Well, range rules dont work too well when your hunting. That is like applying road rules to the Formula 1. :lol:

For starters when you cross a track when hunting you simply walk across, perhaps 25 yards. And generally on your own. And if other people are about the single ML can be pointed in a safe direction.


When there is a cease fire on a range to check targets there is 30 shooters with barrels facing in your direction.

Two totally different situations. Should not be the same requirements/procedure.

Target Shooting is not hunting.

Oh, and you can't just fire a shot. Frighten the fuk out of all game for 1km.
Last edited by Oldbloke on 13 Apr 2023, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by bigpete » 13 Apr 2023, 1:00 pm

Oldbloke wrote:
bigpete wrote:Plus, ever actually pulled a load ? I've done it twice,and both times required the use of tools and a vice in my shed at home. Not exactly easy.


I noticed that comment too. ("If you are hunting and you have to cross a road, pull the charge don't take the chance,")

Yep, not a 20 second job that's for sure.

Go hunting in SF and pull the ball 5-6 times a day. POPs. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Yeah,you won't. Chances are you won't pull it the first time. Chances are you'll end up with a stuck load and have to take it home anyway.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 1:06 pm

See, this is a serious problem. SSAA influencing the courts in any way. SSAA "general practice" isn't general at all. It's pretty much range only.

Confirms the reasons I resigned a few years ago.

And better understand why the laws are so fukd
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Jackaroo » 13 Apr 2023, 2:57 pm

[quote="No1Mk3" I don't know which "hundreds of Black Powder clubs" you refer to but the only non-SSAA BP club I've shot at also didn't allow touching of guns during cease fire, would be interested to know those Victorian BP Clubs who did..[/quote]

You're pissing in our pockets re: the SSAA and giving them wayyyy to much credence.

Mate you do know that SSAA even having pistols is pretty recent to us pistols shooters who have been shooting and competing at high levels with pistols in Australia for many many many decades.

Pistol Australia is the umbrella organisation for the New South Wales Amateur Pistol Association and all the other Amateur Pistol Association in each State of Australia. Its Pistol Australia that runs ISSF (you know ...... those matches that are shot at the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games) always amazed me how the SSAA have 'pretend' ISSF matches.

And what do you mean by "I don't know which "hundreds of Black Powder clubs" you refer to" that's just inane. There's hundreds of Amateur Pistol Association ranges throughout the whole of Australia.....they mostly all have Black Powder matches on their range licence if they aren't an indoor range (even though I've shot black powder years ago at Thelmore PC at Moruya which is in an old WWII underground bunker). Black Powder is just another discipline that can be shot on a range like the multitude of other disciplines if on a clubs range licence.

Why don't you do some travelling and enlarge your scope of knowledge? Travel up to the NSW Black Powder State Championships over the weekend of November 11-12

https://www.nswapa.org.au/calendar.html
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 3:06 pm

Sooo, a Target club gets a say in how hunters need to hunt safely. God help me.

Next carpenters will be telling how electricians and plumbers need to work. And what is acceptable safe practice.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by womble » 13 Apr 2023, 4:13 pm

Who would you prefer they get reputable technical knowledge and advice from ?
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by animalpest » 13 Apr 2023, 4:25 pm

They can take that into consideration, along with the opinions of others. But a clubs opinions are just that.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by womble » 13 Apr 2023, 4:40 pm

Fionn wrote:The LRD are correct of course, loaded isn't defined in the Act

Powder and ball would be considered loaded by the court.

Note that loaded doesn't mean by any definition that the weapon can or can not be fired.


I found a reference to the act that defines loaded.

A firearm is ‘loaded’ when it has cartridge ammunition in its chamber or barrel, or fitted with a magazine that is loaded with cartridge ammunition which can be fitted to the chamber or barrel of the firearm by operating another part of the firearm.5

From here https://www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/offences/carry-a-loaded-firearm
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by womble » 13 Apr 2023, 4:55 pm

animalpest wrote:They can take that into consideration, along with the opinions of others. But a clubs opinions are just that.


It’s an informed opinion from a relevant educated body. Ssaa incorporates field and game clubs also and voluntary vermin control groups.
I’m assuming they would be outsourcing advice if they have a legal quandary. Maybe the advice would not go in your favour but I think it would be unbiased.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by womble » 13 Apr 2023, 5:02 pm

I’m in state forest at least once a week and I don’t see a whole lot of police in overhanging branches or hiding behind trees.
If I hear a vehicle coming I’m not going to be crossing the road with a loaded rifle.
Not that I ever would do that because i would never break the law. Of course not.
But how people get caught standing in the middle of the road with a loaded gun. These are not very bright people.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 5:43 pm

womble wrote:
Fionn wrote:The LRD are correct of course, loaded isn't defined in the Act

Powder and ball would be considered loaded by the court.

Note that loaded doesn't mean by any definition that the weapon can or can not be fired.


I found a reference to the act that defines loaded.

A firearm is ‘loaded’ when it has cartridge ammunition in its chamber or barrel, or fitted with a magazine that is loaded with cartridge ammunition which can be fitted to the chamber or barrel of the firearm by operating another part of the firearm.5

From here https://www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/offences/carry-a-loaded-firearm


Your correct. Poor terminology by fionn.

Loaded is defined for cartridges ONLY.

Loaded is NOT defined for Muzzle Loaders. And that is the issue.

LRD email was poorly worded also.

It is what it is. Just frustrating and not practical.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Apr 2023, 5:55 pm

animalpest wrote:They can take that into consideration, along with the opinions of others. But a clubs opinions are just that.


I hope your right.
But if Vic pol have members in SSAA I worry that because the Act is silent on the matter they decide that "their" opinions matter.

Let's face it, once your charged it's bloody expensive to fight and many don't have the ready. This means a bad decision by a bias cop can send you broke.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Fionn » 13 Apr 2023, 6:01 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:For those who wonder what SSAA have to do with legislation, not much, but if you think VicPol and the Courts don't consider SSAA practices when determining decisions to prosecute or convict you are wrong. Two Magistrates of my acquaintance have stated in conversation that when considering "general practice" they look to SSAA procedures for guidance, so like it or not SSAA are the biggest and most influential shooting organization in the land, and the only one with NGO Status at the UN, and are viewed by those who can judge us as a guide to proper behaviour.
As for what SSAA have to do with your post Jackaroo, what I said above, SSAA are the biggest shooting mob in Victoria, run the most ranges and therefore the most BP target, so most BP shooters would be on a SSAA range and would abide by SSAA procedures, I don't know which "hundreds of Black Powder clubs" you refer to but the only non-SSAA BP club I've shot at also didn't allow touching of guns during cease fire, would be interested to know those Victorian BP Clubs who did..


This post is spot on in how court's and the police deal with the grey areas of legislation.
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Re: When is a ML Loaded? (Victorian Law)

Post by Fionn » 13 Apr 2023, 6:05 pm

animalpest wrote:They can take that into consideration, along with the opinions of others. But a clubs opinions are just that.


That's not correct as such, there are different classes of opinions.

The SSAA opinion would be considered an expert's opinion on the matter, to disprove it you would need an equivalent and recognised experts opinion.
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