The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
August 13, 2020, 06:12:01 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Should cosplayers be protected from themselves?  (Read 3034 times)
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« on: December 11, 2019, 03:52:00 am »

I have noticed more and more over the last twelve months that more and more events involving costumes carry something like the following conditions; -
  Y'all know the drill
  No weapons/props.
  Photographers wanted.
  Be kind and good!
  Costume or not you're all welcome!

I am confused on several levels. I'm interested in your thoughts. Let me show you a few examples at functions I have attended, to help me clarify. (My first SP show, last year; two medaeval fairs this year; and a costumiers BBQ last week, as an Antarctic explorer)


In each I have a weapon. All photos but the third are taken in back yards. The firearms are a replica triple-barrelled flintlock, and a plastic pistol. The swords are metal replicas. These would hurt if I hit anyone, even though they are blunted. I think we are all aware of the time and money invested in getting a costume together. I seriously doubt anyone who does that would ruin the occasion by attacking someone. I certainly wouldn't, but I would like to be able to go up to a fellow knight or whatever and talk about where we got our kit, and pass weapons to each other for a look. However, the medaeval fairs now insist on plastic ties on swords, and I saw one battle axe with the head encased in bubble wrap. (That suggests bubble wrap would make good armour.)

Remarkably, the following crowd was at a recent zombie walk through town. They have the mandatory orange tips on the barrels of their seriously business-like weapons. There's a general understanding that they won't level the weapons, but that reduces photo opportunities.
 


At a small distance, many of them could be mistaken for the real thing. But I would argue that the costume style and the theme of the event should be a give-away that it's not for real. Tee-shirt and jeans and a gun waving around as you shout at everyone is one thing. Walking around, waving back at kids as you show off your pith helmet, space trooper rig, chain mail or Manga outfit suggests it's all for fun.

All that said, I am unclear what "no weapons/props" means. Weapons are props. In some cases the costume is incomplete without them. I can just tolerate not being able to draw a weapon if someone asks for a closer look. Banning them, or even "peace ties", tells me that some smug soul with all the answers thinks that you and I are dangerously irresponsible children who need to be policed.

So, no weapons or props.

You'll see I have a walking stick in one photo. It's ornate, and heavy, and I really do need it sometimes as a walking aid. It looks like it could be a weapon, and it's certainly a prop. It holds me up; but I'm sure it could be weaponised. What about the Victorian flower girl costume? A basket of flowers is a prop. I often print up cards to introduce myself, as a Victorian gentleman, and this despite the chance of paper cuts.  Is a prop something you carry, or is it something you wear as well? If the latter, my "Nautilus" diving suit will merely become a pair of overalls without the helmet and air tank. Then again, an angry flower girl might hit someone with their basket, and who knows what a match girl might do?

Now, there are legal factors. The big one is insurance. The venue operators wisely take out policies, and I believe the terms involve safety regarding purported weapons. I suspect they picked some standard clauses, rather than put in a little work and suit the policy to the event. There are many ways to keep the "weapons" and have a safe event. Apart from a little experience with military firearms, I have over 40 years of dealing with legalities. It can be done.

In this county, weapons laws vary from state to state. In Queensland and Western Australia it's easier to own real firearms, with the usual security and safety rules in place. In Victoria, practically nothing is allowed. I think they also ban machetes. I am not sure if thinking about a gun is illegal yet. In South Australia pistols and automatic weapons are very heavily restricted, and replicas banned without first meeting the requirements of owning a real one, with a few exceptions, generally in the family of flintlocks. The legislation is convoluted, and different police give different answers.

I heard from a cosplayer in the US that toy guns are not allowed at their festivals. This in a country whose constitution allows carrying the real thing. I can see the sense of it though. If someone playfully brandishes a toy gun, the owner of a real one might take them seriously. Around here, the real guns are only carried by police and bikie gangs. I hope  the one has fire discipline and the other isn't interested.  

Now, historically, I am only aware of two weapon-related injuries, both at medaeval events. Most recently, a re-enactor suffered a cut when a blade slid along his spaulder and there was nothing much stopping it. I'd say it's an occupational risk somewhat accepted in an energetic contact sport. Cricketers have been injured (and killed) more often than cosplay attendees. And maybe he should get different spaulders.

The other injury was when two guys at the beer tent were chatting and drinking. One grabbed the other's dagger and poked it into him. I suggest banning beer tents. You can get beer any day, but there may be only one fair a year.

So there, I think, are the issues as I see them. I really think that nobody cares to come up with a working compromise. It's simpler to let the fun police minority, who are so much more responsible than ourselves, tell us what we can and can't do.

A lot of events will lose their appeal if all we can wear to them is plastic swords and party-shop pirate hats.


 







 



  


« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 04:23:53 am by Melrose » Logged
Synistor 303
Snr. Officer
****
Australia Australia


Zenyna Ironbracker


« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2019, 07:55:34 am »

I was wondering about this some time back, so I contacted the firearms dept of the police. I wanted to know if carrying a Steampunk weapon in public was OK. the answer was; replica guns are illegal, but a steampunk gun is not illegal. If it looks like the real thing, it is illegal. If it obviously doesn't look like the real thing, it's fine, (no matter how big or fancy.) It really is up to you, but the advice was; "Don't get shot for carrying a toy gun." i.e. If a cop might think it's real, don't carry it.
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2019, 11:08:42 am »

That's probably the bottom line for guns. What about swords and other "weapons" though? You generally spend long enough building up momentum with a heavy sword for someone to intervene.

It puts the Star Wars cosplayers in an embarrassing position. The Stormtrooper weapons have been identifiably based on British Sterling sub-machineguns and WW2 German MG34s. Han Solo's blaster was a Mauser pistol with addons (that's a plastic Mauser in my 4th pic above).

The medieval fairs started this fairly recently. I don't feel at all fearful I will be attacked by a berserker or a raving-crazy ork. They are family friendly, like steampunk shows.

In this state, firearms built before 1900, kept for curiosity, display or ornamental purposes, and not used to fire projectiles, and not designed to fire a breech-loading cartridge (or for which cartridges are not commercially available) are exempt. Specifically, firearms from before the age of the percussion-cap round are among the excluded. That pretty much accounts for a lot of steampunk weapons. They also have a look about them. If you drew one in a bank, someone might get hurt, probably rolling about laughing. Similarly, the replicas I have, legal according to the information sent to me by our police, would probably inspire a reaction of "You can't be serious!" if I wielded one with a malicious look in my eye.



As Synistor 303 says, the advice is "'Don't get shot for carrying a toy gun.' i.e. If a cop might think it's real, don't carry it." To my mind, the folks in my pic of the zombie walk were risk-takers. I did hear they negotiated last year, and presumably this year, with the police and sorted something out - probably, don't look like you're aiming at anything. But I do expect our police to be well-trained and competent. They ought to know what firearms get used in gun crimes and what don't. They ought to know nobody would rely on one of those fizzing slow-loading devices to bring them a good outcome. And as I said before, the setting and the costume should excuse quite a bit (I refer again to the zombie-walk team).

And in passing, I have a few western revolvers classed as toys. I bought most of them in a local grocery shop from a stand by the door, placed where kids can stop and demand their pocket money. They are under-scale with orange tips (except for one) but they look more sinister than the antiques above. I got them as holster fillers, should I wear a holster. I'm thinking it would be wisest to choose an empty holster with a snap-down flap. It wouldn't be a weapon. Is it a prop, though? Are any cosplay clothes 'props'? (Possibly, from the amount of body painting seen at recent fairs).

There are plenty of "what-if" situations. We don't apply them to motoring or carpentry, but people do get murdered with hammers and cars have been used in recent history as weapons.

My main concern, I think, is the general knee-jerk reactions which lead to restricting the majority of reasonable people, because the dangerous ones are too hard to find. It looks like concerned activity, but it's tokenism.

 
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 11:17:27 am by Melrose » Logged
Kensington Locke
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2019, 03:08:21 pm »

For my Steampunk Gentleman blog, I wrote about dependency on a weapon prop to define the costume and gave some alternatives. I lightly touched on WHY an event might prohibit weapons, as a gentleman's responsibility is to respect their host.

https://www.klforslund.com/post/sp-a-disarming-conversation

Here in Texas, since September 2017, it's legal to openly carry a sword, axe, etc. So a costume featuring one would be covered under that. Open carry of a handgun or rifle is also legal. The law prohibits directly asking to see somebody's handgun license (to carry), though an officer can revoke yours for nearly any cause.

At the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF), they quit peacetieing swords this year.  They'd started that 2-3 years ago and now dropped it.


Arizona ComicCon. Around 2018 or so, a nutjob dressed kinda like the Punisher entered the con and tried to kill a power ranger. So the con banned all weapons props and searched all bags they day before the con and only had one person inspecting bags. Wouldn't allow sale of weapons (foam or replica) including light sabers, which screwed UltraSabers and their quad-sized booth. Waiting in line took hours to enter the con.  Knee jerk reaction, but there's a nugget of reason in there.

Comicpalooza of Houston requires all weapon props to be checked and tagged with a cop standing next to the inspector (because they know what a real gun looks like).  They just banned live steel for the 2020 con (and a sword peddler pulled out from the show in a huff).

What does all that mean?

I respect a host's right to not have weapons for whatever reason. I try to have a costume plan that can be armed or not so my character isn't solely recognizable because of a gun.

In Texas, I don't see a lot of outright banning, but I expect real-looking stuff to be scrutinized and possibly prohibited. I also expect to demonstrate gun safety with my prop so nobody gets startled.



Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2019, 12:15:42 am »

Lawmaking, legislation and by-laws (of almost any kind!) are, I feel, primarily directed at the lowest common denominator, aka aspiring Darwin Award recipients, or Idiot of the Year contestants.

I attended a medieval banquet theatre some years ago, with swords, including my own small, decorative but real blunted sword prominently on display - no one turned a hair! The event was held in a small town in the rural north-east of Victoria, and was attended by several local coppers and their partners.  Modern Medieval events, while they can descend into violence, that violence is limited - one person with a blunted sword can be easily overcome by a few stout villeins at the cost of a few bruises! I think I would draw the line at un-blunted swords and daggers, especially where alcohol is served.

It was common in some ancient and medieval halls to leave your primary weapons at the door, belt knife excluded, as you had to eat with something - an excellent, common sense response to violent and unpredictable times, and it was considered the ultimate social offence to violate that rule of hospitality. Admittedly, 'ancient and medieval' is not steampunk, however, the same social etiquette should apply. It is just not the thing to go armed to afternoon tea, wherever taken!

Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019, 12:41:49 am »

The link to your article was worth following, Mr. Locke. Your information about how things happen in Texas was also thought provoking. If costume swords are so devilishly dangerous, the whole world would agree with bans. As it is, everyone's different. Look at our states and their very different firearms laws.

You are right, weapons in SP are not mandatory. I can carry a Nerf-conversion or something so outlandish nobody would see a serious threat, and I am moderately confident I could argue in court in favour of my flintlocks. I was being more general - I think a weapon becomes mandatory if you are trying to accurately represent, say, a crusader knight. It is a portrait of a type of person (and the day I wore that, incidentally, I lunched in a halal tent. Friendly folk, nobody got hurt on either side.)

There can be options in the steampunk world. Thing is, the organisers use the term "weapons or props", and I am not comfortable with that. Props are important parts of some personae, mot just arms, but the tools and gadgets carried by various technical types. My props sometimes even include (apart from my walking stick) a wallet full of period-appropriate documents and money. Far from a weapon, but still a prop.

I intended to perfect my Nautilus diving suit for next year's fair. I was going to craft a trident, but I decided against putting effort into what someone might call a weapon (in "20,000 Leagues" they were fishing equipment). I instead opted for a foam and plastic costume-shop harpoon. It's safe, it's also (sort of) for fishing, but it looks weapony.  I've seen people take their dogs to fairs, kitted out, and loved by the visitors. They might be props, too.

My point is the bland statement about "weapons or props" is unhelpful. I am not spending months and dollars putting something together that seems safe, to be denied admission unless I dump a "prop" that someone at the gate has a political attitude against. Even if I avoid an obvious weapon, the prop might offend. The empty holster, the bandolier, the foam diving knife won't hurt anyone. If a gate guard has a philosophy that chidren shouldn't see anything weapons related, they've crossed the line into thought policing.

You mentioned the one crazy who attacked someone, earning a weapon ban. How the heck did he try to kill the Power Ranger with prop weapons? Well, he didn't. I see here that the offender wasn't using a replica, or a costume-appropriate mockup weapon. He brought along real honest-to-goodness weapons. I think there was a problem with gate security, not the hundreds of other attendees with safe "weapons".

I have been impressed by the general atmosphere at various costume fairs. Friendly, laid-back, enjoyed by the ones who dress up and the ones who come to see them. I like visiting the stalls of people who I only know as online vendors, and it's likely they will also face restrictions - one of our local fairs is restricting wooden swords for children.  As I said before, I would hate to see party-shop weaponry marring an otherwise impeccable costume.

Banfili is right, laws and their administration are unfortunately directed at the shallow end of the gene pool. They punish the generally well-behaved majority for what a minority thinks they might do. I think that's what disturbs me - the policing of a population as friendly and laid back as most cosplayers is just a reflection of the way society has been going for a good while now. Wearing a costume doesn't make me dangerously irresponsible (although wearing no costume might justify some action  Grin). There seems to be the assumption that only a minority possess intelligence and responsibility, and they claim the right to control us morlocks.

And I would be cautious about allowing even blunted weapons where there's alcohol. Make a choice - leave your weapons home if you want to drink, or be the designated driver who happens to carry a sword.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 12:43:52 am by Melrose » Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2019, 08:03:46 am »

And I would be cautious about allowing even blunted weapons where there's alcohol. Make a choice - leave your weapons home if you want to drink, or be the designated driver who happens to carry a sword.

I am always the designated driver - so, I can wear my sword!
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2019, 09:22:34 am »

I am always the designated driver - so, I can wear my sword!

 So a word to the wise - be nice to the driver!  Grin
Logged
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2019, 01:42:29 pm »

I suspect the ban on "weapons/props" refers specifically to prop weapons, not to all props; otherwise you just have a fancy dress party. Check with the con organizers.
Logged

By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2019, 10:51:32 pm »

I am always the designated driver - so, I can wear my sword!

 So a word to the wise - be nice to the driver!  Grin

Yes!
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2019, 01:19:55 am »

I suspect the ban on "weapons/props" refers specifically to prop weapons, not to all props; otherwise you just have a fancy dress party. Check with the con organizers.

That's where the vagueness comes in, of course. I might say all weapons are props. The term might be "Weapons, including replicas".

In that case it stops being about safety, and starts being about political correctness - "I don't approve of things that look like weapons, therefore the world shouldn't".

But yes. Steampunk organisers are usually easy to reach. Some of the medieval types aren't, though I haven't tried carrier pigeon or a note tied to an arrow. To be frank, steampunk weapons in the line of guns are less problematic because they don't usually look like anything which would fire, and are not functional.
Logged
Kensington Locke
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2019, 11:51:38 pm »

I suspect the ban on "weapons/props" refers specifically to prop weapons, not to all props; otherwise you just have a fancy dress party. Check with the con organizers.

That's where the vagueness comes in, of course. I might say all weapons are props. The term might be "Weapons, including replicas".

In that case it stops being about safety, and starts being about political correctness - "I don't approve of things that look like weapons, therefore the world shouldn't".

But yes. Steampunk organisers are usually easy to reach. Some of the medieval types aren't, though I haven't tried carrier pigeon or a note tied to an arrow. To be frank, steampunk weapons in the line of guns are less problematic because they don't usually look like anything which would fire, and are not functional.

There's a quote from Neil Gaiman, he suggested, that anytime you see a sentence with "political correctness" in it, replace it with "respect"

maybe that doesn't work here.  I don't know why they don't want weapons (prop or otherwise) there. It could be insurance.  It could be an aversion to weapons or perpetuating a culture that glorifies fighting.

We don't need to call it anything.  That's just how that person who is organizing an event wants to things.  They who do the organizing get to call the shots.  Why not organize your own event and show how it can be done safely? 

Logged
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2019, 12:05:26 am »

There's a quote from Neil Gaiman, he suggested, that anytime you see a sentence with "political correctness" in it, replace it with "respect".

So the sentence "Comedians are afraid to perform on college campuses because of political correctness run amok" should be corrected to read "Comedians are afraid to perform on college campuses because of respect run amok."
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2019, 01:23:51 am »

Grammatically logical, R J Bowman. I read Mr Locke was possibly suggesting we replace the political correctness concept with the respect concept, rather than the phrase.

I think so far Steampunk hasn't been weapon-restrictive, at least in this country. What prompted me to start this post was that it's begun to creep in. Whilst the main annual fair has not yet bickered about the issue, some smaller gatherings have. So far it's been the medieval shows.

I lack the resources to start my own show and the inclination to re-invent the wheel. I've had this debate now and again, and two common responses are, "People who don't like weapon bans, don't need to go," and, on the other hand, "People who don't like seeing replica weapons don't need to go." I assure you I am considering such a boycott is, in the terms of the current affairs shows, political correctness goes mad. Luckily our major SP event hasn't got finicky about armaments. That would exclude half the regulars, and the people who come to see them. Both solutions, of course, reduce the number of punters through the gate.

I've heard people say, "I'm going as a healer. I don't like violence, and there will be plenty of swords. I like helping people."  Fine, choose the persona you think fits. I like the idea of a knight who is set up to defend the healers, but doesn't draw his sword just to look tough.

Can it be done safely?

- Replica firearms are about as dangerous as a piece of wood. The risk is that a realistic one, brandished, may get the brandisher shot by police. Wear it, don't wave it.
- Edged weapons - same rule, with the additional requirement that metal be blunted. Set aside places where they may be drawn for photographs, or for enthusiasts to ogle. If I was to pick rules for such an area, they would be, "Small, slow movements, don't wave it" and "Always be mindful of where the pointy end is."
- "Peace ties" if you must. They aren't unbreakable, so you may as well let the wearers tie their own leather thongs, it's better than plastic kitchen ties.

Point is, there's an underlying assumption that the participants with the weapons are the risk. They are no more so than anyone who attends out of costume. If someone goes violently ballistic they will find something, their hands, a chair, a star-picket marking a boundary, a pen, a bottle or fork from the dining area. There's plenty around for spur-of-the-moment rage.

I am loathe to mention the other threat, planned violence. But these days any large gatherings are possible targets for those with ill will and the belief that mayhem somehow makes them right. Those people will use far more destructive means.

Thanks all for taking up this topic. I have probably waffled long enough, but I look forward to further thoughts.
 
PS - Found myself thinking back to when I was a student, which was around the time the big scientific leap was phlogiston.
There was a psych model known as Transactional Analysis. It looked at participants in a dialogue in one of three roles; as a parent, as a child, or as an adult. Less fruitful dialogues were conducted parent/child, child/child or parent/parent. The goal was to have adult/adult dialogues.

Parent-child and child-parent; "You can't be trusted with weapons, even make-believe ones, so no weapons."  "But muuuuum!"
Child child; "I don't like weapons! I don't wanna play, so you can't neither!"
Adult-adult; "There are potential problems with weapons. I'd like your thoughts." "Okay, let's talk. I'm sure we'll reach a solution we can both accept."

I have seen no sign of the last one when organising the fairs of which we speak.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 05:31:22 am by Melrose » Logged
Kensington Locke
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2019, 03:53:38 pm »

Grammatically logical, R J Bowman. I read Mr Locke was possibly suggesting we replace the political correctness concept with the respect concept, rather than the phrase.

Here's the whole quote, rather than my paraphrasing.  I imagine his idea doesn't work on all sentences. But the ones where some loudmouth (no one here) complains that they can't say whatever they want, it usually applies.

I was reading a book (about interjections, oddly enough) yesterday which included the phrase “In these days of political correctness…” talking about no longer making jokes that denigrated people for their culture or for the colour of their skin. And I thought, “That’s not actually anything to do with ‘political correctness’. That’s just treating other people with respect.”

Which made me oddly happy. I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase “politically correct” wherever we could with “treating other people with respect”, and it made me smile.

You should try it. It’s peculiarly enlightening.

I know what you’re thinking now. You’re thinking “Oh my god, that’s treating other people with respect gone mad!”

Happy Valentine’s Day.

—Neil Gaiman


In our specific case here, I mainly don't see a need to name-call it "political correctness".  If gun-fanaticism is a thing, the exact opposite is a thing, and I might rather expect that's what's going on here than "political correctness"  It's some kind of over-reaction to a specific concern.

Parent-child and child-parent; "You can't be trusted with weapons, even make-believe ones, so no weapons."  "But muuuuum!"
Child child; "I don't like weapons! I don't wanna play, so you can't neither!"
Adult-adult; "There are potential problems with weapons. I'd like your thoughts." "Okay, let's talk. I'm sure we'll reach a solution we can both accept."

I have seen no sign of the last one when organizing the fairs of which we speak.


Good observation.  I think a contributing factor to the problem is that con-organizers don't have a channel to have an adult-adult conversation.  There's 1-10 of them, and hundreds to thousands of attendees. It's easier to make a sign and rule than it is to have a discussion which will likely include a few man-childs who will damage the conversation the adults are having over their fit of "you wanna take away our guns!" because that's what's wrong with extremists.


In local news, Comicpalooza (CP) apparently announced "no live steel" and a local shop announced in one of those flounces that they were no longer having a booth at the convention (because they sell a lot of wall-hangers there).  I'm quite certain no conversation happened.  The con made a rule, announced it, and the vendor reacted.  CP is huge here in Houston.  I doubt they could have a conversation with hundreds of vendors, not in the traditional sense (most of them are from out of town, the rule came out now, the con is in May). And if they tried, somebody's still not grown-up enough to converse like an adult and they'll tear the conversation apart.  So I imagine somebody played that scenario in their head and said screw it, here's the rule. Anybody who can't handle it was probably gonna be difficult anyway.

Is that exactly how it plays out for any of these organizers?  Maybe. Intelligent conversations don't scale. We're doing well here because there's few of us, and nobody's gone into a politics rant. Smiley

It's still annoying that some organizers are changing the rules over what appears to be a non-problem (nobody's actually gone wild with a weapon or threatened/brandished to create fear).


Logged
Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2019, 01:34:09 am »

I am coming late to this discussion and may have misconstrued it but law overrules anything a convention/conference may rule. The state of Victoria, Australia, according to the police - https://content.police.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-11/Quick-Guide---Blank-Firing-v3.0.pdf

TYPE 1 ‐ PURPOSE BUILT (DO NOT LOOK LIKE FIREARMS)
These are built for starting sporting events. They have no barrel and do not look like
typical firearms.
There are no licence and registration requirements for owning these devices.
There are no licence requirements for using these devices.

TYPE 2 ‐ PURPOSE BUILT (LOOK LIKE FIREARMS BUT CANNOT
BE MODIFIED TO FIRE PROJECTILES)
These are built for starting sporting events. They have a shortened barrel, and the
magazines containing the blanks/caps are loaded horizontally through the barrel.
A Chief Commissioner of Police Prohibited Weapons Approval or Governor in Council
Exemption is required to own such devices.
A Chief Commissioner of Police Prohibited Weapons Approval or Governor in Council
Exemption is required to use such devices for the purpose of starting sporting
events.

TYPE 3 ‐ PURPOSE BUILT (LOOK LIKE FIREARMS AND CAN BE
MODIFIED TO FIRE PROJECTILES)
These are purpose built for starting sporting events or re‐enactments, and are
modelled on actual firearms.
These firearms must be registered with Victoria Police. The owner must be the
holder of an appropriate firearm licence as these items are considered to be
operable firearms. The licence is issued for the reason of starting sporting events,
movie production and re‐enactments.
Users of such starter pistols do not have to be licensed if they are exempt under
Schedule 3(11) of the Firearms Act 1996. Users of all other blank firing firearms of
this type (other than pistols used for starting sporting events) must posses an
appropriate licence. Additionally, other permits may be required for carriage and
use in public, such as a Populous Place Permit.

TYPE 4 ‐ REAL FIREARMS (MODIFIED FOR USE AS STARTER
PISTOLS AND BLANK FIRING FIREARMS)
These were once functional handguns and longarms which have been modified to
operate as starter pistols or blank firing firearms, by blocking their barrel or
shortening their cylinder so that live cartridges cannot be carried.
These firearms must be registered with Victoria Police. The owner must be the
holder of an appropriate firearm licence as these items are still considered to be
firearms. The licence is issued for the reason of starting sporting events or historical
re‐enactments.
The user of these starter pistols and blank firing firearms must be licensed.

https://content.police.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-11/Quick-Guide----Imitation-toys-and-paraphernalia_July-2014.pdf

IMITATION FIREARMS
In the state of Victoria, devices that can reasonably be mistaken for working
firearms based on their overall appearance (but do not have the functionality of a
working firearm), are classified as imitation firearms.
A Chief Commissioner’s Prohibited Weapons Approval or Governor in Council
Exemption is required to possess, carry, use, offer for sale or import an imitation
firearm.
... The determination of whether a particular device has the reasonable appearance
of a working firearm is open to interpretation and should be considered “on
balance”. It is for this reason that devices fitted with a coloured barrel plug or
coloured grip is not sufficient, in and of itself for an item to not be considered an
imitation firearm.

https://www.police.vic.gov.au/weapons-definitions#controlled-weapons

Prohibited weapons include imitation firearms and always need a license.

Controlled weapons are weapons that can be possessed, carried and used for legitimate purposes but may pose a potential danger to the community. Controlled weapons are specifically listed in the Control of Weapons Act 1990 and Control of Weapons Regulations 2011.
Items classified as controlled weapons include:
    a knife other than a knife that is a prohibited weapon
    spear gun
    baton or cudgel
    bayonet
    cattle prod
A person must not possess, carry or use a controlled weapon without a lawful excuse.

Dangerous articles include any item which is:
    carried with the intention of being used as a weapon
    adapted or modified so as to be capable of being used as a weapon
Any item can be considered a dangerous article if it meets the above definition. This may include any everyday items including tools, household items or sports equipment.
A person must not possess or carry dangerous articles in a public place without lawful excuse.

Lawful excuses include:
    pursuit of any lawful employment, duty or activity
    participation in any lawful sport, recreation or entertainment
    the legitimate collection, display or exhibition of weapons
In relation to dangerous articles, it is also a lawful excuse to use the article for its intended purpose.
Self-defence is not a lawful excuse for carrying controlled weapon or dangerous articles.
Logged

Sorontar, Captain of 'The Aethereal Dancer'
Advisor to HM Engineers on matters aethereal, aeronautic and cosmographic
http://eyrie.sorontar.com
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2019, 03:41:54 am »

Mr Locke - delighted that you quoted one of my favourite authors! It puts it in context.

Sorontar - I don't think we have fixed boundaries - I've wandered near and far in my post. Good injut, thank you - the Victorian Police position, which is very restrictive and I think looks vague when it comes to other weapons like chairs. This could only be clarified, I hope, by reading both the legislation and regulations. Or maybe not. I can get a different opinion depending on which police officer I talk to. The most realistic was "Hardly any police understand gun legislation." Undecided

Bayonets, for instance, are common collectors' items. I know several collectors, including one with a massive array of edged weapons.  All in all, Mr Locke makes a good point about the few coming up with the "solution to the problem" unilaterally. Mostly seems to happen behind a desk and hardly ever with consultation.
Logged
Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


WWW
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2019, 02:33:00 am »

Sorontar - I don't think we have fixed boundaries - I've wandered near and far in my post. Good injut, thank you - the Victorian Police position, which is very restrictive and I think looks vague when it comes to other weapons like chairs.
My understanding is that a number of years ago the legislation was changed so that anything can be regarded as a weapon in Victoria if you intend to use it as one. Therefore, police can act/charge you even if you do not get to use the said weapon. Therefore a tissue or piece of string may be regarded as a weapon if it is clear to the court that you intended to use it as a weapon.

Quote
Bayonets, for instance, are common collectors' items. I know several collectors, including one with a massive array of edged weapons.  All in all, Mr Locke makes a good point about the few coming up with the "solution to the problem" unilaterally. Mostly seems to happen behind a desk and hardly ever with consultation.
The laws on swords are an issue in Victoria. If you have anything that looks like it can function as a sword, then you have to have a valid permission to possess (and wear it).  It is a prohibited weapon. Reenactment is a valid reason provided you are a member of approved organisations, but you can't wear it if you aren't actively present at an event as a member of that organisation.  These rules apply even if you are travelling through the state en route to another state. Personal cosplay/reenactment is not a valid excuse.
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2019, 03:12:05 am »

There are many reasons why the nannyism regarding costume weapons (and I am not including live, functioning firearms) disturbs me. Sorontar has clarified some perfectly. Where I live, the restrictions have not yet reached the levels in the state of Victoria, but they are a good example of what I don't like.

- "...anything can be regarded as a weapon in Victoria if you intend to use it as one. Therefore, police can act/charge you even if you do not get to use the said weapon. Therefore a tissue or piece of string may be regarded as a weapon if it is clear to the court that you intended to use it as a weapon."
To which I add, if the police don't like the look of you, your shoes will be regarded as a weapon. I'm not paranoid about this. I worked closely with police for much of my career and I encountered a very few who believed it was fine to stalk people because you didn't like their attitude, til you found something like a cause to arrest them. Fortunately I knew plenty of good cops, but I don't see providing the bad ones with more tools is helpful to creating a peaceful community with respect for the police.

- "you have to have a valid permission to possess (and wear it).  It is a prohibited weapon. Reenactment is a valid reason provided you are a member of approved organisations, but you can't wear it if you aren't actively present at an event as a member of that organisation."
Much the same with replica firearms here, to a point of silliness. Given how malleable the relevant laws are, there are grey areas. In essence, at present anything which looks like a modern (post-1901) firearm puts the same obligation on the owner as a real, operating firearm. This includes being a member of a recognised club (though why would I attend range days, or even meetings, if I only own replicas?) and separately securing the firearm and ammunition ("yes, officer, I have an imaginary safe for the imaginary bullets"). The membership requirement will exclude quite a lot of fair attendees, who have their own kit and go to fairs, but don't belong to any clubs - and sometimes there are no clubs (the Zombie walk is an amusing example - what kind of club would that be?). Indeed, whilst there are various costume and steampunk groups, they are more like networks than formal clubs, with no committees, no mrembership lists or records, and "meetings" being no more than nosh-ups in costume.

So far we have not done too badly, but I don't suggest complacency. As I said int the precious post, the very threatening folk in SWAT armour carrying pretend automatics would probably have failed the requirements of the letter of the law. Mostly, the authorities recognise the context of a costume fair, and just expect weapons not to be waved about, and guns to have orange tips.

Law is part of the scene, but already some organisers are being very parent-child instead of adult-adult. Yes, behind it is the one-size-fits-all insurance. Insurers happily use statistics when insuring very young or very old drivers, or selling health cover to older folk or people undertaking hazardous work. The statistics for costume fairs would support more relaxed attitudes to dress weapons.


« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 03:21:03 am by Melrose » Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2019, 08:13:41 am »

I am wondering about laws on the the use of edged weapons, especially swords or knives for religious purposes - do they differentiate possession in public from possession in private?
Logged
Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


WWW
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2019, 12:24:24 pm »

I am wondering about laws on the the use of edged weapons, especially swords or knives for religious purposes - do they differentiate possession in public from possession in private?


https://content.police.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-11/Prohibited-Weapons-Guide_APR-2015.pdf

A  sword  is  defined  under  sch.2  of  the  Regulations  as   being a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long
blade having 1 or 2 edges and a hilt or handle.  A sword is  still  classified  as  a  sword  even  if  the  1  or  both  blades  are blunt.
In order to possess a sword a person would need to obtain either a:  
• a Chief Commissioner’s Approval (CCP), or
• be covered by a Governor in Council exemption (GIC).
To  be  eligible  for  a  GIC,   a  person  must  be  able   to  demonstrate  at  the  time  of  purchase,  
that  they  are  a  member  of  a  club,  group,  organisations,  or  a  class  of  person  which  has  been granted a Governor in Council Exemption Order.  
Click here (http://www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2014/GG2014G023.pdf#page=82) for a list of clubs, groups, organisations and class of persons which are covered under a GIC for Sword.

Possession includes storage and use. Of course, they never define how long a long blade is but have similar rules for knives/daggers (and crossbows). The class of persons covered include, amongst others, Sikh, highland dancers, museum curators.
Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2019, 12:46:16 pm »

I am wondering about laws on the the use of edged weapons, especially swords or knives for religious purposes - do they differentiate possession in public from possession in private?


https://content.police.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-11/Prohibited-Weapons-Guide_APR-2015.pdf

A  sword  is  defined  under  sch.2  of  the  Regulations  as   being a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long
blade having 1 or 2 edges and a hilt or handle.  A sword is  still  classified  as  a  sword  even  if  the  1  or  both  blades  are blunt.
In order to possess a sword a person would need to obtain either a:  
• a Chief Commissioner’s Approval (CCP), or
• be covered by a Governor in Council exemption (GIC).
To  be  eligible  for  a  GIC,   a  person  must  be  able   to  demonstrate  at  the  time  of  purchase,  
that  they  are  a  member  of  a  club,  group,  organisations,  or  a  class  of  person  which  has  been granted a Governor in Council Exemption Order.  
Click here (http://www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2014/GG2014G023.pdf#page=82) for a list of clubs, groups, organisations and class of persons which are covered under a GIC for Sword.

Possession includes storage and use. Of course, they never define how long a long blade is but have similar rules for knives/daggers (and crossbows). The class of persons covered include, amongst others, Sikh, highland dancers, museum curators.



Thank you, Sorontar, the is very comprehensive!
Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2019, 12:28:49 am »

Don't overlook, Banfili, the laws are  state laws, not federal. Sorontar's references are for Victoria, which is a tad more restrictive (so far) than other Aussie states. Queensland and Western Australia are at the other end of the scale re firearms, and I'd guess other weapons.
Taken with other posts - that a weapon can be anything a policeman thinks is a weapon - I am surprised the government hasn't thought about simply sedating us all outside working hours, because we can't be trusted like our law-writers can be.
Logged
Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2019, 01:23:39 am »

Don't overlook, Banfili, the laws are  state laws, not federal. Sorontar's references are for Victoria, which is a tad more restrictive (so far) than other Aussie states. Queensland and Western Australia are at the other end of the scale re firearms, and I'd guess other weapons.
Taken with other posts - that a weapon can be anything a policeman thinks is a weapon - I am surprised the government hasn't thought about simply sedating us all outside working hours, because we can't be trusted like our law-writers can be.

I am in Victoria, Melrose - somewhat reluctantly, I admit, coming from New South Wales! But, ya gotta go where the work is. As I'm now retired, maybe that should have been "Ya gotta went were the work was"!

I detect the slight aroma of sarcasm there, Melrose! Grin
Maybe, because I am retired from the workforce, (although I am what could be termed a 'private scholar', I should be sedated 24 hrs a day!! Cheesy Cheesy
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 01:26:07 am by Banfili » Logged
Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2019, 07:00:47 am »

I detect the slight aroma of sarcasm there, Melrose! Grin
Maybe, because I am retired from the workforce, (although I am what could be termed a 'private scholar', I should be sedated 24 hrs a day!! Cheesy Cheesy

Only slight? I'm slipping then!
This thread has covered a lot of ground, and it would be digressing to introduce new material about how much more we are tracked, policed, told where to stand and not stand, and all that stuff George Orwell covered so amusingly.  Grin
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.334 seconds with 16 queries.