Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday was an extremely windy day. I got up the range just after midday and helped the captains for the day set up the range. Due to the wind, however, pretty much everything we set up blew down, so in the end there were three stages consisting just of targets (paper and poppers) - no walls or anything.
I then help the Chief Instructor set up for the trainees. We were expecting six "newbies" for their first training session and up to six others for later training sessions. However, in the end, only two newbies turned up (one of whom who was 14), one guy for his second week and one who was doing week nine of the course. We decided to combine the two groups as the "week nine" guy needed to have some people to practise the Range Officer role on.
It worked well and everyone was having so much fun the trainees didn't want to leave the range at the end of the day.
On Sunday I decided to get up early and go and have a shoot. It was still windy but not quite as bad as the Saturday. The guys had set up four stages with lots of "no shoots". I squaded with great guys so it was a fun shoot. On the first three stages I tried to get the second shot off as fast as possible after the first - however, I did miss a couple of targets doing this. On the last stage I slowed down and aimed the second shot - which resulted in all As.
One of guys in my squad had four friends turn up to see what we did. So after the shoot we had a chat to them and they're all interested in joining the club. Three of the four were women and it's nice to see more and more women interested in shooting.
Four other people had also turned up while we were training on Saturday who are also interested in joining so I'm guessing that training is going to get busy!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It was only an addition of a category A firearm - which means that the local police station can process it and it doesn't have to go to the Firearms Branch for prior approval so it should have been a simple matter.
I went into the Police Station yesterday to make an appointment with the Firearms Officer. I initially made the appointment for Thursday but my day off was changed so I rang the Station at 8.30am this morning to change the appointment to today and check the requirements for transportation of the firearm etc.
The (Acting) Firearms Officer wasn't in yet (he was supposed to get in at 9am) so I left a message for him to ring me. An hour and a half later I had heard nothing so I rang again to be told that he had called in sick.
Now I could have just decided to wait until another day off coincided with a firearm licensing day (Wednesday or Thursday at my local Police Station) and hope that the Firearms Officer wasn't sick that day. However, I thought I would try and see if I could get this processed today. So I rang the Firearms Branch to see what they suggested.
They didn't really have any ideas but they agreed with my suggestion that I try the District HQ Station. I rang that station and asked to be put through to the Firearms Officer there and after being cut off once I finally got to talk to someone.
The cop I spoke to wasn't the Firearms Officer but he was a really nice helpful guy who decided that I should be able to get the rifle on a licence today and was going to help me make this happen. The Firearms Officer had been told off previously by his boss for processing licences for another station so he wasn't willing to help. So the nice cop then rang my local station and arranged with a Sargent there to process it for me (he told me the Sargent's name was Steve).
So I went back to my station and asked for Steve and, guess what, he didn't exist :) ... However, the cop there, after I explained what I was trying to do decided to be helpful and process it for me.
So I filled in the application form for the licence (2 pages), a form the firearm's details (2 pages), a statement regarding my safe (1 page) and another form for some reason (2 pages). They also took a photocopy of my Driver's Licence and club membership card and my property letter. The statement regarding the safe had to be witnessed by a cop so the cop I was dealing with grabbed another cop walking by to do this.
The two cops then filled in a permit for me to transport the firearm from my house back to the station and I went and got the rifle.
When I got back to the station the cop checked the make and serial number and wrote it as an addition on my licence. After I paid my $28 I was free to take the rifle and go home :)
I was quite pleased with this experience, especially with the two cops who decided that this should be possible.
After all of this, I had a lovely lunch with a friend and then went up the range with my pistol and burnt 200 rounds :) Quite a pleasant way to spend a day off!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Have a read here and let me know what you think.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
With the questions regarding “self defense” I will do a bit more research and do another post on this topic.
The questions have been slightly edited for readability.
”Does the law mean that you specifically allow the Police to wander in the "check" your gun storage situation?”
Part of the licencing requirement is that the safe must be inspected by the Police. However, they can't just wander in and check willy nilly. They should make an appointment first, and if they don't and just turn up on your doorstep you can tell them that it is not convenient and to come back at another time.
“How long did it take you to go through this process?”
I had a lot of problems with my licence for my first gun. The Constable at the local police station decided that for some reason she didn’t like me (or she was just slack or whatever) and the whole process took over three months.
It would have taken longer, but I ended up getting the Police Complaints branch and the Firearms branch involved and they managed to cut through her lies and delays and get my application processed.
The same Constable was the Firearms Office at the local police station when I decided to apply for my second handgun licence and after one more run-in with her I decided to wait until she was on holiday and deal with the replacement Firearms Officer – who is a lovely guy and was more than willing to help me get the application processed as quickly as possible.
I want to get rifle on an “Open Licence” and have all the necessary paperwork, but I want to contact the Police Station, before going down there, to see who is on as I really couldn’t cope dealing with the first Firearms Officer again.
Unfortunately, from the stories I am told, many of the Firearms Officers are difficult to deal with. I’ve had friends who have had the Firearms Officers say “I don’t think civilians should own guns” when they have gone to put their applications in. Unfortunately, you have to deal with the local Police Station and not go to other stations where there are helpful and competent Firearms Officers – and yes, these do exist.
I have had one Firearms Officer, when checking the serial number of the gun against the temporary permit, ask me to read it to him as “he doesn’t like guns and isn’t confident handling them”. This would be okay, but he had a Glock on his hip!
”Is there a restriction on how many guns and weapons you can own? "
In the first year that you have your licence you can only own two handguns. There is no regulated restriction on the number of firearms you can own apart from that, but I do know of situations where Firearms Officers at the local Police Station have tried to tell people that there is.
When it comes to licensing long arms on “open licences” there is provision in the Regulations for the applicant to have to prove need. Therefore applications can be turned down if the Police reckon that you don’t need another gun but can use one of the others you have licensed for that purpose.
”Do you have problems with gun control/violence like we do here in the states?”
Yes, as regulations and laws are only effective when people obey them. So there are still gun deaths here.
Apparently the number of gun deaths (both homicides and suicides) have declined and there have been no more “Port Arthur” type massacres since the tightening of regulations in 1997.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
(For those interested it is licensed under the "Club Activities Only" category for Metallic Silhouette).
I first read about this gun in a gun magazine a couple of months back and thought it looked "interesting" but not interesting enough to buy. However, I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to play with it.
After my friend had sighted it in I got to pull the trigger. I liked the feel of the gun and the trigger, and after the first few shots I hit where I was aiming and the groups were pretty tight (didn't take photos as we were taking turns).
I used the bipod for all except the last 10 shots (between us we shot off 200 rounds). It's not easy to hold or balance without the bipod and I'm not sure that you'll want to do more than 10 shots at a time that way.
All in all, good fun but not on my shopping list.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It is true that since 1997 gun ownership in Australia has been increasingly restricted in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre where 34 people died by gun-fire.
However, private (legal) gun ownership is still possible if you’re prepared to jump through lots of hoops. Illegal gun ownership is possible if you have the money to spend.
Firearms licensing in Australia is a State responsibility but since 1997 gun laws in Australia are supposed to be uniform across all States. This was achieved by the Federal government threatening to withhold road and health funding from States that did not implement the new laws that the Prime Minister wanted to see. However, there are still State-by-State variations, so this post is written from a Western Australian point of view. In most cases, licenses from any one State are NOT recognised in other States.
NOTE: Full-automatic firearms have been banned from civilian possession in WA since 1934, and civilian ownership of ALL handguns has been heavily controlled since the 1950’s. Currently, licensing and registration of ALL firearms is MANDATORY, and the laws are written to define air-rifles, pellet-guns, paint-ball markers, flare guns, nail guns etc as firearms. Additionally, restrictions apply to sling-shots, long bows, and cross bows. Purchase and possession of ammunition (and components of ammunition) is restricted to the calibres of firearms specified on your firearms license.
* Magazines must not be capable of holding more than 10 rounds
* Barrel length must be equal to or greater than 100mm (not including cylinder) for revolvers, equal to or greater than 120mm (including chamber) for all others
* Must be .45” or less bullet diameter if shooting IHMSA or Cowboy Action, .38” or less for any other shooting sport (Corrected 13/11/09 from Must be .45” or less bullet diameter if shooting IHMSA or Cowboy Action, .38” or less for any other shooting sport. Thanks MadMick)
Minimum age for ownership
* Competition shooting only. (Gun can only be transported between home and “Approved Club Activity” or gunsmith or police station).
* Self-defence specifically excluded as “sufficient reason” to own.
* Some (very few) exemptions for farm use on case-by-case basis.
* Must be an active and financial member of a recognised sporting shooting club AND recognised shooting association for 6 months before applying for a licence (or for the handgun to be added to an existing firearms licence that does not include handguns).
* Must have written support from the club AND association.
* Can only licence one rim fire or centre fire handgun after 6 months of membership.
* Can only licence one additional handgun in the subsequent 6 months.
* Approval of all applications is at the discretion of the police force, although there is some scope for appeal against arbitrary rejections.
* Must REMAIN an active, financial member of club and association to retain license.
* Must be stored in an “approved” safe.
* Ammunition must be stored separately, either in an locked box within the same safe or in another “approved” safe.
* Safe(s) subject to police inspection.
* Magazines must be “securely” stored separately from the ammunition and firearms and must be stored empty.
* Must compete in a recognised competition at least 6 times a year for your primary handgun category.
* For any other handguns licensed for a different type of competition you must compete in a recognised competition at least 4 times a year.
* NO provision for carrying the firearm on your person at ANY time except on shooting range.
* NO provision for possession outside the home unless en-route to competition, police station, or gunsmith, or en-route to home from same. Requirement to take shortest reasonable route.
* Magazines must not be capable of holding more than 10 rounds for rifles, and 5 rounds for shotguns
* Barrel length must be equal to or greater than 510mm
* Rifles: Break, Bolt, Lever, and Pump actions only (no Semi-automatics, or Full-automatics)
* Shotguns: Break, Bolt, and Lever actions only (no Pump-action, Semi-automatics, or Full-automatics)
* Some exemptions on Pump-action shotguns for competition use only
Minimum age for ownership
* “Approved Club Activities” (i.e. competition)
* Vermin control on approved properties
* For Approved Club Activities:
- Must be an active and financial member of a sporting shooting club AND shooting association for 6 months before applying for a licence (or for the long arm to be added to your existing licence that does not contain “Approved Club Activities” firearms).
- Must complete a training course (content requirements currently unspecified)
- Must receive written club and association support of license application
* For Vermin Control:
- Must have a letter from a property owner specifying that you have permission to shoot on their property. Property size and location must be deemed by police as acceptable for the type and calibre of the firearm specified. Number of letters issued by property owner limited.
* Must be stored in an “approved” safe.
* Ammunition must be stored separately, either in a locked box within the same safe or in another “approved” safe.
* Magazines must be “securely” stored separately from the ammunition and firearms and stored empty.
* For Approved Club Activities:
- Must compete in a recognised competition at least 6 times a year for primary category.
- Any other long arms licensed for a different type of competition must be used in recognised competition at least 4 times a year.
- NO provision for possession outside the home except under same restrictions as handguns.
* For Vermin Control:
- NO provision for possession outside the home unless en-route to approved shooting location (range, rural property specified in property letter, etc).
- Moves are afoot to require property letters to be resubmitted every five years.
* When you apply for your first firearms licence, the following applies:
1. You need to make an appointment at your local police station to see the “Firearms Officer”. Available times are restricted and usually limited to four hours on each of two or three days of the week. No weekend appointments. (Only a small number of police stations are open 7 days a week, fewer are open 24 hours per day.
2. At this appointment you must make your application (several forms and affidavits required) and successfully complete a multiple choice questionnaire (must get the first three questions correct and no more than three wrong of the remainder). You then have a “cooling off” period for 28 days where nothing is done with your application.
3. At the conclusion of the 28 days you MUST advise the local police station that you wish to proceed with your application and then (if you’re lucky) it’s forwarded to the Police Firearms Branch for processing (background check etc).
4. Once approved and returned to your local police station (which has been known to take 16 weeks), you will be advised (usually by phone) and must again make an appointment.
5. At this appointment you receive a “Temporary Permit” that authorises you to collect the firearm (without ammunition) SOLELY for the purpose of transporting it to the police station for verification of the firearm details (such as make, model, action type, magazine capacity, and serial number). You must also make ANOTHER appointment to do so. The Temporary Permit is valid for a very short time (usually one or two days).
6. At this (final?) appointment, you must pay the “New Firearms License Issuing Fee” (currently $156) and the “Firearms License Noting Fee” (currently $28), and have your paper firearms license approved, issued, and endorsed with the details of the firearm. You will also receive (and be required to sign for) a letter advising you of the conditions applicable to the licensing and storage of the firearm.
Subsequent, additional firearms require:
* You need to make an appointment at your local police station to see the “Firearms Officer”. Available times are restricted and usually limited to four hours on each of two or three days of the week.
1. If the application is for an “Approved Club Activities” firearm, your application is forwarded to the Police Firearms Branch for processing (background check etc). Other application types may be processed locally or at the regional office.
2. Once approved by regional office or Firearms Branch (if required) and returned to your local police station (which may take up to 16 weeks), you will be advised (usually by phone) and must again make an appointment.
3. At this appointment you receive a “Temporary Permit” that authorises you to collect the firearm (without ammunition) SOLELY for the purpose of transporting it to the police station for verification of the firearm details (such as make, model, action type, magazine capacity, and serial number). You must also make ANOTHER appointment to do so.
4. At this (final?) appointment, you must pay the “Firearms License Noting Fee” (currently $28), and have your paper firearms license endorsed with the details of the firearm. You will also receive (and be required to sign for) another letter advising you of the conditions applicable to the licensing and storage of the firearm.
(Note: Thanks to Sendarius for his input into this post)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
My new camera does panarama shots - so here's one of the farm:
This trip was slightly different as my family came along too.
We got to Perenjori on Wednesday evening and set up camp at the Perenjori Caravan Park and had a nice dinner and a couple of beers.
On the Thursday morning we went for a drive out to the farm for a look around. The girls spotted some emus in a paddock.
The wheat crops are looking good. Miss 6 loved the taste of raw wheat.
After showing the family around the farm we drove down to the Camel Soak.
I didn't get a photo of the watering hole at the soak, but here's another panarama of the view:
It was a hot day and the flies were everywhere. We had planned a picnic at the Camel Soak but due to the flies (some of which bite), we decided to eat while driving out to the John Forrest Lookout.
The path up to the top of the lookout was quite steep, so we took an alternative route down (looked like a 4wd track) but it didn't quite go in the right direction so the walk ended up being about double the distance.
After this walk we decided to drive out to Rothsay, which used to be a mining town but in now the "local" ghost town.
The drive was nice and there were LOTS of wildflowers everwhere.
Purple / Blue:
The girls were also interested in the Salt Lakes which dot the area.
There were also a collection of lizards sunning themselves:
We returned to the campsite to organise a picnic dinner and then headed out to the farm again for some hunting. We drove around in my car for awhile, looking for rabbits (and spotted some roos as well) and then borrowed the farm ute for some "serious" hunting. Miss 8 LOVED being on the back of the ute but Miss 6 preferred to sit inside and chat to the driver (Les).
We saw a few rabbits and a couple of roos. Managed to shoot two rabbits but the girls weren't happy when we showed them how to skin them.
Didn't get back to the campsite until 11.30pm so put the girls to bed, had a port of two (or three, but who's counting) and called it a night.
In the morning Les and I headed out early for a spot more hunting. As we were driving around we saw four fox pups, as well as a couple of roos and some rabbits. I managed to bag a rabbit so bought that back to cook up later.
As it was another hot day and the girls' first visit "up north" we decided to spend the day touring around.
Had an early lunch at Morowa. Drove through to Mingenew and then down to Three Springs. Stopping often to look at wildflowers, termite mounds
and whatever else took our fancy. It was a fun way to spend a hot day and the girls seemed to really love the scenery.
After a bit of a break in the afternoon we headed back to the farm for a spot more hunting. The ute wasn't available so we just used my car. We headed out first to see if we could see the fox pups and managed to stalk up within 10m of them (with the girls). I was impressed with how they did (especially Miss 6 who isn't known for her ability to keep quiet). Miss 6 saw two of the fox pups but Miss 8 missed them.
We did a bit more driving around and shooting but the girls were really tired (and we were out of fuel - don't ask!) so we headed back at around 8pm to put them to bed.
On Saturday morning Les and I headed out early again for another try. This time I managed to get two billy goats - which I was really pleased about.
We then headed back to the campsite and packed up.
The trip back to Perth was interesting as we left a very hot, sunny and dry day in Perenjori and hit heavy rain at Bindoon. By the time we got home it was just overcast.
The girls loved the trip and have asked to go again. I think we'll avoid the heat of summer but might see if we can spend a week up there around Easter.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Miss D has a post on his blog with details.
Lawdog has a post with more details here.
Wishing you a speedy recovery Peter.
UPDATE 11th Oct 09: Peter is back (after a quadruple bypass) blogging!
Monday, October 5, 2009
This is just "a picture" of what the American troops go through... lets make sure they
get the honour they deserve....( Aussies are probably no different).
SLEEP LAST NIGHT?
Bed a little lumpy...
Toss and turn any..
Wish the heat was higher...
Maybe the a/c ! Wasn't on...
Had to go to the john...
Need a drink of water...
Yes.. It is like that!
Count your blessings, pray for them,
The next time when...
The other car cuts you off and you must hit the brakes,
Or you have to park a little further from Walmart than you want to be,
Or you're served slightly warm food at the restaurant,
Or you're sitting and cursing the traffic in front of you,
Or the shower runs out of hot water,
Think of them...
Protecting your freedom!
The proud warriors of Baker Company wanted to do
Something to pay tribute
To our fallen comrades So since we are part of the only
Marine Infantry Battalion left in Iraq the one way that we could
Think of doing that is By taking a picture of
Baker Company saying the way we feel.
It would be awesome if you could find a way to share
This with our fellow countrymen.
I was wondering if there was any way to
Get this into your
Papers to let the world know that
'WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN'
And are proud to serve our country.
' Semper Fi 1st Sgt Dave Jobe .'
The attached photo was forwarded from one of the last U.S Marine companies in Iraq
They would like to have it passed to as many people as possible, to let the folks back home know
That they remember why they're there and that they remember those who've been lost.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The Chief Instructor was off with a group of four "newbies" and I had four trainees who were at different stages in the training process. According to our new training schedule we were up to week 4 of the 12 week program and the focus was on shooting around and through barricades as well as strong / weak hand shooting.
I was really pleased to see that the course designers for the squad shoots had set up a door and some portals, so all I had to set up on my training range was a drum and a hatch. After doing some warm up shooting we focused on one handed shooting for a couple of times (carrying props around the range in one hand) and then moved to opening the hatch safely and also aiming and shooting through the drum.
By this time the stage with the portals had been shot by both of the regular squads and was free for us to play with. My trainees all wanted to shoot this stage twice (it was a well designed stage with poppers, well laid out targets and lots of choices). Everyone did well and shot it safely.
After we shot this one, there was a smaller stage available with the door. Most trainees only had a couple of rounds left my this stage, so we just focused on opening and shooting through the door safely.
It was a great day - but boy, was I tired by the end of it!
Next week there is no training, however the following week will focus on different types of targets (IPSC / ICOR / poppers / steel / swinging and disappearing).
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1) Gun? - check
2) Permission from land owner? - check
3) Ammo? - check
4) Animals? ... animals? ... who forgot to invite the animals???
Seriously, we only saw 6 rabbits - the closest at about 25m. My friend took shots at them but missed (hehehehe).
THEN it rained for two days .... and the animals obviously had more sense then we did and stayed inside.
So we decided to give the hunting the flick and go visit some friends at Dongara. Fantastic spot - even in the rain.
Even though the hunting was a bit disappointing we did have a great time - especially wildflower spotting. It's wildflower season and there are hundreds of beautiful flowers on display throughout the area ... here's a sample:
The white flowers are everlastings, but I'm not sure what the purple ones are
Field of yellow everlastings
A collection of purple flowers
Carpet of Colour
A Selection of Yellow Flowers.
The area is famous for the Wreath Flowers
Not only did they come in a wide variety of colours, there were some unusual shapes too ...