Thursday, April 7, 2011

Say what?

Crossbows prohibited weapons from Saturday

CROSSBOWS will become a prohibited weapon in WA, effective from this weekend. Currently, as controlled weapons, crossbows can be legally purchased through a number of specialised outlets.

However, changes to the Weapons Act 1999 to reclassify crossbows to a prohibited weapon will come into effect this Saturday across Western Australia.

Police Minister Rob Johnson says the changes will help reduce the likelihood of a crossbow falling into the “wrong hands”.

Mr Johnson said he had been in regular contact with the Halstead family, whose son Christopher was killed with a crossbow in Karratha in 2009.

However a number of exceptions will apply for the possession of crossbows from this Saturday:
● Exempt collectors - genuine collectors of crossbows will be able to possess and continue collecting crossbows
● Exempt arbalest - anyone engaged in crossbow events or competitions and who belong to an Archery Australia Inc. member club (the changes will only allow those people who are currently engaged in the sport to continue this activity)
● Dramatic productions - producers of dramatic productions can apply in writing to the Commissioner of Police for an exemption notice in respect to any prohibited weapons (including crossbows) listed in Schedule 1 of the Weapons Regulations 1999

The provisions in respect to collectors, arbalests and dramatic productions will not commence until July 1 in order to give these groups and police enough time to process approvals without people committing offences.

Mr Johnson said he had met with a number of groups which indicated they had no objections to the changes.

Anyone with a crossbow who does not qualify for one of the three exceptions will need to lawfully dispose of their crossbow, destroy it or surrender it to a police station.

The penalty for buying, possessing, selling, supplying or manufacturing crossbows outside the exemptions is a $36,000 fine and three years jail.

Okay, so just as "gun laws" stop guns falling into the wrong hands (because we all know that criminals are basically law abiding) we now have laws against crossbow ownership!

However, the bit that REALLY concerns me is the section I bolded above.

● Exempt arbalest - anyone engaged in crossbow events or competitions and who belong to an Archery Australia Inc. member club (the changes will only allow those people who are currently engaged in the sport to continue this activity)

How to kill off a sport in one easy lesson. From this article it appears that you can not decide to join an Archery club to obtain the 'right' to have a crossbow !?!

I decided to go looking for the (alleged) backstory of this "ban" - the story of the killing of Christopher Halstead.

A 28-year-old man was tonight found guilty of manslaughter after he fatally shot a man with a crossbow during a dispute over a one-night stand. A Supreme Court jury took about four hours to clear Fraser Macaree of murder but convict him of unlawful killing, which carries no intent to grievously injure or kill.
During the trial, the court was told Mr Halstead, 26, was trying to help friend Steven Bruce after Macaree had a one-night stand with Mr Bruce’s girlfriend the previous week.

They went to Mr Macaree’s house in Karratha on February 19 last year and Mr Halstead was standing outside when Mr Macaree emerged with a loaded crossbow and shot him through the chest with a hunting bolt. It went through Mr Halstead and landed 30m away.

Mr Halstead, who did not know Macaree, died in minutes.

Defence counsel Colin Lovitt argued the crossbow was found to have a malfunction with its safety device and his client had never meant to shoot the weapon, which he had carried out of fear.
(full story at

Mmmm, so he went with his mate to confront another guy and ended up dead and now all crossbows are banned.

Wonder what is next on the list?


Rev. Paul said...

"Wonder what is next on the list?"

Whatever remains of 'freedom'.

Old NFO said...

Better watch out Julie, butcher knives will be next, and you'll be cooking/carving with blades no longer than 2 1/2 inches... And a sharpened butter knife will be worth 10 years or $36,000 fine...

DaddyBear said...

Not sure if it's next, but if y'all keep following this trend, "Strong Language" will be all that's left.

KurtP said...

What's next?

Small leaf springs, 2x4s, airplane cable, cable clamps and anything capable of being a bolt.

Sendarius said...

Is this new regulation even legal?

Note it is a regulation, not a law - it is being implemented under the regulatory provisions of the Police Act. As such there is (and has been) no parliamentary discussion.

I understand that Oz law (maybe even the constitution?) prohibits the state from depriving a citizen of property without due process of law, and requires just compensation. Why do you think the "Great Gun Confiscation" cost so much?

Anonymous said...

Semi-automatic assualt butter-knives, with bayonet lug.
Painted black, so as to look evil.
Yer goin' down, Vegemite!!


Danika Watterson said...

I knew this guy and his family VERY well and although I do not agree with it being banned. put yourselves in the shoes of his parents who fought hard to have this law brought in .. personally if this law was already in back 3 and a half yrs ago wether it was on accident or on purpose a good mate could possibly be still alive today