RECLASSIFICATION: Collectors now in the firing line
23 February 2021|Reclassification, Western Australia Police
Mauser C96 Broomhandle
WA POLICE are looking to ban pistols that can be fitted with detachable stocks using “appearance laws” in what could become a serious problem for collectors nationally.
Their choice is to fight - or watch their highly valuable and collectible pistols go into the crusher.
REGULAR READERS will be familiar with the NSC’s fight in the WA State Administrative Tribunal over the Ruger PC Charger handgun.
We won our case against WA Police last year however WA Police have now decided to continue denying ‘licences’ (equivalent to Permits to Acquire) to WA shooters for reasons which include the “ability to affix a detachable rear stock, which substantially increases the utility of this [handgun] as a centre fire rifle”.
In other words, this issue is not just about the Ruger PC Charger: it is about any handgun that can have a detachable rear stock affixed to it.
Other guns that can have detachable stocks fitted to them
The NSC team has identified at least three valuable and highly collectible, handguns that fit the same description, that would be caught by the latest panic move by WA Police that could catch a number of firearms in WA collections. If WAPOL is successful in getting the WA State Administrative Tribunal ( SAT) to uphold it’s opinion then a legal precedent will be set and other state regulators could follow suit, then this could quickly become a national problem.
From pistol grips and box magazines on straight-pull shotguns to the addition of detachable stocks on pistols, the NSC’s legal challenges to reclassifications decisions have shown that the legal basis for these decisions are not that difficult to disprove.
Detachable stocks on collectable handguns
Here are three guns which will, if WAPol continues decides to ban other handguns with detachable stocks, end up on the banned list:
Luger P08 Artillery Model
- WW1 Luger PO8 Artillery Model: Manufactured in long barrel versions, circular drum magazines (snail drum) and fitted with a detachable wooden stock .
- Mauser C96 Broomhandle (pictured at top): Fed with a box magazine and fitted with a detachable wooden stock)
- Browning Hi Power (Chinese Nationalist Army Contract): Also fitted with a detachable wooden stock and target sights.
Adding to this is that these three examples were supplied with stocks as ‘extras’ by their manufacturers, whereas the Ruger PC9 Charger is NOT sold with any stock, meaning that this is the least likely of the four handguns to ever have a stock attached to it.
The choice for collector groups
We appreciate that collector groups are just like other shooting groups – they just want to ‘do their thing’ and not get caught up in political fights.
Collectors in WA and elsewhere have spent serious money to have the three pistols mentioned in their collections. They are historic, rare and valuable.
However, this latest decision out of WA gives collector groups there – and potentially elsewhere – a simple choice.
Watch your guns end up in the crusher, or fight to keep them. Collectors in the UK saw many of their collections wiped out when the UK introduced new gun laws years ago.
Browning Hi Power (Chinese Nationalist Army Contract)
WA shooters: time to take action
The NSC has already run and won several reclassification fights, and is likely to soon have more fights in the eastern states.
However, WA continues to ‘lead the pack’, and with a state election now only days away, we urge shooters in WA – whether they are collectors or not – to VOTE to keep their guns.
The NSC will be publishing it’s voting advice for WA this week. However shooters also need to back the legal actions being taken to stop reclassification if they want this to stop.
Reclassification benefits no one. All it does is create instability in the firearms industry and frustrate more and more shooters.
If you belong to a collector’s group in WA, then you need to bring this to their attention.
Get behind the NSC today.
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