A last haven for guns that would have otherwise been scrapped by authorities, an Australian firearms museum is now confronted with the possibility they may have to mutilate their own collection.
The Lithgow Small Arms Factory, which crafted Australian Lee-Enfields from 1912 into the 1950s when they switched to making inch-pattern semi-auto FAL rifles, is an icon in the country.
Some two decades ago, a non-profit group turned portions of the facility into a museum to preserve both the factory and historic Australian firearms. Staffed by volunteers, they take legally in unregistered guns during national firearm amnesty periods rather than have them torched by police. “We exist for the community and display a range of artifacts of historical, educational and community value,” the museum said.
In short, they gave scarce guns a forever home.
Now, they may have to butcher their holdings– which is already under tight security controls and deactivated via trigger locks and removed firing pins– to the point that the often-rare and in many cases unique guns “will be reduced to a metal blob rather than a genuine firearm.”
The Philippine Marines have been busy doing hearts and minds type missions in the Sulu area for the past several months and have managed to get 246 weapons turned over (with a little help from martial law.)
About half are vintage M1 Garands, followed by a decent haul of M14s and M16s, as well as a smattering of other hardware to include M79 bloop tubes, 81mm mortars and 90mm recoilless rifles.
Russian arms maker Molot has released a bunch of info on their VPO-220 bolt action rifle that isn’t– the Lancaster-bore 9.6x53mm (ballistically between the old .350 Rem Mag and the newer .376 Steyr)– designed to skin a gun control cat.
The Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 (ВПО-220) looks like a classic Mosin M91 rifle, a longarm familiar to Russia for more than 120 years and typically chambered in 7.62x54R. However, to comply with regulations in Russia since the time of the Bolsheviks, the gun is not “legally” a rifle, but uses a Lancaster oval-bore system instead to impart spin.
The oval squeeze to the barrel is elliptical, turning to give the desired twist without traditional lands and grooves. Why? Because owning a legal rifle in Russia is tough….
A historical society in northern California was told that a planned mock battle with historical significance could not be staged unless the re-enactors used sticks rather than muskets.
CBS13 reported the Elk Grove Historical Society planned a two-day event in April, near the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, and hoped to draw 3,000 visitors.
“We would have encampments and all kinds of entertainment for the kids to see,” said Jim Entrican, who participates with the group.
But the city and parks district refused to grant the non-profit a permit, explaining local ordinances were in place against discharging any firearm.
“They actually asked us if we can use wooden sticks, and can you see 12 men in full regalia and another 12 charging with wooden sticks saying ‘Bang bang!’ It just doesn’t have the same effect,” Entrican said.
About 20 years ago I filed for my first Type 03 FFL, the humble $30 “Collector of Curios and Relic” license. The easy to get FFL allows you to purchase “C&R” eligible guns from both regular FFLs (shipped right to your door) and private individuals as well as get a discount from some firearms wholesalers (J&G, etc) who specialize in such vintage weaponry. Over the years I’ve used it to expand my collection and about half of the FFLs in the country are C&R licenses. It’s a no-brainer.
And in California, when coupled with a $71 COE, you can get around a few roadblocks, such as still be able to have ammo shipped to your house instead of going to a storefront and paying a processing fee for it.
And it looks like there just popped up another reason to get a “Cruffer”
California’s 3rd District Court of Appeals last Thursday ruled that holders of one are not bound by the state’s once-a-month handgun purchase limit.
The ruling reversed a Sacramento Superior Court decision and held that the California Department of Justice’s interpretation of state law was flawed when it came to those with a C&R type federal firearms license. The $30 three-year license allows collectors to buy some old and rare guns without going into the business of selling firearms. Last week’s ruling holds that those with such a license can purchase more than one non-curio or relic handgun in a 30-day period.
Under threat of a fine of up to A$280,000 ($219,000), 14 years in jail, and a criminal record for being otherwise caught with an unregistered or illegal gun, Australia’s National Firearms Amnesty concluded on Oct. 1. Australian media is reporting that 51,461 firearms of all type were turned over to police in the three month period, up from the 26,000 tallied by early September.
However, some of the rarer birds were saved….