This time targeting Category D license holders.
Do you own an SKS in NSW? If so you may now be in possession of a prohibited firearm, at least in the view of NSW FAR.
Over the past few years the line from NSW FAR has been that
“Any civilian variant of a military firearm is OK to possess on a CAT D license in NSW”
You can’t own an SLR – but you can own a DSA SA58
You can’t own an M14 – but you can own a Norinco M305
From this you would assume, and indeed the practice has been that:
A Category D License holder can’t own a Type 56 SKS (Chinese military issue variant), but historically they have been allowed to own civilian variants of the SKS.
Sadly due to the lunacy of the NSW Firearms Act this position does have some basis in law, given that under Division 2 and Schedule 1, Category D license holders are prohibited from possessing “Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes” amongst other items.
However as we have been recently informed from a NSW Category D License holder, that starting in March 2019.
“I purchased a Six Corp MOD KS30 SKS from a gun store in QLD. The rifle was advertised as a Norinco SKS, so I applied for a PTA the same day with the gun details “Norinco SKS”.NSW Cat D License Holder
The rifle turned up at my local gun store about a week later, I went in to view the gun but quickly realized the rifle was actually branded “Six Corp MOD KS30”.
The professional shooter made some inquiries with NSW FAR asking for clarification on his new rifle. It was at this point he was told by the registry, over the phone and in email, that all SKS’s are “prohibited firearms” in NSW and can not be possessed on a Category D license.
Naturally he disagreed with the NSW FAR. They then asked him to email more info about the rifle so they could review his case. He never heard back from them until he received the refusal letter.
From the shooter
“This Six Corp was imported back in 88-89 as a “Sporter” SKS for the commercial market. The rifle was renamed Six Corp, as this was the mob that exported the rifle from China BUT the rifle was made in a Norinco factory in China. (so it’s a Chinese Norinco SKS just with different branding).
The Six Corp was advertised as a rifle for the civilian market, it has never seen battle. So should not come under the NSW FAR definition of a “military firearm”. It also does NOT have a bayonet lug which should immediately prove the rifle was in fact a civilian variant.
I also have a friend with a legally owned Norinco SKS, that has been registered in NSW for the last 2 years. He was contacted by the NSW FAR only 12 month ago to vet his SKS. He was told that his model of SKS, a Chinese Norinco SKS, was ok to have on a CAT D license in NSW – he is still in possession of this firearm to this day.
I also told the NSW FAR that I knew of at least 3 other SKS’s that were legally owned on a CAT D licenses in NSW. I said to them if they did a quick search in the registries database I was sure they would find 100s of other legally owned rifles as well.
I asked the NSW FAR what they planned on doing with the 100s of other SKSs in NSW should my PTA be refused. To which they responded “That’s above my pay grade”.
The NSW FAR has always told me…“Any civilian variant of a military firearm is OK to possess on a CAT D license in NSW”
If my SKS is refused then the law isn’t being applied evenly across all CAT D license holders, as other CAT D license holders have legal SKS’s in their possession.
The KS30 is a rare firearm imported into Australia back in the late 1980’s, its limited numbers are also a good indication that the model was never meant for military service.”
NSW Cat D License Holder
So has the NSW FAR only just recently decided they don’t like the SKS but if you already had one you can keep it? Or are they about to come after everyone in NSW who has an SKS. If NSW FAR responded to questions perhaps we would be able to shed some light on their new policy position but they are notoriously recalcitrant.
Naturally though the incompetence at the registry has few limits. The professional shooter had a PTA turn up in the mail, issued for a Norinco SKS. Naturally this caused some confusion as clearly the left hand was not talking to the right. He called up the registry to question this apparent contradiction and they replied that “That PTA was sent before we knew they were all banned”.
I also asked for the PTA I had in my possession to be changed to say “Six Corp MOD KS 30”, as I didn’t want to be caught out on a technicality and have my guns seized as another friend of mine had a similar SKS in NSW. He, after 8 years of owning a SKS in NSW, was targeted by the registry and had all his guns seized. It took him a few years to get his gear back (but the NSW FAR kept his SKS and the 30 rnd mags and destroyed them, despite NCAT saying the firearm should have been returned to him).
After speaking to a few people I was advised I should put in a second PTA under the Six Corp MOD KS30 name to see if the NSW FAR would approve it. If they didn’t, then I would be able to take them to NCAT for the refusal and then I could make my case. I took this advice and now have grounds to dispute the NSW FAR decision.
In the end the NSW FAR didn’t change the first PTA to say “Six Corp” or issue me with a new PTA with “Six Corp”, they just cancelled both PTAs and kept my $60.
NSW Cat D License Holder
So what do you think?
Let us know in the comments below.