The State Government announced on 8th March 2004 that it intended to move swords from ‘controlled’ to ‘prohibited’ weapons under the Control of Weapons Act. This means that illegal possession or use of swords in Victoria could result in a $12,000 fine or six months in jail.
The Chief Commissioner supported an application for a blanket exemption from the regulation changes for Victorian Branch, much in the way scouts are protected from knives legislation. The B.R.C. applied for an exemption, which was approved by the Governor and the Justice Department in June 2004 with the following conditions:
- That Victorian Rovers maintain a register of all swords held by Rover Crews, including a photo of the sword plus other key identifying features.
- That swords are stored in a secure location (such as being locked up in a safe or cabinet) to prevent unlawful use.
- That Rover Crews are aware that they may be required to provide the sword upon request to Victoria Police for inspection.
UPDATE: October 2010
There is currently a bill before parliament to amend the act that may have an effect on the use of swords within our section. These include:
- It will be prohibited to supply, use or sell a prohibited or controlled weapon to anyone under 18 years old.
- It will be prohibited for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase a prohibited weapon.
- The use of a prohibited or controlled weapon by anyone who has been a member of the organisation for less than six (6) months.
As a result, we are requesting the following:
- All crews resubmit the details of their sword to the BRC Deputy Chairman to ensure the register is up to date. If you fail to resubmit your details, then your crew will be removed from the register. As a result, you will be breaking the law under the 2004 amendments to the Weapons Control Act. We have provided a copy of the registration form with this letter. Please send this form back as a priority.
- To note the amendments above with regards to the use and possession by people under the age of 18 and those who are in the association less than six (6) months. You may need to change investiture procedures to ensure that the pending laws are not broken.
If your crew is in possession of a sword and no longer wish to keep it, we ask that you advise the BRC Deputy Chairman that you wish to dispose of it and you will advised of the correct process to surrender it to Victoria Police.