concerning large capacity magazines


dATE OF DECISION 8 january 2006




The following is a ruling of the Weapons Licensing Branch received 8 January.







                        QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE

48 Charlotte Street, BRISBANE 4000
Text Box:

TELEPHONE (07) 3015 7777 FAX (07) 3015 7788


5 January 2006

Mr Tim Powell




Dear Mr Powell,

I refer to your written submissions in response to my advice that the conditions of your Firearms Licence would be altered pursuant to section 25 of the Weapons Act 1990 (the Act.

I have considered your submissions and provide the following detailed responses for your information,

The issues in relation to the Permit to Acquire a Remington model 7615P have been finalised and the firearm registered to your licence. This firearm is registered as having a 10 round magazine and as such is not affected any decision to amend your licence conditions. However at the conclusion to this letter I will address certain erroneous statements made by you in relation to that matter.

In relation to your submissions contained in pages 5 to 14 (points 1 to 25) of your response dated 30 September 2005 I am able to advise the following information, your submission has been summarised and identified as Si to S25, my response is identified as Al to R25_

(S1) A Firearms Licence 11938824 was issued with condition codes RE1 SC1 and SC2 on 13 December 1997.

(R1) Weapons licences are issued subject to any conditions the Authorised Officer decides' including conditions limiting the use or possession 2 and any other condition the Authorised Officer considers appropriate in the particular circumstances.3 The licence when issued is endorsed with any condition decided by the Authorised Officer4 and is subject to amendment. The Authorised Officer in deciding licence conditions must be cognisant of the principles and object of the Act including that weapon possession and use are subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety and that public and individual safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons.7

(S2) The licence authorises the possession of category B rifles.

(R2) Category B rifles are defined under the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997, at the time the regulations where formulated the use of `after market' magazines was not contemplated. Indeedsome of the firearms now being encountered, such as the Remington 7615P pump action centre-fire had not been developed in 1997.

(S3) On 18 September 2003 a Permit to Acquire (PTA) was issued for a Vektor H5 pump action rifle .223 calibre magazine capacity 12 rounds.

(R3) At the time of the issue of the PTA the Vektor H5 was considered to be a category B weapon. (S4 to S7) Import Permits (Permits) where issued for the import of magazines for the Vektor H5

(R4 to R7) The Permits were issued based on information supplied by you that they were for the Vektor H5 rifle. Subsequent inquiries have revealed that in fact whilst these magazines may have `fitted' the Vektor they where not manufactured for that weapon. This is confirmed by information supplied by you requesting an import permit for 10 round magazines designed for the Category D Cugir pump action centre-fire rifle which `do fit and function on a Vektor H5 rifle. These magazines can also fit and function an(sic) Ak47 semi auto rifle, as can the fifty (50) and seventy-five (75) round magazines9...' Inquiries indicate the standard magazine for the Vektor H5 is 5 or 12 rounds.

(S8 to S14) Relate to renewal of licences.

(R8 to R14) The issues raised do not add to the argument for continuation of the current conditions, they merely provide a historical record of the renewal process of the application.

(S15) I perform recreational shooting of large groups of vermin.

(R15) This is merely hearsay and a self serving statement which is not supported by any information provided by you, particularly when you renewed your Firearms Licence. Your Firearms Licence was renewed in June 2004 in support of your application you stated `As I am a member of an APPROVED sports shooting club, I only require verbal permission from the land owner to shoot on their land.9 You have provided no evidence to support this claim.

 (S16) Magazines of 10 rounds or less do not exist in Australia and all attempts have been exhausted.

 (R16) Whilst I am unable to comment on the availability of magazines in Australia, research indicates that 5 round magazines produced for the Vektor are available overseas. Also 10 round magazines which `fit and function' in the Vektor H5 are available as you have recently requested import permits.

(S17) Magazines held are 12 to 50 rounds.

(R17) Whilst this may be the case research indicates lower capacity magazines are available. Inquiries on various gun sites indicate the availability of 5 and 10 round AK-47 magazines which would, as you state `fit and function' in the Vektor H5.

 (S18) Crimping of magazines is not available.

(R18) It is an agreed position of the Commonwealth, State and Territories that only magazines original manufacture specifications would be accepted to negate the chances of modification to crimped magazines following registration.

(S19) Advice from Australian Customs Service (ACS) they will allow import of magazines of 10 rounds or less.

(R19) This is what the amendment of the condition facilitates and strengthens the argument for amendment of the condition.

 (S20) Contrary advice from Attorney-General's Department to that of the ACS.

(R20) This is an issue that would need to be addressed by the importer.

(S21) Magazines that fit the Vektor H5 fit various Category D weapons, magazines that fit the Remington 7615P fit the AR 15.

(R21) Whilst these magazines may fit the Vektor H5 and the Remington 7615P they are not manufactured for these firearms.

(S22) Inability to import 10 round magazines based on conflicting information.

(R22) This is an issue that needs to be addressed at the Commonwealth level.

(S23) Remington 7615P supplied with 10 round (20 round blocked) magazine refer document 13A and B.

(R23) The Remington 7615P is a `duty/patrol' firearm advertised in the Law Enforcement section of the Remington website. It is not intended as a sporting firearm. Document 13 B indicates the firearm is available with a `blocked' 20 round magazine but no details are advised_ The firearms have been given import approval from ACS with this magazine and would have been given import approval following examination by the Australian Federal Police Firearms Unit. Document 13B also provides information that the weapon will be manufactured with a 'short straight 10 round' magazine to `achieve a "lower visibility", non-militaristic look.' The Remington website now states that all 7615P's come with a `low profile' 10 shot magazine.

(S24 and S25) 7615P is one of the first consignments with blocked magazine.

(R24 and R25) unable to comment on the origins of the particular weapon, although it is irrelevant given the fact that you have registered the firearm as a 10 shot magazine capacity.

(26) The 7615' supplied magazine is the same size as the AR15 magazine.

(R26) not relevant as the AR15 magazine is aftermarket and does not effect your ability to use this firearm with the factory supplied 10 round magazine.

(S27 to S30) Not relevant given the registration of the Remington 7615P magazine capacity 10 rounds.

Submission Conclusion:

(1) Public Interest test White v Woolcock

(2) Demonstrated genuine need for magazine capacity over 10 rounds

(3) Classification of weapons based on tag on exhibit

(4) Inability to locate magazines: Vektor 1-15

(5) Inability to import magazines for 7615P



(1) The `public interest' test applied in the matter of White v Woolcock did not argue the merits of the danger to the public based on after market modification of weapons that could potentially increase the magazine capacity ten fold from the manufactures design intention. As you are no doubt aware the Remington 7615 is promoted as a tactical duty/patrol rifle for law enforcement and federal agencies, not as a target or recreational weapon.

The public interest consideration in this case is reflected in the object of the Weapons Act 1990 (the Act) that weapon possession and use is subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety. Section 3(b) of the Act provides in part that public and individual safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons. In determining if the public interest is being compromised it is necessary to look at the potential harm and how to minimise that risk. In this case, making possession of these weapons conditional on the licensee not possessing larger capacity magazines in conjunction with the weapon enhances the safety of the public and individuals.

(2) There is no evidence, other than a number of self serving statements in the submission that you have a genuine need for high capacity magazines for category B rifles. When offered the perfect opportunity to show this need at renewal of your Firearms Licence you chose to merely rely on your approved club membership as the basis of your application. If you had a demonstrated genuine and prolonged need for high capacity magazines for vermin control you would have identified properties within the State that you have been assisting with vermin control so the veracity of your claims could be tested. With nothing other than your statement to the effect that you have this need there is no tangible evidence to substantiate the claimed need.

(3) The purpose of attaching a tag to evidence is not to classify it, the purpose is to mark it for later identification in court proceedings. Research 1 have conducted indicates the Cobray M10 is also know as the Ingram Model 10 which is described as "a cheap sub rnachinegun"10 which would make it in layman terms a Category R weapon.

(4) Inability to locate lower capacity magazines for Vektor H5, despite your comments, I stand by my previous advice that the Vektor H5 was sold with a 5 round magazine. Additionally I have contacted the manufacturer who have responded with the following information, 'we are in the process of assessing the stock situation w.r.t. the 5 round configuration magazines that you are interested in. I have 2x polymer 5 round magazines in my possession which I am willing to pass on to you in the meantime.'11 This satisfies me that 5 round magazines exist and are available for the Vektor H5.

(5) Inability to import magazines for the 7615P, this is not an issue to the extent that Remington have indicated that they are manufacturing a `low profile 10 round magazine'' and the weapon you possess is already fitted with a 10 round magazine. This is a matter which would need to be addressed with the ACS should you wish to import further magazines.

In relation to your submissions 30 to 54 in your letter dated 4 November 2005 I note that you state that the submissions are 'only intended for if the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 are amended' however a number of issues raised in your letter require a response to ensure that all issues you have raised are considered in making any decision.

Firstly I repudiate any claim that offering you the opportunity to provide written submissions on why your licence condition should not be changed is 'nothing more than a deliberate stalling attempt until new amendments are made to the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997_' The purpose of offering you the opportunity to respond is a requirement of section 25 of the Act It is merely ensuring the process provided in the Act is complied with, nothing more and nothing less.

Your submissions 31 to 39 relate to the issue of PTA and are not relevant to this matter,

Your submissions 40 to 46 relate to weapons other than Category B weapons with higher magazine capacities greater than the manufacturers intent and is therefore not relevant.

In relation to your submission 47 it is clearly evident that the Vektor H5 was advertised as including 2 magazines (5 shot)'. Research I have conducted indicates that the H5 was available as stated with the 5 round magazines.

In relation to submission 48, the designation of magazines as high capacity is a determination of the Australasian Police Minister's Council, not the Weapons Licensing Branch.

In relation to submission 49 the advertisement clearly states the weapon includes 2 x 5 round magazines. There is no mention in the advertisement of the weapon being manufactured with higher capacity magazines nor is there mention that the weapon will take magazines intended for other weapons, ie aftermarket magazines.

In relation to submissions 50 to 53 you claim the Remington 7615P is a 'sporting' rifle as it was used in the 2005 5.11 Challenge. Research I have conducted on the Remington website indicates the 7615P is a 'patrol rifle' not a sporting model. The 5.11 Challenge is a tactical shooting competition that is restricted to 'Law Enforcement Officers'14 it is not a sports shooting competition open to the general public and shot at approved Queensland Clubs. Claiming that the use of the 7615 P patrol rifle by police at a closed event makes it a sporting rifle is erroneous and does not provide any additional point of argument for why the weapon should not be limited to the manufactures 10 round magazine capacity.

In response to your conclusion, at no time has it been stated the Vektor H5 is a 'new technology.'  From my knowledge of this weapon and as is evident from the advertisement these weapons have been available since early 1997. However the Vektor H5 was imported as a 5 round magazine capacity (as manufactured). The Vektor 1-15 is one of the weapons that have been identified (by your admissions) as being capable of being fitted with an aftermarket magazine that dramatically increases the magazine capacity and therefore becomes a public interest consideration. The fact that the 7615P can accept 'AR-15 style' magazines does not alter the fact the weapon was manufactured to take a 10 round magazine as standard. In fact research I have conducted indicate that there are other weapons manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms which sell with a 10 round 'AR-15 style' magazine as the standard.


In relation to your claims that the 7615P is a `sports rifle' because you where issued a PTA for it to be added to your sports or recreational licence, I note that in your PTA application you have stated that you `currently wish to acquire this collectable weapon for use in sports & recreational shooting, as this weapon is a police weapon, is marked as a police model, & is precision built & designed for reliable shooting' 5. You have also stated that the weapon has a magazine capacity of 10 rounds. Contrary to your claim you have not specifically identified the use for the weapon, you have claimed it as being collectable, for sporting use and for recreational shooting. You also state that it by its markings a police model, not a sporting rifle. The sports model equivalent is the model 7600 which is designed as a 4 round magazine.


I have considered your submissions and the compact disk of the Port Arthur Massacre. I have considered all of the issues and believe that it is consistent with the expectations of the public that licences should be restricted to the manufactures specified magazine capacities.


In all the circumstances I consider that you have not provided any substantive reason why the amendment to your licence condition should not be altered as proposed.




1 The Act supra s15(4)
2 The Act supra s15(4)(a)(i)
3 The Act supra s15(4)(a)(iv)
4 The Act supra s16(1)(b)(ii)
5 The Act supra s 25(1) & (6)
6 The Act supra s3(1)(a) & (b)
7 The Act supra s3(1)(a) & (b)
8 Email from [email protected] 28/10/05
9 Renewal application 23/11/2003
10 Illustrated Guide to Combat Weapons
11 Email from IWL Denel Corporation 7 October 2005.
12 Remington website
13 Document 33B submitted by T Powell 4 November 2005
15  PTA application received 26 August 2005





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