SA Police Looking To Restrict PTA Approvals for “Large Calibres”

| February 26, 2010 | 25 Comments

The SA Police Firearms Registry are looking to ensure that owners or applicants wanting to get these “Large Calibres” have a genuine reason to own that type of specific cartridge.

The list of cartridges that are being closely looked at are:

50 BMG
460 Steyr
408 Cheytac
375 Cheytac
416 Barrett
338 Lapua Magnum

Whilst these cartridges aren’t banned the Officer in Charge of the Firearms Branch SA Chief Inspector Langmead told the SSAA that now anyone wanting to keep one or apply for a Permit to Acquire would have to justify it proving that they have a “Genuine need/Reason” for owning firearms of those calibres.It seems that only the cartridges above are under fire and its not calibre specific but rather the “scary” cartridges you see above.

Once again this decision is based on paranoia and hyperbole rather than any solid evidence. Whilst this has always been the right of the Firearms Branch in SA to do this it seems odd that they would make this decision when there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that these cartridges in the hands of law abiding citizens are any more dangerous than a 22lr.

It has been rumoured that the so called “Technical Expert” advising The SA Police is a member of the SSAA, is on a personal crusade to put a stop to these military cartridges and is apart of the SSAA hunting and conservation group. It is also rumoured that said “technical expert” owns a 338 Winchester. It is a bit scary when we have people in our own ranks trying to restrict law abiding citizens from own certain cartridges whilst they feel it is perfectly acceptable to own something close to the 338 Lap Mag.

Does this really surprise anyone? Considering the SA Governments attempts at keeping this country behind the times with other controversial rulings such as not agreeing to an R Rating on video games and making it illegal to comment on the election online unless you put your full name along with your comment. It’s hardly democratic and makes me glad I’m not in SA.

NSW is somewhat protect from these sorts of silly decisions at the moment due to the fact that you only elect a firearms category as opposed to a cartridge when applying for a PTA. This may change though as I think that SA is probably the first in a long line of states to try and implement such silly rules.

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Comments (25)

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  1. wadcutter says:

    There is no logic to this. But it seems that we are now going to pay for the lack of fore sight in not getting rifle ranges approved to shoot these sort of cartridges. If we had then we could have used them in competition and would have then had an obvious reason to own them. When they are not used in official competition but only for field shooting by enthusiasts, it is not so transparent that people have a good reason to own them.

    I see that in Europe where the population is so much bigger than South Australia, and there is not as much open space, that the .338 Lapua is very popular. I don’t think that they will ever ban it there as the rifle ranges are designed to safely fire these cartridges.

  2. chris wellington says:

    How backward thinking is that!! next we will have to explain why need a v8 instead of a four cylinder motor car as part of inspection!! Its bad enough that the honest law abiding citz have all ready been mass disarmed. whilst over 35% of surrendered firearms ended up back out in the hands of crooks,now they want to reduce calibre size !!Which will mean another forced but well buttered hand in eg: Martin Bryants weapon was listed in a hand in,in Queensland several months before BROAD ARROW CAFE!!,” rest their souls””If it goes that way i would rather destroy them with my own hands than take part in “operation take thier guns and give them to crooks.. Pisses me off to think that so called educated and gun smart persons running the show can be so dumb!! not to mention national security “” and displaying to the world that we have an open weakness all for the sake of international brownie points!! its always smooth sailing in good weather but can get rough in a blink of an eye and if you dont have a life line because you didn’t think one was needed “YOU DROWN”

  3. Phil Wood says:

    the bad thing about this is it is in the law for Genuine need/Reason all that has happened that an officer has started enforcing it with the above cartridges

    Chris don’t laugh re the V8 thing it may happen as well….

  4. archaos says:

    This is getting out of hand. I own a 338 Lapua and live in NSW, the only range i can take it to now is a 50mtr indoor range. As i hold an R Licence to hunt in State Forests, how now am I to sight my rifle in, at my local range (200mtrs that recently banned 338 Lapua’s, but not 338 win mag, 338FED, 338RUM). What is the excuse for picking a couple of different bullets out of a hat and forgetting the rest. If they ban these are they going to buy them back from us, i hope they have deep pockets to cover all the Accuracy Internationals and TRG’s out there. As for the SSAA, they arent worth my time anymore, they seem to just roll over and play dead, who are fighting for us now, the SSAA take our money, ask us to promote the sport, while in the end they do jack to protect us. The government banned semi-auto rifles, now its this, whats next, soon we will require a permit to own a knife and fork to eat our food with. Our government needs a good kick up the ass, so while they sit down and decide how big there next pay rise is, and where to holiday on a tax payers dollar, we, the tax payer who likes to shoot, gets slowly turned into an extinct species. Its coming, soon the only place you will see a rifle or pistol is in a museum or in a book.

  5. d.j says:

    i think if people have the money to buy these expensive rifles and ammo as i know .338 lap ammo is around $10 per round and the rifle to shoot this ammo $10600 then let them they paid for the privilege to do so all that needs to be done to fix this problem is make ranges that can handle the ballistics let them shoot there and get on with more pressing matters as this topic is costing money and time that could be better used elsewhere

  6. AJW says:

    Phil you are dead right. The law needs to be changed to remove the genuine need/reason so that some government bureacrat (police officer) cannot make a snap decision on what you and I can and can’t have. In a democracy like ours laws are meant to be enacted by parliament not by some government carpet stroller in a firearms branch somewhere. Shooters – get off your collective as** and vote for the Shooters Party. Support those who support you. Archaos – the SSAA are just a lobby group, the Shooters Party is the one we really need to support.

  7. old boy says:

    As for me , I will not ever vote for the Laboural party ever again in this country, first the bastards banned semi autos with ” flak jacket” jonnie, then next were crossbows ( reason to own ?? )……soon you won’t be able to piss in the bush without some bureau-crap taxing/fining/watching you.

    the SSAA lost my support in 98, would not p#$% on them if they were on fire and scumbags run amuck !.

    What as ANZAC day for I ask ? it was a total waste of good men’s lives to protect this place

  8. Tony Reid says:

    “From time to time the tree of Liberty needs watering with the blood of tyrants ….. and of patriots” Thomas Jefferson

    As far as the ranges problem goes, the one thing Australia has in abundance is wide open spaces! …. how the hell did such a bunch of pricks get in charge of things firearm in the (once) “lucky country”?

    NZ has it’s fair share of dick-head cops who cannot seem to comprehend the basic ideals of a free country either, fortunately, they tend to get shown up in court for the idiots they are.

  9. shasne says:

    High iam new to the sport of hunting,target shooting and i enjoy it very much i have purchased a 338lapua mag.

    Now does this mean that i will have to hand it back with my ,416 barrett if so will they pay me what i have paid for these rifles.

    I would rather destroy them then give them to the police for next to nothing why do they take all the fun out of the sport iam thinking about moving to the usa as they respect the shooters that they have.

    I hate the police for what they think is write they should get a life and do some real police work and let us shooters look after ourself.

    I have allways voted for labour,in the past but now when ever i vote it will be for the shooters party i can promise u that.

  10. Mark says:

    I wish I could afford to shoot a Lapua!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have one in ye old safe but AT near $10 a pop for factory, you may get this down to about $5 reloading, is a little more than I am prepared to spend to send downrange at paper.


  11. Busaboy says:

    I want to know who is willing to publicise the name of the selfish crusader in the SSAA that is selling out shooters rights of these caliber weapons. SOme of us already know who he is adn will get a vote of no confidents at the next sSpecial meeting this month. The meeting this months will be a good chance to bring a vote of no confidence and remove this traitor from the shooters ranks and employ someone who will look after our rights. SSAA are now looking to change their constitution to kick out anyone that doesnt agree with them or are considered to be antagonistic to their cause. This is where all large caliber members should be voting at St Marys this month. Go to the site and look at the proposed changes to the constitution. What a joke. These changes are only there to protect th traitors within the organisation and let them do want they want. If you dont agree they’ll juts kick you out. We cant just leave the SSAA…. we need to make them fight for ALL SHOOTERS OF ALL CALIBERS by changing the people at the top of the organisation, especially the one that nchas casued all the issues with high caliber weapons and lobbied the Firearms registry with respect to Safety templates. He’s gotta go. I dont know him personally but ANYONE that stops our the shooters right to shoot what he/she wants to shoot is not good for the sport in Australia. He’s looking after his political career not US.

    ***Meeting details****:Special general meeting of SSAA (NSW) Sydney Branch on 24th March, commencing at 7pm, at the St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre, appeared in the February 2011 SSAA (NSW) Inc. newsletter (NSW Shooter). They havent even put it up on their website until 2 days ago.

    To find out more about the Annual General Meeting goto

    For comments of many who dont agree with the comments already in the SSAA goto.

    If you are a large caliber shooter and want to stand up for your rights. Please turn up to this meeting this is a time to stand up for YOUR rights. Also, we must fight to ensure that we can sight up our larger caliber weapons at Silverdale range for hunting.They must be forced into a no bargaining situation. Many of us have had negative experiences at Silverdale and have had to experience their discrimination and poor attitudes. We know they shoot larger caliber weapons than the Lap 338 there.

    If you dont go then you cant complain as your inaction will continues to support the rants of so called experts on their own crusades.

  12. Fair go Citizen says:

    I know I’m gonna get some flack here but hear me out. Reason for owning is a valid question, do young experienced shooters (not all mind you) who dont stop to think of their fall of shot really need a .50 Cal rifle or .338 for that matter. As was pointed out, they are powerful but bloody expensive. The firearms branches in each state only submit and advise government. People need to recognise that gun owners are in the minority and arguments need to be made out in a logical non emotive way or the “Anti Mob” will brand well meaning but illconcieved statements as the rantings of the next Martin Bryant. I urge people to think and act resposibly. If you make an off the cuff comment, such as quoting historical “American” gun supporters then unfortunately it looks like your a member of the NRA, who dont get a good wrap in their own country some times. We dont have the “Right to bear arms” we have the privilege of licensing and gun ownership as laid out in our various statutes. Lobbying and responsible gun ownership is the only way to go. John Howard is a “Liberal” by the way, it was his government who went after gun owners. My thoughts are that JULIAR & her pet GREENS will have a go if we let them too. Just dont give them any more (dare I say it) ammunition to come after us. I speak as a member of various rifle, pistol & hunting clubs and with 20 plus years of military service. Yes, fight the battles but fight smart when you do it & you might be surprised at the results. Chest beating and table thumping will achieve nothing.
    Happy & Safe Hunting.

  13. Keith Drain says:

    But the whole point is mate that we cannot afford to give anything more up. There is no good reason for it. There is no evidence to show that the 338 lap mags are any more of a danger than a 22lr.

  14. Jack Boswell says:

    Keith this is your website and is a credit to you but you have really let the dogs out on this one. Like you I have put my real name to this comment. Rather than hide behind some silly pseudonym. I agree with fair go citizen. If you want to use military rifles by all means join the army. Do something for the country. I have fought with the SSAA on many matters but if you are not a member of the SSAA YOU are the traitors. This ‘tactical’ movement (hysteria) is all new to me. I have a 338Winchester Magnum and a 458 Winchester magnum I have had them for many years. If you think I am the quisling alluded to you’re jumping on the wrong bloke. John Crookes must be rubbing his hands with glee at the idiotic statements that some of you have been making here. Why would anyone support you lot? My history in fighting for shooters rights is well documented. If you are representative of the “tactical crowd” God help us! I have met some of you with your bullshit about shooting deer at 700 metres prone. What do you think someone like Tory Shepherd will do with that? You seem to be desperately trying to give ammunition to the enemy. Do you want to finish off big game hunters as well as the fair dinkum long range target shooters. Of the list mentioned I think that a 338 Lapua is an excellent hunting calibre in a hunting rifle. There are much better calibres for civilian long range shooting. What is it about the whole “tactical” mania that has the police force so worried? I was not a bit scared until I read what some of you wankers have written. No wonder you use a silly name the feds must be after you. There are odd people in all fields but you blokes need to grow up. You need to learn about the difference between the gun laws and the police regulations. If you keep poking your tongue out at the police force they will figuratively cut it off using regulations and sidestepping the political process. What was suggested by some of the police commissioners to get rid of the (real or imagined) crazy ‘tacticals’ was to ban all firearms over 8mm calibre. Thanks!

  15. Stephen Barrett says:

    I did hear when I was at FIsher Firearms about a year ago that the head of SAPOLs firearms branch did not think anyone needed anything more than a 30 calibre rifle. I have only caught up on this story recently. Big calibre’s sound expensive to own but some people want to have them and why shouldn’t they, so long as they follow proper firearms handling procedures? I am sure there are guys that like to shoot at very long ranges and why shouldn’t they? There is no harm to anyone else is there? The talk I heard is that, “Sniper”, rifles were being banned. That seems ridiculous as a Sniper is originally only a way of saying someone was a crack shot by being able to shoot the small and agile Snipe Bird. Of course this means almost any rifle can be called a Sniper’s Rifle. I think it is in our best interests to lobby this by contacting MP’s and the like. A bit like Japanese Whaling. They don’t care that much about the Whaling but they really care about their ability to fish. So for them it is much better to fight for Whaling as it stops anyone fighting them on fishing. I am sure if you did a count the most popular rifles after the 22LR would be things like 223Rem, 243Win, 270Win and 308Win and I suppose there are enough 30-06′s too. I think the larger calibre’s are much less common but we don’t want them getting rid of the big ones because once they do that they will start on the 30′s and work their way through them all.

  16. Jack Boswell says:

    Each state is very different. WA has always had ridiculous gun laws and attitude to shooters, there is a preponderance of newly arrived British citizens and they bring different attitudes to the eastern states.

  17. ScottW says:

    At the end of a day a rifle is a rifle.

    1. The object being shot at isn’t concerned about the calibre of bullet about to strike it. 22LR can kill you just as dead as a 50BMG.

    2. The object being shot at isn’t concerned about the rifle that sent the bullet. It could be pink, black, tacticool, a collectors piece, or a beat up hunting rifle. What counts is whether its going to hit the target.

    Why ban specific calibres or styles of rifle? If someone can afford a pink ‘Hello Kitty’ tacticool rifle in 50 BMG let them. As long as they use it responsibly it’s no different than your favourite hunting rifle.

    The key is to take the responsibility of firearm ownership seriously. As long as you act responsibly and within the law I couldn’t care what style or calibre of rifle you have.

    Jack’s last comment hits the magic word “attitude”. That’s all that counts…having the right attitude towards responsible firearm ownership.

  18. Jack Boswell says:

    I am an admirer of the sense of your comments. But you are not in a debate with other shooters with me as the adjudicator. There are some reality shocks :
    1. Only about 5% of the population care about our rights to shoot; us.
    2. The law says that a firearm must be habitually used from the shoulder.
    3. Category B firearms must have a legitimate reason i.e. target or vermin control and you must be able to prove your NEED for that firearm.
    4. This is a nation of shop keepers who work hard and live in cities. They do not care about what you do in your spare time unless they are worked up in a frenzy of fear by the Murdock media which hates us.
    5. The rifles under discussion are very scary ones. That is what attracts the “tactical” image people to them. The very capability of the real tactical weapons is what frightens the voting public, the cop on the beat and the police commissioners who have the power of regulation.
    6. What sort of people are prepared to pay huge amounts of money ($5000-$10000 or more) for a rifle which is inferior for both hunting and target shooting? But very very good for shooting PEOPLE: Are they terrorists? revolutionaries? Crazy? Or just juveniles who do not care about any one else; least of all other shooters.
    7. Australia is a completely different country to America. We don’t have a bill of rights let alone a second amendment.
    8. The police officer in charge of registration of ranges has the power to veto any type of firearm he chooses. The organization has the right to appeal but the odds on winning this one are astronomical; the club has the right to ban any firearm that endangers anyone or endangers their registration and hence existence.
    9. All the fuzzy motherhood statements about not letting the thin edge of the wedge etc does not cut the mustard on this one with me. I blame the importers for this predicament. Ask them for your money back! I am not throwing them under the bus , they are driving the bus straight for the train with us in the back seat with them. I have as much sympathy with them as I have for road sign shooters, poachers and others who give shooters a bad name. You do not NEED a bazooka.
    10. If you have not convinced me? lots of luck with the media, police, politicians, voters.
    I think with my brain not my heart. If you keep poking your tongue out at the police everybody will delight in cutting it off.

  19. Jason Lownds says:

    Patrick, don’t read too much into Jack’s comments! Luckily he is in the minority when it comes to shooters. Name calling is something new from him though, he’s usually too busy telling everyone how well educated he is etc etc. What it boils down to with Jack is that he likes to wear a shoulder holster loaded with a .357 smith and wesson for hunting. He’ll quickly tell you that its a target model and he has a permit to use it, which pulls apart his whole arguement about genuine reason etc etc. Owning a target handgun that gets used for hunting!! It seems that Jack thinks a Tactical bolt action rifle is more dangerous to the public than a handgun. It seems that if the police says it’s so, then Jack agrees. Educating the police seems out of reach to Jack.
    However, Patrick there is a plus side. On a recent visit to UTS Kuringai, I had several well educated non-shooters read through several articles and comments on this site and not a single one agreed that Jack’s ideas would be of benefit to shooters. They did however pick apart quite a few spelling and grammer mistakes on my part :)

  20. Norm Nelson says:

    Jack, Jack, Jack,

    I see that you are up to your old tricks. Hanging it on other shooters again just because they like to shoot the big calibres or evil black painted rifles.
    I note with interest that you own a .338 Win Mag. Very nice calibre.
    I have a very nice Sako in .338 Win Mag with a lovely timber stock. Its a lovely rifle to hunt with and I have taken many Sambar with it in the Victorian High country.
    Oh and I also shoot it out to 1200 yards on a regular basis with a mild hand load using the Hornady 250 grain BTHP match bullet.
    Now its not one of those evil tactical rifles that you hate so much but it can match it with the best of them.
    Maybe they should take it off me? Maybe they should take yours off you at the same time?

  21. Greg Hayes says:

    Is there anyone out there that can tell me what the longest range kill for a kangaroo is? I live in Papua New Guinea, I’d like to find out because, I was recently told by someone from Woolongong that they owned a Remington 338 lapua in Austrslia, and quite often shot kangaroos at a range of 1 mile (1600 meters). I am sceptical. Any light shed would be much appreciated. I understand that ballistically the 338 lapua is capable of such a fete but, placing the round on a live target the size of a kangaroo at 1km+ is the stuff of national records I think correct me if I’m wrong.

  22. rhyder says:

    archaos says:

    March 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    This is getting out of hand. I own a 338 Lapua and live in NSW, the only range i can take it to now is a 50mtr indoor range. As i hold an R Licence to hunt in State Forests, how now am I to sight my rifle in, at my local range (200mtrs that recently banned 338 Lapua’s, but not 338 win mag, 338FED, 338RUM). What is the excuse for picking a couple of different bullets out of a hat and forgetting the rest. If they ban these are they going to buy them back from us, i hope they have deep pockets to cover all the Accuracy Internationals and TRG’s out there. As for the SSAA, they arent worth my time anymore, they seem to just roll over and play dead, who are fighting for us now, the SSAA take our money, ask us to promote the sport, while in the end they do jack to protect us. The government banned semi-auto rifles, now its this, whats next, soon we will require a permit to own a knife and fork to eat our food with. Our government needs a good kick up the ass, so while they sit down and decide how big there next pay rise is, and where to holiday on a tax payers dollar, we, the tax payer who likes to shoot, gets slowly turned into an extinct species. Its coming, soon the only place you will see a rifle or pistol is in a museum or in a book.

    shis is so right.but mostly the government need to focus more on whos fit for a licence rather than what guns the licence holders can own

  23. Jeff says:

    I had a custom made Sako TRG in .338 Lap, which I imported myself. It was my pride and joy. The 338 Lap is a work of art when compairing it to anything else. I recently sold it on used guns as I will be moving to NT. I rang the Weapons mob there and they informed mre I would have buckleys of getting it over there. I used the money to purchase a SF version TRG in .338 Lap in New Zealand. Best thing I have ever done was get a house there. If you want a target rich environment and an understanding public, go to New Zealand. Look at

  24. Karl says:

    WA Firearms is no longer licencing 338′s and above. It’s a mandatory appeal ($310) to the State Administrative Tribunal now if you want to shoot a 338 or above.

    People shoot all sorts of firearms for all sorts of reasons. Afficionados enjoy shooting 338′s and the higher cost is immaterial to the debate. Who cares if someone shoots twenty $10 rounds a year? Who cares if they want to camouflage it up and not use it to hunt with?…As long as they don’t go armed in public to cause fear it should be their choice.

    To me this is another step in the inevitable erosion of private firearm ownership. Unfortunately we are at the whim of the wider non-shooting community who prefer to watch swimming at the Olympics (how dare D’Arcy and Monk pose with licensed firearms for a social photo!).

  25. Matt says:

    If you think there is no need at all for a .338 lap mag then you obviously are narrow sighted. I am a contract shooter, I use a Blaser Tac II .338 lap mag (oh no it has tactical in its name) for long range (longest standing at 1576 meters) killing of goats and pigs. The areas that I shoot in do not allow you to get close due to the extreme ruggedness of the terrain. It’s people like you who convince others that there is no reason for these guns what so ever. Really you should quit while your behind.

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