I received an email from a friend (Hi Julie) alerting me to a news article about new regulations coming into force on Saturday that prohibit possession of crossbows in West Oz.
The regulations - note that well, REGULATIONS, not LAWS - change the status of crossbows from "controlled weapons" to "prohibited weapons". This is being done under the regulatory powers of the Police Act, so it does not need to be, and has not been, discussed and passed by parliament.
As a consequence of the change, mere possession can result in fines up to $36,000 and jail terms up to 3 years. No other illegal conduct is required.
This is wrong on so many levels:
1. There is no provision for compensation. People are being deprived of property - the laws of Oz require just and reasonable compensation.
2. The law criminalises and demonises people who have committed no crime.
3. Legal possession on Friday becomes illegal possession on Saturday with no action by the owner.
4. Existing owners are not known to the police, so notification consists of a small news item on a media website. If you miss that, instant criminal.
5. No amnesty is provided for by the regulation change. If you can't destroy the item, or hand it in to a police station, by Saturday, instant criminal. If you try and hand it in on Monday, instant criminal.
All this because of ONE death where the killer used a crossbow.