Australia | NSW Supreme Court Decision a Disaster for Gun Owners

Australia: NSW Supreme Court Decision a Disaster for Gun Owners
Australia: NSW Supreme Court Decision a Disaster for Gun Owners

Arizona -( In 2017, when I visited Australia, Donald Eykamp had an ongoing appeal at the New South Wales Supreme Court. That case has been resolved. The decision came down on 18 December 2017. I was unable to obtain a copy of the decision until after I had returned to Australia. I carefully read the decision, then conferred with an Australian barrister.

The decision was a disaster for gun owners. It gave the New South Wales Police everything they asked for. Then, it gave them things they did not ask for.

For a while, the politics looked promising. The New South Wales government passed a firearms reform measure that gave the police some discretion about confiscating guns in gun storage cases. That legislation went into effect in November of 2017.

The appeals process took about a year and a half, a bit longer than average. In the end, the court ruled on a number of things, all with bad results for the gun owner.

Here is a summation of the ruling:

The police had no discretion to *not* confiscate the guns. The law required them to confiscate them.  The new law did not apply because the law was different at the time of the original offenses.

The judge had no discretion to order the guns be sold and the proceeds given to the gun owner.

The judge had no discretion to order any of the guns destroyed. That power was reserved to the police.

The court had no discretion to legally separate non-firearms parts (in this case, expensive European telescopic sights) from the rifles or to negotiate to return those multi-thousand dollar items to the gun owner.

The Supreme Court judge acknowledged the law was harsh in this case but said that the law was meant to be harsh.

I had the pleasure of seeing some of Donald Eykamp’s collection of pre-1964 Winchester model 70 Super-grade rifles. They are beautiful rifles that are over 40 years old. They were topped with some of the best European telescopic sights that money can buy.

Perhaps the New South Wales police will see the wisdom of selling these valuable cultural artifacts, instead of simply destroying them for no significant reason.

The only legal avenue left to New South Wales gun owners is the legislative one. There is a tendency for harsh and irrational laws to be modified and made less burdensome over time. On the other hand, the American experience with drug laws shows that bad law can be made worse; legislatures can double-down on bad law. The American experience with forfeiture law abuses is a good example.

The recent Tasmanian election results are encouraging for gun law reform in the Australian state of Tasmania.

At the present, it seems unlikely that Australians will regain an “Englishman’s right to arms” that would have been in the rights guaranteed in the Australian Constitution of 1900.  But Englishman’s rights were only in common law, and not specifically written down.

The advantage of the American Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment in preventing the loss of rights is obvious.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“Perhaps the New South Wales police will see the wisdom of selling these valuable cultural artifacts, instead of simply destroying them for no significant reason.”

Unfortunately wisdom and the New South Wales police do not go together.


Thomas Wooler “The Black Dwarf” 1817
The people ought to have remembered that they were the guardians of the Constitution. Instead of that the simpletons expected protection from the Constitution; which in fact is nothing but the recorded merits of our ancestors.

Magna Carta was only enacted because our ancestors were determined to be free.

Our ancestors, with swords in their hands and the tyrant John on his knees before them, would have been just as free, whether they had insisted upon the signature of Magna Carta, or not. Their freedom was in their power and their will.

Carlo Di Falco

I live and grew up in Tasmania. As a youngster I brought my first firearm in a second hand store. Along with the rows of .22s, shotguns and bolt and semi auto firearms, there were rows of mil surp semi autos. Back then I didn’t need a license which didn’t come in until 1991. Martin Bryant managed to buy the firearms he used at Port Arthur without having one. Despite the ease of buying M14s, Garands, 30M1 carbines and others as well as other now banned firearms (no license and no background checks) , there was no mass shooting in… Read more »


“The advantage of the American Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment in preventing the loss of rights is obvious.”

Like in NY . . . or CT . . . RI – NJ – MA – MD – CA . . . any and every major city . . . did I miss anything?

So far OUR Supreme Court has been more worried about imperative CAKE legislation than it has been concerned with restoring the US Bill of Rights!


I was born and lived in Australia until the mid ’80s. Gun laws were relaxing over this time span; no semi-autos with pistol grips (modern ex-military) and no pistols without impossible to get permits. The tipping point came there were more anti-gun than pro gun votes. Like Canada, most people in Australia live in the big capital cities. The countryside in Canada is mostly frozen wilderness and Australia is desert wilderness. In cities guns are see as the items associated with all the ‘bad’ news reports just like here. Hunting was being restricted as all indigenous animals were protected species.… Read more »


I agree and our most potent new members should be young women and mothers.. Unfortunately, many women are easily swayed into thinking guns are evil when they watch reports showing school kids shooting other kids. They then become powerful voices for the anti gun lobby. We need as many pro gun women as men. I also think it is time for a young woman to head up the NRA. Not because a man isn’t qualified, but because a woman will be more effective at bringing more women into the world of shooting.

dava golino

welcome to the maximum compliance to EU Influence.the EU is the major Influence in all this. GUN CONTROL IS AN insurgency. the destruction of this country. a step in the plan by a Foreign agenda, these progressive EU sell outs will not understand what the 2nd amendment is until the EU DIRECTS the UN, the German Army under the direction of Brussels, and the Chinese armies the put them in death camps. they do not realize they are pawns and will not get any special treatment. that is why any sane person needs a tool to defend this Republic. the… Read more »


Unfortunately Australia has fallen in to the trap that every other country that England controlled. The people are not citizens, they are subjects of a repressive form of government. No guns keep the sheeples under their thumb. t is a shame Ekamp lost all his guns that he had been collecting for years but that is a good example of what happens when you allow a government to rule over you. There is no right given to the little Hitlers that do this but they take it anyway if you let them.

Kevin Cote

Guns are for the sole purpose to depose tyranny in every form. Australia had better use them for that purpose…


Don’t be to quick to rely on “we have the second amendment” the communist in our midst are doing everything possible to destroy the 2A and take your freedoms away. Two recent examples from just last week: The guns and ammunition of a 56-year-old Lighthouse Point, Florida, resident were confiscated by police in what is reportedly the first such seizure under gun control laws signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) last week. The Orlando Sentinel reports that “four firearms and 267 rounds of ammunition” were taken from the man, and he was “taken to a hospital for involuntary psychiatric treatment.”… Read more »

Don Brown

Never turn in your guns. Laws that prevent you from defending yourself or family goes against human rights to defend against man or beast. Don Brown. USA

Missouri Born

Is Australia still a penal colony for England or are they a country of their own?


Russia down under…


You who think our constitution protects you in today’s age are only fooling yourselves.. When the govt has no repect for it or you it means nothing.. What protects our rights is the fact that there are still more of us armed than them.. That piece of paper called a constitution is not doing that. The threat of 150,000,000 armed citizens is what is keeping them in check. As long as we never surrender the arms, REGARDLESS of what laws they pass we will remain free. The constitution is a great read, but ONLY valid if you also have a… Read more »


@patrick- You are correct sir. The biggest problem we face as a nation is our government. Thus the need for the founders to write the second ammendment into our constitution. Where a people are without weapons tyranny flourishes.


It’s a reality in canada, police will confiscate all firearms on any 911 call when someone is threatened, or misuse of firearm

John Dunlap

It is not words on paper that have protected our rights, though that certainly hasn’t hurt. No, what has truly given the would be tyrants pause is that we keep overtly demonstrating the will to resist.


John: Everytime the antis bring up the old “well, we’ll take them from you after we pass a law”, I remind them of NY’s SAFE Act where there is an estimated 7-8% compliance rate and somewhere around a dozen Sheriff’s departments who have openly stated they would not, under any circumstances, enforce it. That usually shuts them up for about five seconds until the divert off track onto some other rant. Aussies have, unfortunately, reached a tipping point. The courts will not preside justly and the most heavily populated areas are dominated by what we term Liberals. They are left… Read more »

Douglas Kuykendall

This is what happens when you have no constitution.This is why other countries hate what we have