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  Hi from South Africa
« on: September 04, 2013, 20:05:34 PM » by KevinF
Hi everyone

My wife, Elise, and I are a psychologists in private practice in Pretoria, South Africa, and are exploring the possibility of emigration to Malta.

Many years ago, I found myself in the possibly uncommon position of having Elise inform me that - given the escalating crime levels in SA - not only did she require a firearm for herself, but that I WOULD also buy one for myself! Since then, shooting has become a family activity! 

Given that we as a family are also a shooting nuts, it seemed to me that  joining this forum and getting to know fellow fans in Malta would be an appropriate thing to do!

As an aside, it is very clear to me that the ownership and use of firearms in Malta and South Africa differ significantly. I have decided to post a bit of background info iro myself and my family, despite the fact that some of this might be a bit foreign to European sensitivities. I actually do look forward very much to living somewhere where the crime levels do not make SD / EDC a necessity!

I have been shooting IDPA since around 2006 and have been an IDPA/SADPA safety officer since around 2009. Elise does not shoot competitively, but does practice often. Recently we obtained an S&W Shield for her for SD. She also has - and loves - a Walther PPK 7.65.

My two daughters both shoot IDPA with me. I shoot a G23 or a G27 (which is also my SD/EDC). My eldest daughter, who is 23 , is a fanatical BHP fan - she becomes extremely irritated when some well-meaning "first-tier firearm" lover dares to suggets that she should upgrade to a more "modern" firearm! We have recently obtained a S&W 380Bodyguard for her for SD. My younger daughter, who is 20, shoots an S&W M&P9. She doesn't yet have an SD firearm, but given the fact that she survived a hijacking attempt last week, we probably need to revisit that. My eldest daughter and I also participate in DMG, but that is a topic for another day.

I have only recently started to hunt and presently use a Marlin 336 30-30, set up with a Zeiss 3-9 x 40 scope -  which is a perfect bushveld calibre out to around 170m on up to Black Wildebeest / Kudu size game. Next on the list would probably be a 7x64, one day when I can afford it! I guess that the hunting opportunities available in SA would probably be what I would miss most should we make the move!

I look forward to getting to know you all better

Kind regards

Kevin
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  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 07:16:33 AM » by LongShanks
Hi Kevin,

First off, welcome to the forum.. in a nutshell , the following is what it takes to own a firearm in Malta. There were some minor changes to the legislation recently , but this is how it was up to a year or two ago. Guys please feel free to correct me if you know of specific important changes. This is what I went thru with my club. Other clubs might take slightly different approaches, but as regards Police permits and stuff its always the same.

I think for foreigners things might be a bit more complex. Maybe requiring some more time and documentation, but I know for sure it can be done.

IMPORTANT NOTE !  In Malta, guns are for sport shooting / collection only . There is no legislative provision for Concealed Carry / Home defence or stuff like that.  Having said all this , crime in Malta is pretty low. Putting in bluntly.. more often than not, people involved in crimes using firearms have-it-coming .

Currently, to own any of the licences below , you have to:

1)   Always be a member of a local club,
2)   do a probationary period with the club,
3)   a small course in gun safety
4)   A mock exam with the club
5)   When you pass the mock exam , a Letter Of Recommendation ( LOR ) will be issued from the club for the police for you to be able to apply for the exam
6)   Do an exam with the police regarding gun-safety and Maltese gun law
7)   If you pass the police exam,  then you will be issued your licence/s and  allowed to buy a firearm according to the licences you pay for

The whole process to get the Licence first time usually takes a few months if everything is in order.

For those who have a Target Shooter licence  ( A or B ) you can only 'carry' from house to range ( in the luggage boot ) with the 'most expeditious route possible', and only during daylight .


Types of Licences

Target Shooter A - Any 10 modern ( post 1946 ) handguns and/or rifles as long as they are semi-auto.

Target Shooter B Shotgun - Any tactical shotgun ( pump or semi ) barrel no shorter than 20 inches ( not hunting or clay pigeon )
Target Shooter B Clay Pigeon
Target Shooter B Airgun - Any airgun
Target Shooter B Black Powder - Any black powder firearm
Target Shooter B Airsoft
Target Shooter B Paintball

Collector Licence A - Any 10 modern ( post 1946 ) handguns and/or rifles as long as they are semi-auto

Collector Licence B - Any firearm up to 1946 including full-auto ( cannot shoot these ever, anywhere )
                              - I think inherited firearms have to fall on this licence as well, at first.
                              Then moved later to another licence if it is allowed.
Expenses

In Summary , you have these expenses every year ( prices are approximate )
20 euro             for club memebership
13 euro             for insurance
16 euro             for the fact that you own weapons ( This cannot be renewed with the police if you have not paid your club membership )
7.50 euro          per type of licence ( for example TSA and TSB Shotgun )

One off expenses
25 Euro             for Gun-Safety course with the club



Hunting Shotguns were always allowed previously. That is a totally different licence and has nothing to do with the above. These have a minimum barrel length of 24 inches.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 07:27:41 AM by LongShanks »
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Food for tought ... " If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything "

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 08:43:28 AM » by XCapt
Some clarifications to the above:

For those who have a Target Shooter licence  ( A or B ) you can only transportt from house to range ( in the luggage boot ) with the 'most expeditious route possible', and only during daylight. Firearms must be unloaded.


Types of Licences

Target Shooter A - Any 10 handguns and/or rifles as long as they are not full auto.

Target Shooter B Shotgun - Any tactical shotgun ( pump or semi ) barrel no shorter than 20 inches ( not hunting or clay pigeon )
Target Shooter B Clay Pigeon barrel no shorter than 24 inches
Target Shooter B Airgun - Any airgun
Target Shooter B Black Powder - Any black powder firearm
Target Shooter B Airsoft
Target Shooter B Paintball

Collector Licence A - Any firearm made prior 1946 including full-auto ( cannot shoot these ever, anywhere ) plus Any 10 modern ( post 1946 ) handguns and/or rifles as long as they are not full auto.. Can only be shot if appropriate Target licence obtained.

Collector Licence B - Any firearm made prior 1946 including full-auto ( cannot shoot these ever, anywhere )
                              - A licence for inherited firearms.

No big game hunting in Malta except birds and rabbits.
Hunting Shotguns were always allowed previously. That is a totally different licence and has nothing to do with the above. These have a minimum barrel length of 24 inches and max 2 rounds in magazine.
Not sure if rifled firearms are allowed for rabbit hunting

« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 08:55:03 AM by XCapt »
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Beam me up Scotty. There's no longer any intelligent life down here.

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 10:20:45 AM » by kelinu
No big game hunting in Malta except birds and rabbits. Hunting Shotguns were always allowed previously. That is a totally different licence and has nothing to do with the above. These have a minimum barrel length of 24 inches and max 2 rounds in magazine.
Not sure if rifled firearms are allowed for rabbit hunting. - Air rifles are allowed for rabbit hunting as long as you get a permit from MEPA + own the land or posses a written permit from land owner and having the property clearly marked on a survey sheet as approved on the MEPA permit.
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“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”
― Sun Tzu

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 17:35:26 PM » by KevinF
Hi again everyone

LongShanks, XCapt & kelinu, thank you for the detailed responses - I really wasn't expecting such extensive and comprehensive replies! I appreciate the trouble you went to.

Prior to signing up on the forum, I did a bit of reading on the site and also read up, albeit briefly, on the firearm regulations in Malta and this info expands and clarifies the basic info I already had come across.

I was aware of the fact that firearms in Malta are only licenced for sport or collection, and not for carry or home defence - as I stated in my original post, I quite like the idea of living somewhere where the crime levels are such that it is not necessary to own a firearm for SD!

The licencing requirements in Malta appear significantly easier that in SA, where there is a general limit of 4 firearms per person, of which not more than two may be handguns. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see that semi-auto rifles and pump / semi-auto shotties are as freely available as they are! In SA in order to licence either a semi-auto rifle or shottie we are required to obtain what is know here as "dedicated sports shooter status", which involves all of the bureaucratic hoops that have to be junped through, as well as regular and ongoing participation in registered events in order to maintain the status. Holding DSS status also allows a shooter the possibility of owning more than four firearms, but each firearm has to be individually motivated and licenced.

I do have one one question regarding licencing of hunting rifles. Whilst I accept that there is no big game hunting on Malta, is it permissable to licence a hunting rifle for use on the continent (I have friends in Germany and Scotland, for example)?


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  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 18:26:16 PM » by LongShanks
Hi Kevin,

One thing I have to mention is that although a variety of firearms is available , adequate range facilities are very few. We do not currently have rifle ranges although some progress is being done about that. We mainly have a couple of pistol ranges across Malta and Gozo . In Gozo there is a range licenced for rifle calibers but its not very long , less than 40 metres I think.

This leads to your other question. Most rifle shooters go over to Sicily to try out their rifles in 1 or 2 day trips. There are a few ranges there , 200 m and more . As regards hunting , I think it is possible in some Euro countries , but on that , others are more knowledgable.

Some one will chime in for sure !
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Food for tought ... " If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything "

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 19:45:37 PM » by XCapt
Purchasing any hunting rifle in Malta shouldn't be a problem, as long as it's not full auto.....Smiley
However it must comply with whatever regulations apply to the country you intend taking it to, things like calibre, mag capacity, barrel length etc. You'd be needing a European Firearms pass to transport and use the firearm within the EU. Not a big deal to obtain, but there again some airlines refuse to carry firearms and cartridges........Sad
And expect a lot of hassles with bureaucracy when departing and arriving.
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Beam me up Scotty. There's no longer any intelligent life down here.

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 19:58:42 PM » by K38
Hi Kev

« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 19:28:47 PM by K38 »
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  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 20:57:16 PM » by RB
I do have one one question regarding licencing of hunting rifles. Whilst I accept that there is no big game hunting on Malta, is it permissable to licence a hunting rifle for use on the continent (I have friends in Germany and Scotland, for example)?

As other posters have indicated, yes.

Perhaps some replies may have given the impression that the procedure is arduous, but it is not, the replies are probably a display of irritation at some homegrown rules that are utterly pointless, such as requiring a police officer to assist you in checking in your firearm  Huh and similarly, to welcome you on your return.

WTF, I took my gun abroad, if anyone should have any problem or interest it should be the receiving country, what do they do locally with this "valuable" information?

Even in the UK all you do is seek out the Customs office, they take note of the serial no. and record it, and that's it.

Anyway, rant over, booking a copper is easy enough, and the EFP is yours within a week of requesting it, at no charge.

Most scheduled airlines will carry firearms, it is primarily the low cost airlines such as Ryanair which don't. Airmalta will even carry it FOC if it is within your 20k baggage allowance, else you pay 60 Eur (Return) for up to an additional 32k of sporting goods. AFAIK ammo is OK too, but it must be in a separate container from your firearm, you know, because guns kill, so it may just decide to load itself and go on a mid flight baggage hold luggage massacre...

Thankfully serious crime levels in Malta are low, also as someone pointed out, if you are on the receiving end it would generally be because you well deserved it, several times over!

RB
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The Bright Side: "Sir! We're surrounded!" - "Excellent! We can shoot in any direction!"

  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 11:17:39 AM » by K38
[quote

« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 19:30:13 PM by K38 »
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  Re: Hi from South Africa
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 15:26:49 PM » by KevinF
Hi again everyone

Thanks for the clarification regarding hunting rifles.

K38, The Firearm Control Act in SA has arduous requirements iro legal gun ownership and numerous hoops have to be jumped through. It does, however, have several anomalies. For the general population who do not qualify for "dedicated" status", one has to be 21 or older to licence a firearm and no more than four firearms can be licenced. Of these, only one may be for self defence (ususlly a handgun, but some licence a shottie for this purpose), only one handgun can be licenced for occassional sports shooting. My 20 year old however, does hold dedicated status and there is no age restriction on ownership in this case. The section of the act which allows her to licence a firearm to her name makes provision for "any legal use" of said firearm, which ironically would include concealed carry (open carry is prohibited except for pesons in uniform) and self defence.

In contrast to Malta with your 10 licence limit, there is no limitation on how many firearms an individual holding dedicated status may own - you just have to be able to motivate your need for each firearm, which is pretty easy to do if you belong to IDPA, IPSC (one primary and one backup firearm for each division), SA Hunters (one calibre for any possible hunting scenario you care to define as being "unique"), etc, etc. The flip side, of course, is that your motivation is submitted to a bureaucrat who may or may not have any actual knowledge of firearms and who, on a whim, can decide that you have "not demonstrated an adequate need" for the firearm - without ever having to explain his/her reasons for this decision. There are also no guidelines available detailing what is taken into consideration when making such decisions!

Regarding your question relating to firearm ownership and crime, being a newbie, I am very cognisant of the prohibition on the forum of engaging in political discussion.

Let me answer as follows: Whilst I do not have stats to back up my viewpoint (our police stats iro firearm related incidents do not differentiate between legal and illegal firearms and also do not differentiate between categories such as criminal acts, negligence, suicide, accident, etc), I do not believe that legal firearm owners are involved in firearm related incidents more than what one would expect to find in most other places with relatively high firearm ownership. In fact, I suspect that our stringent licencing requirements might result in such incidents actually being somewaht lower than in the USA, for example.

The causes for the extreme levels of violence, to my mind, have little or nothing to do with legal firearm ownership, but are related to situational, political and cultural issues, amongst others the enormous number of illegal firearms freely available in South Africa - if you know who to ask, a blackmarket AK47 with ammo can be pretty easily obtained for between E20 and E100!

As far as jumping on a plane is concerned, we would love to! There are just a couple of minor inconveniences, such as evaluation of qualifications, registration with the Malta authorities and then actually finding a job!

Of course, if anyone knows of someone needing one or two highly experienced shrinks, please give me a shout! Grin

RB, I am so stealing your tagline!

Regards

Kevin

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 (Read 2063 times) [1]
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