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AdamJT

Light guns & Australian Customs

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Hi all, first time poster, long time Launchboxer. B|

I wanted to get people's experience/opinions/advice on an issue I've run into as an arcade-shooter fan living in Australia, & also post this a caution to anyone in Aus who might be thinking of buying a light gun from overseas.

I was about to spend approx. $170 AU on importing an AimTrak Lightgun from the US, having learned that they're the most compatible across a wide range of games & emulated platforms. Then I ran across some people online saying that they've had their arcade guns seized by Australian customs as 'Replica or Imitation Firearms'!? There are some rather strenuous gun laws in this country- & it seems to be that you can't even import a giant plastic thing in the rough shape of a gun without running the risk of getting into a whole lot of trouble, or at the very least losing your $170...

Here's the issue

https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Impo/Proh/Firearms-and-weapons/imitation-firearms

"Imitation Firearms are defined as a copy or reproduction or has the appearance of a firearm that could reasonably be taken to be a firearm.

This can include goods such as ornaments and arcade or video game controllers.

...

To import imitation firearms into Australia, police certification in the form of a B709A Form - Importation of Firearms – Police Confirmation and Certification Form is required.

...

The original B709A Form must be presented to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection at the time of importation."

 

I suppose I can understand it in the wake of 3d-printing, thanks to that guy who created printable weapons. But this is an awful lot of bureaucracy for a game-controller, it really comes down to it being misclassifed as an imitation firearm.

Not many guns I've seen have a lead running out of the grip and a big red button on the side for launching special attack O.o

If you want to import an "Imitation Firearm" you have to get a permit/license from the police before hand, once you finally get the approval (good luck with that)... I think most people give up at this point.

I did find a caveat however, (at least in NSW legislation not sure if it applies to the whole country) http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1996/46/part1/sec4d

(Ahem!) Firearms Act 1996 No 46, Part 1, Section 4D, Paragraph 4 states (phew!):

"an imitation firearm does not include any such object that is produced and identified as a children’s toy."

So I imagine that would be the way to get them in. Just say they're for the kids ;-)

Edited by AdamJT

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I was living in perth when i purchased my Aimtrak... this issue also crossed my mind... i ended up finding a store in AU that stocked the Aimtrak LightGuns so i just purchased it from there. 

 

I have since moved to NZ and i took my gun with me.... no worries at all with customs.

Edited by Mute64
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Cheers Mute

I did some more searching and managed to find them at a place called austinamusements.com.au

I e-mailed them this afternoon to make sure, and they said they'd had a fair amount of trouble with customs themselves. Apparently having their orders held up for months, or being returned to sender in the UK.

The ones they have now are in Australia, so they assured me there won't be any issues with delivery.

Awesome!

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How interesting... I've toyed with the idea of buying AimTrak's for years and just never pulled the trigger (so to speak... ;) ). I've heard they're not particularly high quality, however I was talking to someone who's lived and breathed the world of Arcade's for 20+ years, so he's used to the kind of products in TimeZone etc, built to take a battering from the general public.

I'm interested to know how you get on with the AimTrak as a product....

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I collected my AimTrak from the post-office the other day & I've been messing around with it in MAME. So far it's been pretty good fun.

There's been a few glitches but it seems like it's just the MAME emulator, and usually it's with games that have a different control config (i.e. machines with a joystick mounted gun controller). Getting the controller set up correctly in MAME for the various types of machines is probably the biggest obstacle (I find MAME Arcade makes it easier). You can also set it to emulate a joystick with the Ultimarc software but I haven't felt the need to bother with that yet.

Most of the available games are in MAME, but there's a couple of Rail-shooters on Steam & possibly some Wii stuff through Dolphin.

Apparently the Nes + SNES cores (and fingers-crossed PS1??) in RetroArch have light gun support, so the next step for me will be working that out...

Thraxol - I couldn't tell you how it compares to a real arcade set-up... Maybe a little bit jittery? (though that could be the coffee lol). As far as compatibility though it's probably the best thing on the market.

Edited by AdamJT

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Interested to hear how you go with PS1 compatibility.... if it holds up like a gcon for point blanks and time crisis games I'll totally get one.

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Yea ive got ps1, model 2, mame working with it.... and once i get fibre hooked up so i can get some ps2 games ill do that.

 

.... there may also be in the near future a new "mouse plugin" for pcxs2 emulator so ill be keeping an eye out on that one.

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