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Owning deactivated firearms in Japan?

Hama

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I know Japan has very strict laws for normal gun ownership, but what's the situation with deactivated weapons? In the UK for example deactivated guns are usually legal to own without a license as long as they've been officially proofed. This includes deactivated guns with some functioning parts (e.g. you can ****, strip, and dry-fire them but can't shoot ammo).

Would something like a deactivated Nanbu Type 14 pistol be legal to own in Japan? Would you require any licensing or other documentation? What would Japanese law classify as 'deactivated'? Any info would be appreciated.

edit: seems a word in that post is being censored. No profanity intended just to be clear, I only meant what you do to make a gun ready for firing. ;)
 

Mike Cash

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Are you contemplating a permanent move to Japan or is this just curiosity?
 

Hama

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Contemplating a move. I've some mates over there who can help me get around while I improve my Japanese (and possibly act as references if I'd need them), but they don't know anything on this particular subject.
 
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Hama

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Thanks, I had a look but didn't see any mention of deactivated firearms. Only thing I could find that might include it was this:
Quasi guns and gun-related accessories are also regulated... Even certain imitation models are banned. Except for manufacturers or exporters, possession of a metal imitation pistol that has a shape bearing a marked resemblance to a real pistol is prohibited. The possession of certain gun silencers, magazines, and barrels is also prohibited even when a person has permission to possess a gun.
That sounds like it might include deacts, which would be pretty sad. If anyone knows for sure though that'd be good to hear.
 

Mike Cash

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Thanks, I had a look but didn't see any mention of deactivated firearms. Only thing I could find that might include it was this:


That sounds like it might include deacts, which would be pretty sad. If anyone knows for sure though that'd be good to hear.
I'd strongly suggest leaving your deactivated firearms where you are unless you can find out with 100% certainty they will be allowed.... which I very strongly doubt. I'll never forget reading a newspaper article several years ago regarding someone who had attempted to bring into the country a 16th century cavalry saber of some historic value. Customs confiscated and DESTROYED it. The owner tried desperately to get them to let him just send it back out of the country, but to no avail.

I once had a horrible dream that my well-intentioned mother had shipped to me my family's entire collection of functioning firearms and ammunition via the mail and that through some miracle they had slipped through Customs and actually been delivered to me. Unless I planned to use them to commit robberies or murders they were as useless as teats on a boar hog. I couldn't simply keep them, for fear of them being found and me ending up in prison. Nor could I get rid of them.


Leave your guns at home, Bill.
 

Hama

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That sounds awful! Yeah definitely wouldn't think of trying to bring even one deac with me until I know for sure what the law is. My collecting interest has primarily been in handguns which Japanese law seems to take an especially harsh view on.
Was also a bit concerned that, since I'd be bringing them in to the country from outside and since they were deactivated to foreign specification, I might not be allowed even if deacs themselves weren't illegal within Japan? For example in Ireland, although most deacs are legal to own without a firearms license, you still need an import license if bringing them from abroad. There's always the option of going through a dealer if you're buying and having them shipped in, but given Japan's stance on guns I doubt there's much of a trade in civvy guns of any kind over there...

Will keep asking around to try and find concrete info on this.
 

johnnyG

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Personally, I hope that anything that has simply been deactivated will not be allowed. Japan is pretty much a gun-free zone, and allowing your "deacts", or whatever you might call them, to come in, is wrong.
 

Hama

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Well, the point of deactivated gun is that it can no longer do harm to anyone, and in my case are collected because of historical interest, not because I like blowing holes in things. But whatever, we'll agree to disagree on whether the idea is "wrong". :)
 

Uncle Frank

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Toy45.jpg When I was stationed in Japan in 1970 & 71 you could buy very real looking cap guns. I bought one like the picture here. The gun was made of a zinc/tin pot metal and all parts but the barrel were interchangeable with a real gun. The bullets were brass with a hollow point where you placed the caps. It had a magazine that the bullets loaded into just like the real pistol. When you fired it , a large flame came out the end of the barrel. There was a German luger and a Japanese Nanbu style also available that were very real looking also. From what I read here , they probably are no longer available. I was amazed at the detail that went into the 45 ; you could field strip it just like a real pistol.
 

Hama

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Hm, well I don't know when the current firearms legislation dates to in Japan, but maybe it's newer than when you were there. Still haven't found any specific mention of deactivated guns one way or the other though, so I'm trying to stay optimistic.

Isn't airsoft legal in Japan? If they allow imitation firearms that could pass as threatening to an untrained eye, I don't see why they wouldn't allow a 70+ year old gun that's had parts welded/removed to be incapable of shooting anymore and in some cases is in an obsolete calibre...
 

Uncle Frank

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A gun of any type in Japan is about as welcome as a heroin filled needle infected with aids , LOL. I had intended to marry a Japanese woman and live in Japan , but the antigun life style drove me back to the states. I come from Maine and hunting and shooting were a major part of my life. Move to the US and you can own and shoot real guns. Here in Maine , you can even carry a concealed pistol without a permit as long as you don't have a criminal background. If you have the money , you can own a full auto machine gun and even silencers once you get all the paperwork and permits passed. I imagine you have to be a US citizen for most of our 2nd amendment rights though.
 

Hama

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Well to be fair I think the U.S goes too far in the other direction in terms of gun ownership (full-auto civvy mgs is mad imo...), but it might be nice if Japanese law at least permitted deacs or antique muzzle-loaders for collection purposes.
You can do more harm to somebody shooting them with an airsoft than you can with an 80 year old revolver that's had the firing pin and most of the rifling removed, a steel pin stuck in the bore, a steel ring stuck in the cylinder to block rounds, and a few other things (partial milling away of the chamber walls and whatnot).
 
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Glenski

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My collecting interest has primarily been in handguns which Japanese law seems to take an especially harsh view on.
Was also a bit concerned that, since I'd be bringing them in to the country
First you talked about just one gun, now you seem to be referring to bringing a whole bunch. Make up your mind. I think that you're going to have to jump through a whole lot of (presumably expensive) hoops. I recall a character in the movie The Yakuza (with Robert Mitchum) displayed an entire wall of swords and firearms in his home in Japan, but that's just the movies.
See a glimpse of that collection at 2:46 here.
 

Mike Cash

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Isn't airsoft legal in Japan?
Yes, it is. And probably largely due to the essentially 100% absence of genuine firearms floating about, there is no real concern over making sure toys look like toys or mandating red or orange tips. To the contrary, there are some very superbly modelled replicas available.

Legal issues in airsoft - Wikipedia

The law is so stringent here that it is actually possible to run afoul of the firearms law with an airsoft gun, by the way. I used to have an airsoft rifle that I modified with an aftermarket spring which gave it sufficient power that, had I been caught with it, I would have faced prison time and deportation. No idea what it would do to a human, but at about 15m or so it could propel those plastic pellets completely through a full soda can, leaving a nasty exit hole. (Normal models would typically dent the front side of an empty can. Legally modified ones would penetrate the front side only). As noted in the link, though, the materials used to make the stock around the receiver weren't strong enough to stand up to the forces of the massive spring and rather quickly deformed to the point it was no longer usable. Once I did the math and figured out the energy level placed the airsoft gun in the area controlled by the firearms legislation I decided to just let it stay broken.
 

Mike Cash

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I found a website for a shop in Japan which deals in deactivated firearms (including imports). They won't touch pistols with a ten foot pole.

| シカゴレジメンタルス | Q&A |

The law prohibits anyone from owning the frame, mechanism, or cylinder of a pistol. Further, even if one were to jump through all the hoops required, one of the requirements is that you must paint the pistol gold.

Leave your pistols at home.

If you want to import long arms, there are specific requirements regarding how they must be deactivated and you have to go through a whole rigamarole with both Customs and the police over each individual piece.
 

Hama

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First you talked about just one gun, now you seem to be referring to bringing a whole bunch. Make up your mind.
Eh, what are you talking about mate? In my first post I said "something like a Nanbu Type 14", I never said I only had that. If you're that interested, there were two I was thinking of bringing, a deactivated Nanbu Type 14 and Type 94. There are a couple early 20th century revolvers too but I'd probably leave them behind regardless of the law.

Thanks Mike Cash for the new info! Definitely would never think of painting anything of mine gold. I guess I'd have to leave them at home and bring lots of photos instead. :)
That's interesting though about the website you linked. That would seem to indicate deactivated weapons aren't entirely illegal? I'll have a look through it and try to get the specifics translated to see what might be legal to buy once I'm over there, assuming something catches my eye and I've the money... ;)
 

Hama

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Just to say also, very informative discussion. Thanks all for the replies!
 

Mike Cash

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Just from what caught my attention as I skimmed through it:

Steel rod from muzzle to chamber, welded in place.

Slit cut in the chamber wall.

Bolt has to be severely cut away.

Trigger and mechanism must be removed.

I think it said the bolt/action has to be welded as well.

There are lots of gun/militaria nuts in Japan so I have no doubt that there would be a demand for deactivated pistols. If a business which specializes in deactivated firearms finds it too much hassle to try to take advantage of that market then it certainly doesn't bode well for the individual private collector looking to bring pistols in on his own.

I would no more do to a historic long arm what the law here requires than you would paint your pistols gold.
 

Hama

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I don't own any long guns, but that stuff like the trigger being removed or action welded in place does sound like more than anything that's been done to the handguns I normally go for. Handguns that are old spec deacs (deactivated pre 1995 in the UK) can usually still be dry fired and field stripped, which for me is all I really want mechanically. Even if the deac Type 14 or Type 94 could shoot I don't think 8mm Nanbu is that easy to find these days. They're not late-war production but still, even if they were shooters I probably wouldn't want to do it that much for the sake of the parts. Don't want to dry fire for that reason either...

I would no more do to a historic long arm what the law here requires than you would paint your pistols gold.
Sure I get you mate, deactivated weapons aren't to everyone's taste. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions though.
 
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I had no idea people collect "deactivated" (i.e., broken) firearms. Do people also collect deactivated automobiles and televisions?

I like blowing holes in things with real guns. A broken gun is only good for parts or a paperweight.
 

Hama

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A broken gun is only good for parts or a paperweight.
To each his own mate. For me it's about historical interest, I don't care if they can't shoot. Most old spec deacs still have some working parts and don't look "broken" at a glance so I don't mind. Helps keep society safer if collectors are allowed to own guns that can't actually harm anyone anymore, and it's better than just scrapping something or cannibalising it for parts.
 

WonkoTheSane

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I had no idea people collect "deactivated" (i.e., broken) firearms. Do people also collect deactivated automobiles and televisions?

I like blowing holes in things with real guns. A broken gun is only good for parts or a paperweight.
I'm guessing part of it is that the OP lives somewhere they can't have working firearms.

I agree that I don't see the point, especially having seen what war and firearms do to people, there's no romance or mystique in them for me. Spend enough time doing rehab with people in the wrong side of the barrel and that all goes out the window.

On the other hand I have a healthy respect for what firearms ensure for an individual so owning working ones makes sense... Where it makes sense. Japan isn't one of those places in my opinion.

Either way, to each their own.
 

Hama

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Seriously lads this thread isn't about the moral or practical reasons for wanting a deactivated firearm. All I did was ask a simple question on whether it was possible to own them in Japan, and by now I've pretty much got my answer. This wasn't meant to be a discussion about the "point" of things. I thought this thread was 'Japan Practical', not 'Japan Reasons and Intentions'... :p
 
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