~ How It Affects You. ~
- Which specific types of firearms are banned?
- What happens about the registration of my firearm?
- What is a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm?
- What is the minimum licensing requirements?
- Will I have to be trained?
- On what grounds can my licence be refused cancelled and my firearm seized?
- Do I need a permit to acquire a weapon as well?
- What are the minimum standards for the security and storage of firearms and ammunition?
- Who can sell or advertise firearms?
- What about purchasing ammunition?
- Where do I go for more information?
Apart from exemptions for military, police and occupational categories of shooters who have been licensed for a specified purpose (eg the extermination of feral animals), the following firearms are banned:
- self loading centre fire rifles;
- self loading and pump action shotguns; and
- self loading rim fire rifles.
If you are a primary producer you may be permitted access to self loading rim fire rifles and self-loading and pump-action shotguns, each with limited capacities, under the occupational category. This is only if you can satisfy licensing authorities that a genuine need for such a firearm exists which cannot be met with non-prohibited firearms or by any other means.
Each state and territory jurisdiction will be responsible for maintaining a firearms registration system which will be linked across Australia. The system will incorporate details of the firearm and the licence holder.
All governments agreed that the possession of firearms is not a right but a conditional privilege. You cannot use personal protection as a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm. Classifications which will be used to determine genuine reason include:
- sporting shooters using lawful firearms with valid membership of an approved club;
- recreational shooters/hunters who produce proof of permission from a public or private landowner;
- people with an occupational requirement (eg primary producers);
- security employees and professional shooters for nominated purposes;
- bona fide collectors of firearms; and
- people having other limited purposes authorised by legislation or Ministerial approval in writing (eg firearms used in film production).
In addition to the “genuine reason” test for the owner, some categories of firearms may be subjected to a “genuine need” test of their own.
As well as meeting the “genuine reason” test, if you are applying for a licence you must be aged 18 years or over, be a fit and proper person and be able to prove identity through a system similar to opening a bank account. Junior shooters will be allowed to use firearms under supervision.
Licences will include a photograph of the licensee, the licence category of the firearm, the holder’s address and a reminder of safe storage responsibilities. Licences will be issued not less than 28 days after applying and will be issued for a period of no more than 5 years. Licence categories are graded as follows:
Category A: air rifles, rim fire rifles (excluding self-loading), single and double barrel shotguns.
Category B: muzzle-loading firearms, single shot, double barrel and repeating action centre fire rifles, break action shotguns/rifle combinations.
Category C: (prohibited except for occupational purposes): self-loading rim fire rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds, self-loading shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds, pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds.
Category D: (prohibited except for official purposes): self-loading centre fire rifles, self-loading shotguns and pump action shotguns with a capacity of more than 5 rounds, self- loading rim-fire rifles with a magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds.
Category H: (restricted): all handguns, including air pistols
All shooters must receive the highest level of safety training regardless of the type of firearm used. First time licence applicants will be required to complete an accredited course in safety training.
Legislation will set out circumstances in which licence applications are to be refused or licences are to be cancelled. These reasons can be if the applicant or licence holder:
- is not of good character;
- contravenes the firearm law;
- has unsafe storage;
- no longer has a genuine reason;
- obtained the licence by deception;
- has been the subject of an Apprehended Violence Order, Domestic Violence Order, restraining order or conviction for assault with a weapon/aggravated assault within the past five years; or
- has a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for owning, possessing or using a firearm.
States and Territories will consider the establishment of appeal mechanisms to consider cases of refused or cancelled licences.
If you want to acquire a firearm you will have to obtain from licensing authorities a separate permit for every firearm acquired. A waiting period of at least 28 days will apply before a permit can be issued.
As a precondition to the issue of new licences and the renewal of existing licences, you will need to satisfy licensing authorities of your storage and security arrangements. Legislation in each jurisdiction will provide for the cancellation of licences and confiscation of all firearms if you fail to store firearms adequately. New licence applicants will receive a firearms safety booklet featuring clear and precise information on the owner’s obligations in relation to storing firearms and ammunition. Firearms dealers will be required to meet additional requirements. Inspections by licensing authorities will be at times convenient to both parties.
Sales, including mail order sales of firearms, may only be conducted by or through licensed firearms dealers. Advertisement of firearms for sale will be prohibited unless the sale is to be conducted by or through a licensed gun dealer. Dealers will be required to ensure that purchasers are appropriately licensed, and record and maintain details (type, make, calibre, serial number) of each firearm purchased or sold against the identity (name, address, licence number) of the seller or the purchaser. Dealers will be required to provide records to licensing authorities. Commercial transport of ammunition in the same consignment with firearms will be prohibited. In remote areas where licensed gun dealers may not be readily available, special arrangements will be made to facilitate sales and purchases of firearms and ammunition.
You will be restricted to purchasing ammunition for firearms for which you hold a valid licence, and limits may be placed on the quantity of ammunition to be purchased in a given period.
Your local firearm registry or police station can give you more advice or approach the office of your Federal Member or Senator.