Message from the Chief Commissioner

Our Services

Disposal of Firearms and Ammunition

Release date: Mon 19 December 2011

Last updated: Mon 15 January 2018

There are many reasons for disposing of a firearm. You may:

  • no longer want to possess that firearm
  • no longer want to have or renew your firearm licence (in which case you must dispose of your firearm before your licence expires)
  • have discovered a firearm while serving as an administrator or executor of a deceased estate
  • have received notice that your firearm licence renewal application has been refused (in which case you must dispose of your firearm within 28 days).
  • have received notice that your appeal against the decision to reject your firearm licence renewal application has also been refused (in which case you must also dispose of your firearm within 28 days).

You must dispose of a firearm legally. Below are the five ways you can do this:

1. To a licence holder within Australia

You can only sell or transfer your firearm to someone within Australia who has a firearm licence that enables them to own your firearm and who also has a permit or authority from their home state allowing them to acquire your firearm.

You must also contact a licensed firearm dealer to facilitate the sale or transfer. The licensed firearm dealer must record the transaction in their books, provide you with a transaction receipt and notify Licensing & Regulation Division of the transaction. Ownership of a firearm only changes when Victoria Police receives formal notification of the transaction from a licensed firearm dealer.

You should send a copy of the transaction receipt to Licensing & Regulation Division and confirm in writing that you disposed of your firearm in this way.

2. To a licensed firearm dealer within Australia

This is what you might do if you want to sell your firearm but do not have a buyer.

The licensed firearm dealer must record the transaction in their books, provide you with a transaction receipt and notify Licensing & Regulation Division of the transaction. Ownership of a firearm only changes when Victoria Police receives formal notification of the transaction from a licensed firearm dealer.

3. To a police station

This is what you must do if you want a firearm to be destroyed.

You will need to contact your nearest police station and arrange a time to bring the firearm in. You must ensure that when you transport the firearm you do so in a way that does not cause alarm. The Police Station will provide you with a property book receipt which you should keep for your own records.

The station will send the firearm to the police forensic team for destruction. The forensic team will then inform Licensing & Regulation Division when the firearm has been destroyed.

You should send a copy of the property book receipt to Licensing & Regulation Division and confirm in writing that you disposed of your firearm in this way.

4. To someone overseas

This is also what you might do if you want to sell or transfer ownership of your firearm.

If you are selling or transferring a firearm outside of Australia, you will need to apply to Customs for a 'Restricted Goods Permit'. In certain circumstances, you may also need to submit additional information to Customs. For assistance with your particular situation, contact Australian Customs.

You should then send a copy of relevant export documentation to Licensing & Regulation Division and confirm in writing that you disposed of your firearm in this way.  

5. To someone that collects or displays antique firearms

This is what you might do if your firearm has historical significance or value.

Antique firearms exempt from regulation: You can make a private arrangement with a collector, RSL or museum to take ownership of your firearm. You do not need to notify Licensing & Regulation Division of this transaction unless the firearm has been voluntarily registered.

To determine whether your firearm needs to be registered, you can consult this What is Firearm? chart (PDF) or contact an Authorised Firearm Identifier.

Antique firearms subject to regulation: If you want to sell or transfer ownership of your firearm to a collector or licensed museum, the collector or licensed museum must apply to Licensing & Regulation Division for a Permit to Acquire. If the permit is granted, you will both need to sign the permit and take it and the firearm to a licensed firearm dealer who will transfer ownership of the firearm from you to them. Ownership of a firearm only changes when Victoria Police receives formal notification of the transaction from a licensed firearm dealer.

You should send a copy of the transaction receipt to Licensing & Regulation Division and confirm in writing that you disposed of your firearm in this way.

Please note: If the licence holder that wants your firearm does not already own a firearm, it will take 28 days before a permit to acquire can be issued.

If you want to sell or transfer ownership of your firearm to the RSL dealer, the RSL will provide Victoria Police with formal notification of the transaction.

Executors or administrators

Executors/administrators of an estate of a person who has died with firearms in their possession must notify Licensing & Regulation Division of the person's death in writing as soon as practicable. Executors/administrators have six months from the person's death to dispose of any firearm(s) either in one of the ways described above OR to a licence holder or dealer who can legally store the firearm until permanent disposal can be arranged.

Disposal of Ammunition

Any unwanted ammunition may be disposed of through a local police station (which will issue a property receipt), a licensed firearms dealer, or through an individual who is appropriately licensed under the Firearms Act 1996. 

It is highly recommended that prior to attending a local police station or the premises of a licensed firearms dealer that you telephone and arrange suitable options for the surrender of your ammunition. 

If you are required to transport the ammunition for disposal purposes, you must ensure that it is transported in a safe and secure manner that is not dangerous, and that you take reasonable precautions to ensure that the ammunition is not lost or stolen.

 
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