Non-prohibited status and section 189 applications
Release date: Fri 30 December 2011
Last updated: Sat 31 March 2012
The Firearms Act 1996 provides that under certain circumstances, prohibited persons may apply to a Victorian court to become non-prohibited. Section 189 of the Firearms Act 1996 outlines these circumstances and the process by which a person may apply for a firearm licence.
Section 189 applications are usually made by a person requiring a firearm licence for a 'genuine reason' such as for employment purposes.
Who can make a section 189 application?
You may make a section 189 application if you are only a prohibited person because:
How do I make an application?
A section 189 application form is available from any Victorian court. The form must be lodged with the level of court that heard the case which resulted in you being prohibited. For example, if an intervention order was determined in the Magistrates' Court, your section 189 application must be lodged with the Magistrates' Court. However, if an offence or order was determined in an interstate court, your section 189 application must be lodged with the Victorian Supreme Court.
In the first instance, all section 189 applications are forwarded to Victoria Police's Licensing & Regulation Division (LRD). Police members appointed as Divisional Firearms Officers (DFOs) normally co-ordinate section 189 applications.
The DFO or a delegated police member co-ordinates the interview of persons affected by the application. Those interviewed may include:
The DFO or delegated police member will then make a decision to oppose or endorse an application. On some occasions where applications are being opposed, the DFO may attend the court hearing to give evidence on behalf of the Chief Commissioner of Police.
What happens at the hearing?
The court hearing for a section 189 application is conducted in a similar way to the court hearings for orders under the Family Violence Act or the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act.
The following persons may attend a section 189 hearing in addition to the applicant:
Before an application is heard, police will explain to any affected family members or persons objecting to the application how the case is likely to proceed and whether any other person will be opposing the application or giving evidence.
Any persons opposing the application who attend the hearing are likely to be required to give evidence on oath to the court. Any evidence given by an affected family member or person objecting to the application may be challenged by the person making the section 189 application or their legal representative. Equally, the police prosecutor may challenge any evidence the person making the section 189 application gives.
What happens after the application is determined?
Successful section 189 applications
If a firearm licence was cancelled, the licence holder can apply to LRD for a new firearms licence.
Unsuccessful section 189 applications
Our Quick Guide for Licence Holders (PDF) and Quick Guide for Complainants and Affected Family Members (PDF) provide more detailed information on section 189 applications.