Message from the Chief Commissioner

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S 189 Application Process

Release date: Mon 15 January 2018

Last updated: Thu 19 April 2018

Information on this page has been developed by the Licensing and Regulation Division to assist the public understand who can be apply to be deemed non-prohibited person under the Firearms Act 1996 (the Firearms Act) and provide basic information about this process.

Advice on this page is general in nature and may be of assistance to you, however, the Licensing and Regulation Division does not guarantee that the information here is wholly appropriate to your circumstances.

Anyone needing specific legal advice should consult the Firearms Act or seek independent legal advice.

  1. Who can be deemed non-prohibited?
  2. How do I become non-prohibited?
  3. Where do I lodge an application to be deemed non-prohibited?
  4. Do I need to provide the Licensing and Regulation Division a copy of my section 189 application?
  5. What if my final intervention order includes a condition cancelling my firearms licence?
  6. What will happen before the hearing?
  7. What will happen at the final hearing?
  8. What happens after the application is determined?

1. Who can be deemed non-prohibited?

Not all prohibited people can apply to the Court to be deemed non-prohibited under the provisions afforded in section 189 of the Firearms Act.

The only prohibited persons who can apply to the Court to be deemed a non-prohibited person are:

  • Respondents subject to any final intervention order that does not include a condition that cancels a firearm licence, permit or authority; 
  • A person who has been found guilty by an Australian Court in the past 12 months for:
       - an offence against the Firearms Act ,where it was possible to receive a term of imprisonment but one was not given; 
       - an offence against any other Act involving the possession or use of firearms where it was possible to receive a term of imprisonment but one
         was not given; or
       - an indictable offence against any Act where it was possible to receive a term of imprisonment but one was not given.

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2. How do I become non-prohibited?

To be deemed non-prohibited you must make an application to the Court under section 189 of the Firearms Act. Section 189 application forms are available from any Victorian Court. When you lodge the application you will be given a hearing date by the Court.

The Licensing and Regulation Division cannot provide these forms to you or provide assistance in completing or lodging these forms.

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3. Where do I lodge an application to be deemed non-prohibited?

If you became a prohibited person because of a matter heard in Victoria, your section 189 application form must be lodged at the same level of Court that heard the case that resulted in you being prohibited. For example, if your final intervention order matter was heard at the Magistrates' Court you must lodge your application with the Magistrates' Court.

If you became prohibited as a result of a criminal matter heard in a State or Territory other than Victoria or because of a final intervention order issued in a State or Territory other than Victoria, your section 189 application must be lodged with the Supreme Court of Victoria.

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4. Do I need to provide the Licensing and Regulation Division a copy of my section 189 application?

You are required to give the Chief Commissioner 28 days' notice of your application but the Court where you lodged your section 189 application will do that for you by forwarding a copy to the Licensing and Regulation Division.

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5. What if my final intervention order includes a condition cancelling my firearms licence?

If your final intervention order includes a condition cancelling your firearms licence, you are not eligible to make a section 189 application.

To be eligible to make a section 189 application you will first need to make an application to the Court to vary the final intervention order to have the condition removed.

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6. What will happen before the hearing?

Once you have lodged your section 189 application, the Court will forward a copy to the Licensing and Regulation Division. In the case where there is an intervention order, Affected Family Members (or Protected Persons) will be interviewed as to whether they oppose the application.

If the Affected Family Members wish to oppose, police will usually support them. In some cases, police will decide to oppose the application even in the absence of Affected Family Member opposition.

If the application is opposed, it will usually be adjourned to a later date and police will file material on which they will rely in opposing the application. Applicants can also be ordered by the Court to file material to support their application.

If the application is not opposed, the Court will usually make a determination at the first hearing.

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7. What will happen at the final hearing?

Court hearings for section 189 applications proceed in a similar way to court hearings for orders made under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 or the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010.

If the application is opposed, it will be set down for a contested hearing where the applicant may call witnesses and give evidence to support their application. Police can call witnesses such as Affected Family Members and police members to give evidence opposing the application.

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8. What happens after the application is determined?

Successful section 189 applications
If your firearms licence was suspended as a result of a final order, so long as there are no other probity issues that concern the Chief Commissioner, the licence will be reinstated and the licence card returned to the licence holder.

If your firearms licence was cancelled prior to the application you will need to apply for a new firearms licence.

Unsuccessful section 189 applications
If your licence was suspended and your section 189 application was unsuccessful, your licence will be cancelled by the Licensing and Regulation Division.

A letter will be sent to you advising that your suspended licence has now been cancelled and that you have 28 days to have firearms stored at a police station transferred to a licensed firearm dealer or surrendered for destruction.

You will remain a prohibited person until you make a successful section 189 application or until your prohibition period expires.

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