Message from the Chief Commissioner

Our Services

Sport target shooters and clubs

Release date: Tue 3 January 2012

Last updated: Fri 16 February 2018

Handgun target shooting is a precision sport enjoyed by many people around the world. The popularity of the sport in Australia can be seen in the recent successes at Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Interested in becoming a target shooter?

Target shooters must meet a number of strict requirements in order to hold their general category handgun licence. For this reason, if you are interested in the sport but do not hold a handgun licence, you can trial the sport under supervision to determine whether you want to make the same commitment. In order to become a target shooter you need to:

  1. Contact an approved target shooting club and ask to receive instruction in using a general category handgun.

    You and your instructor must complete a Notification of Receiving Instruction form (PDF) which your instructor will submit to Victoria Police's Licensing & Regulation Division within seven days of your trial and instruction session. Adults can receive instruction no more than ten times. Children over the age of 12 can receive instruction on no more than three times.
  2. Lodge a provisional general category handgun licence application form. Provisional licences will be issued for either six or twelve months.

    You will not be permitted to own a handgun during this time. To qualify for a full licence you need to hold this provisional licence for six months and complete the Victorian Handgun Safety Course with an approved target shooting clubs.

Existing licence holders

 Each calendar year, all handgun licence holder in possession of at least 1 handgun, must participate in a minimum of 10 matches/shoots per calendar year. The below table summarises the minimum participation requirements based on the number of handgun classes owned:


Number of handgun classes owned

Minimum number of shooting events in which the owner must participate each year

0 0
1 10
2 10
3 12
4 16

Within the above requirements, handgun owners must ensure that the following requirements are met:

  • 6 of these events must be matches;
  • 6 of these events must be as a competitor;
  • 4 events must be undertaken for each class of handguns owned (matches or shoots); and
  • Participation must take place on no less than 10 separate days.

You may lose a class on your licence if you do not meet the minimum participation requirement for a particular class you hold. In certain situations, you may apply for an exemption or modification to your participation requirements (PDF).

If you hold a full general category handgun licence you cannot generally possess more than three handguns during the first six months of your full licence. During this period, new licence holders cannot possess more than:

  • one .177 inch calibre air handgun
  • one .22 inch calibre handgun or centrefire handgun
  • one black powder handgun that is muzzle loading


LRD's information guide, Handgun Target Shooting and Participation Conditions (PDF), explains what licence holders and clubs need to do to meet their legal requirements and hold the appropriate licence.


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