Message from the Chief Commissioner

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Advertising, Selling and Acquiring Firearms

Release date: Wed 9 May 2018

Last updated: Fri 18 May 2018

Information on this page has been developed by the Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) to assist licence holders understand their obligations when it comes to advertising, selling and acquiring firearms in Victoria.

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

  1. Advertising Firearms for Sale
  2. Places where Advertisements Can be Made
  3. Buying a Firearm
  4. Permits to Acquire
  5. Transferring a firearm

1. Advertising Firearms for Sale

From May 2018, it will no longer be an offence for a person who is not a Licensed Firearms Dealer to advertise the sale of firearms if they include the following details in the advertisement:

  1. A statement that the proposed sale is to be arranged (i.e. brokered) through a Licensed Firearm Dealer (see s.101(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1996);
  2. The serial number of the firearm being offered for sale (see s.101(3)(a) of the Firearms Act 1996); and
  3. The registered owner's licence number (see s.101(3)(b) of the Firearms Act 1996).

Changes to rules on advertising do not:

  • Alter the requirement of the buyer to be correctly licenced to possess use and carry the firearm; or
  • Remove the requirement for firearms to be transferred between the seller and the buyer through a Licensed Firearms Dealer using a Permit to Acquire.

A person other than the licensed owner of a firearm can advertise the firearm for sale at the request of the owner, however, the person who placed the advertisement cannot keep the firearm in their possession unless they are also a licence holder who holds the same category of licence as the firearms being offered for sale and the capacity to store the firearms in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Firearms Act 1996.

Failure to include the prescribed information in an advertisement, correctly transfer the firearm or possess firearms without a licence are offences against the Firearms Act 1996.

Licensed Firearms Dealers who advertise firearms for sale must include the following information in any advertisement they place:

  1. Their firearm dealers' licence number (see s.101(1)(a) of the Firearms Act 1996);
  2. The serial number of the firearm being offered for sale (see s.101(3)(a) of the Firearms Act 1996); and
  3. The registered owner's licence number (see s.101(3)(b) of the Firearms Act 1996).

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2. Places where Advertisements can be made

From May 2018, the advertisement of firearms for sale will no longer be limited publications of approved clubs or commercially published firearm or sport shooting magazines.

This means firearms can be advertised for sale anywhere, including online, provided that the advertisement details the serial number of the firearm for sale and the dealer's details or the owner's licence number as required.

Advertisements listed on third-party trading websites such as Gumtree or eBay will still need to comply with the service provider's terms and conditions of use.

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3. Buying a Firearm

In Victoria, you can only purchase firearms, ammunition, parts and accessories if you have a current Victorian firearms licence and that licence allows you to carry and use those items. To purchase a firearm you must also have a Permit to Acquire issued by Victoria Police.

If you are not a Licensed Firearms Dealer and you advertise your firearm for sale you are still required to have a Licensed Firearms Dealer act as an agent in the sale of the firearm between you and the licence holder you are selling it to. Failure to do so may be considered an offence.

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4. Permits to Acquire

Permits to Acquire (PTA) are issued by the LRD and are valid for 28 days from the day they are issued not the day you payment for the permit is made.

When submitting a PTA you may be required to provide additional information to substantiate a genuine need, or serve the legislated waiting period if it is your first firearm before the PTA can be issued. Because of this it is strongly suggested that you submit an PTA application to the LRD at lease four weeks before you require it.

You are able to lodge an application for your first PTA at the same time as you lodge your application to become licensed.

To acquire a longarm you will need to submit Permit to Acquire a Longarm application.

To acquire a handgun you will need to submit a Permit to Acquire a Handgun application.

If you are licensed to participate in sport or target shooting and want to acquire a handgun for sport purposes, you will have to attach the endorsement of an approved handgun target shooting club to your PTA application.

If your PTA application is approved, the LRD will send your permit to you directly. You must then pay the permit fee as per the instructions attached to your permit. Applications for PTAs that a lodged through a Licensed Firearms Dealer using the Online Dealers System are approved in the same way as manual PTA applications and subject to the same waiting periods, however, they will be sent directly to the dealer electronically.

When a PTA application is refused, the LRD will inform you of the reasons your application was denied and any appeal options you have.

For more information about acquiring firearms from overseas please consider the Import and Exporting Firearms page on the Victoria Police website.

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5. Transferring a Firearm

Firearms must not be transferred between licence holders without meeting the legislated acquistion process.

To transfer ownership of a firearm between two Victorian licence holders, the person receiving the firearm must have:

  • A current Victorian firearm licence that permits them to possess, carry or use that category and type of firearm;
  • A genuine reason for possessing that firearm; and
  • A Permit to Acquire issued by Victoria Police.

Both licence holders must then visit a Licensed Firearms Dealer who will act as an agent to broker the transfer of the firearm. Before the Licensed Firearms Dealer can broker the transfer they will require you to provide:

  • A Permit to Acquire that is valid and current;
  • Proof that you have paid for your permit; and
  • The firearm that is being transferred.

Victorians transferring firearms to licence holders interstate need to engage a Victorian Licensed Firearms Dealer who is able to arrange to send the firearms to a Licensed Firearms Dealer in the recipient's state/territory. For example a Victorian sending a firearm to a Queensland licence holder would have to arrange for a Victorian Licensed Firearms Dealer send the firearm to a Licensed Firearms Dealer in Queensland from who the recipient can collect the firearm from.

Victorians receiving firearms from interstate will need:

  • A Victorian firearm licence that permits them to possess, carry or use that category and type of firearm;
  • A Permit to Acquire which demonstrate their genuine reason for possessing that firearm; and
  • A Victorian Licensed Firearms Dealer who can receive the firearm from interstate and act as the agent in transferring the firearm to you in Victoria.

If you live on the border of South Australia and Victoria, or New South Wales and Victoria, you may submit a Permit to Acquire issued in one state to a licensed firearm dealer located in the other state. Victoria has an agreement in place with South Australia and New South Wales to recognise the other state's Permit to Acquire.

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