Firearm Prohibition Orders were introduced into Victoria in May 2018. The Firearm Prohibition Orders scheme operates together with the existing prohibited person scheme to protect the community and reduce firearm related-crime by targeting those who want to possess, use or carry firearms for unlawful purposes.
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.
The Licensing and Regulation Division cannot provide advice regarding a person's behaviour, criminal history, or associations and whether these factors would cause them to be served with a Firearm Prohibition Order.
Anyone needing specific legal advice should consult the Firearms Act 1996 (the Firearms Act) or seek independent legal advice.
A Firearm Prohibition Order is made by police and prohibits a person over the age of 14 from acquiring, possessing, or carrying a firearm or firearm related item.
If served with a Firearm Prohibition Order, the subject must immediately surrender any firearm or firearm related item in their possession. The penalty for failing to do so is five years imprisonment.
If a person who is the holder of a firearm licence becomes subject to a Firearm Prohibition Order, their firearms licence will be cancelled. Private security and weapon authorities may also be affected by the serving of a Firearm Prohibition Order.
Firearm Prohibition Orders and Prohibited Person Status
The Firearm Prohibition Order scheme does not replace the Prohibited Persons scheme.
There does not need to be a formal declaration for a person to be considered a prohibited person; a prohibited person is a status. Under the Firearms Act, the designation of being a prohibited person is a status. This means that a person is not declared prohibited person (for example, by a court), they automatically become one if they meet the definition provided in section 3 of the Firearms Act. An individual may declared prohibited by virtue of being made subject to a Firearm Prohibition Order.
The Firearm Prohibition Order scheme operates together with the Prohibited Person scheme to achieve community safety and peace.
Firearm Prohibition Orders aim to protect the community and reduce firearm related-crime committed by organised crime and terrorist groups. These powers and offence provisions enable police to target people who don't intend to use firearms for lawful purposes and who pose a risk to public safety, even if they are not considered a prohibited person under the Firearms Act.
Restrictions placed on Firearm Prohibition Order subjects
Firearm Prohibition Order subjects are prohibited from entering or remaining on certain premises where firearms are available or being stored. These premises include:
- shooting ranges
- shooting clubs
- firearms dealer premises
- collectors clubs
- premises where firearms are kept
- paintball locations
Police powers granted under the Firearm Prohibition Order scheme
After a Firearm Prohibition Order is served, a police officer can search the Firearm Prohibition Order subject if reasonably required to determine whether the person is in possession of a firearm or firearm-related item. This power does not require a warrant and is afforded under section 112R(1) of the Firearms Act.
Police will be able to detain a Firearm Prohibition Order subject for as long as is reasonably necessary to conduct a search. They will be able to search any item, package or thing in their possession, and any premises, vehicle, vessel or aircraft related to the Firearm Prohibition Order subject.
These powers are afforded under sections 112Q and 112R. Under section 112S, if the Firearm Prohibition Order subject is in the company of another person, that other person will also be able to be searched.
Appeals and rights of review of Firearm Prohibition Orders
A person has 28 days upon being served with a Firearm Prohibition Order to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for review of the decision to make the order. Notification of appeals will be sent to the Firearm Prohibition Orders Registry, not the Licensing and Regulation Division.
A Firearm Prohibition Order subject also has the right to apply for a review of the order mid-way through its duration. This means an adult Firearm Prohibition Order subject can apply to VCAT for a review of the order five years after the order was served. A child Firearm Prohibition Order subject, aged 14-17 years, can apply 2 and a half years after the order was served.
A right of review can only be exercised once.
Revoking Firearm Prohibition Orders
A Firearms Prohibition Order can be revoked at the Chief Commissioner's discretion.
Reviewed 04 June 2021