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Firearms industry news

View firearms industry news and updates.

The information in this section is aimed at the firearms industry. Here you'll find information on legislation change and updates in the industry.

COVID-19 updates

  • Licence renewals

    Please email your renewal applications to our office. This will allow us to continue processing your applications in a timely manner.
    Remember to:

    • Submit a single PDF attachment to the email. This will ensure we are able to process your application as quickly as possible and reduces the risk of your application becoming lost or separated.
    • Only use clear and high-quality scans of your documents. Photographs of your documents will not be accepted as they cannot be easily processed.
    • If you email your application, please do not also submit your application via standard mail.

    If you are lodging your applications in hard copy:

    • Please ensure all your documents are A4 sized.
    • Any smaller documents should be affixed to the first page of the application by a single staple.

    Approved photo points have now re-opened and are operating as per normal. If you have been retaining your payment notice and waiting to have your photo taken, you can now locate your closest photo point and arrange an appointment accordingly. The LRD will allow a 28 day grace period for those who have been waiting to have their photo taken since the COVID-19 restrictions.

    Please note, you cannot use your existing photo to renew a firearm licence or private security licence and/or registration.

    New firearms licence applications

    New applications will be required to follow the current process. They should be completed via our  eServices Portal, printed and then mailed to LRD (including attachments and supporting documentation) via standard mail.

    Apply for a new firearm licence.

    Photo Point locations

    Unfortunately decisions regarding the ability for photo points to continue operating are made by the relevant location (post office, municipal shire or VicRoads outlets). These decisions are very much out of the Licensing and Regulation Divisions (LRD)’s control.

    Please be advised that unless a photo is taken at an authorised location, LRD will be unable to produce and send a plastic licence.

    No adverse action will be taken against your licence, should you be unable to have a photo taken. Rather, we recommend you keep your payment notice safe and attend at a photo point as soon as it practicable for you to do so.

    For those who have been issued a new licence, your payment notice does not act as an interim licence. As soon as payment is received, the LRD’s systems will identify that you are licensed. As an indication, once you have made payment, it should take one business day for this to be reflected in our systems.

    Licence holders who are renewing an existing licence should make payment, retain their payment notice and expired plastic licence.

    Firearm safety courses

    For more information about booking a firearm safety course at this time, please contact your local DFO.

    We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this time as always however, please keep in mind that although the LRD are returning to a COVID normal, there may still be backlogs that we are continuing to work through.

    More information

    For more information about COVIDSafe settings and current restrictions, please refer to the Victorian Government website.

  • Following ongoing restrictions and lockdowns as part of the public health response to Covid-19, the Chief Commissioner of Police has issued a Notice of Variation: Handgun Target Shooting Matches or Handgun Target Shoots for the 2021 calendar year.  

    It is acknowledged that sporting shooters are currently limited in their ability to travel to shoots and matches around the state and that shooting clubs have been unable to host many of their scheduled events throughout the year.  

    Due to these restrictions, Victoria Police have made the decision to waive all handgun participation requirements for the 2021 calendar year effective immediately. This means that all shoots or matches required to be completed per number of classes of handgun owned, will be exempt for the 2021 calendar year. 

    Approved shooting clubs will still have to submit an annual report for 2021 within 3 months after the end of the calendar year to the Chief Commissioner of Police per s.123C of the Firearms Act 1996. 

    Licence holders do not have to submit requests for exemption or modification, this variation applies to all affected licence holders. 

    Participation in shoots and matches is an important condition for general category handgun licence holders who own handguns.  

    General Category Handgun Licence Holders  

    Licence holders are reminded that they must ensure that their membership to an approved club remains current for the duration of their licence. This is a condition of their licence and failure to hold an appropriate membership may result in the cancellation of their licence. 

    Firearm owners must also ensure that their firearms are stored per Schedule 4 of the Firearms Act 1996.  

    Approved Shooting Clubs 

    Clubs are reminded that they must ensure that records of any shoots conducted and applications for club membership are accurate and up to date.  

    Despite the variation of participation requirement, clubs must still send a report for the 2021 calendar year within the first 3 months of 2022 per section 123c of the Firearms Act 1996.  

    Clubs are also reminded that you must notify Victoria Police of the acceptance of new members, refusal of applications for memberships and if a membership has been cancelled or suspended. 

    If you have further questions, please email lrd@police.vic.gov.au or if you need more information about the current restriction levels in Victoria, please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services website. 

    Please find the Notice of Variation here:

  • It is expected that holders of provisional handgun licences will have had limited opportunity to complete the requisite shoots to apply for a general category handgun licence in 2021. As per 2020, the following adjustments have been made to support:  

    • All current 6-month provisional licences will be extended to 12 months at no cost to the holder. 
    • All provisional handgun licence holders who have a provisional licence of 12 months that has or will expire in while restrictions are in place can choose to apply for a general category handgun licence.

    Applicants for a general category handgun licence will need to ensure that they meet the following requirements: 

    • A nominee for the club has endorsed the application 
    • They have held a membership to the approved club for at least 6 months prior to making the application  

    Club officials may choose to waive the 5 shoot minimum requirement if they are satisfied that the member has previously proven competence. 

    If your provisional handgun licence expires after 12 months and you do not wish to apply for a general category handgun licence, the licence remains expired, and no further action is needed.

    Please contact the Licensing and Regulation Division if you wish to discuss your individual circumstances. 

  • The Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) continually assess the suitability for individuals to hold a firearm licence. It is expected that if you hold a firearm licence you are aware of the firearm safety standards to keep yourself, your family and others around you safe.

    The LRD would like to remind all firearm licence holders that they must follow each of the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO's) directives which are currently in place to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and keep the community safe. Where a firearm licence holder has contravened any restrictions, they may be breaching their licence conditions.

    Victoria Police takes breaches of licence conditions and CHO restrictions seriously. Blatant and deliberate disregard of the CHO directions endangers public safety and calls into question a licence holders suitability to be licensed in an area that requires a strong emphasis on safety.

    Should a licence holder blatantly and deliberately breach the CHO's restrictions, your licence can be suspended, cancelled or may be subject to a reprimand which could harm any future licensing.

    If you are unsure around what activities are permitted under the CHO's directives, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website or phone the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

  • The Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) has identified an increase in the number of duplicate Permit to Acquire (PTA) applications that are being submitted. This means that applicants are either emailing their application to us and then forwarding the original via post or they are emailing, sending and contacting online dealers to lodge another application (usually within 14 days if they have not received their permits).This is causing delays in processing of applications as we need to perform additional checks to ensure that these applications are not duplicates. 

    It is preferred that you send your PTA applications via email to lrd@police.vic.gov.au or lodge it through a licensed firearm dealer via the Online Dealer System. In the event that you choose to send your PTA application via post, please ensure you do not email the same application in as well.

  • Changes have been made to provisional handgun licence holders. These changes are:

    • All current 6 month provisional licences will be extended to 12 months at no cost.
    • All provisional handgun licence holders whose 12 months has or will expire in this period, can elect to apply for a category H licence. If you do not wish to apply for a category H licence, you will continue not being licensed for a provisional handgun.
    • Clubs will still need to endorse the applicant and a 6 month club membership is still required.
    • The 5 shoot minimum for a provisional licence holder can be waived if the club endorses that they are competent.
  • Australia Post has announced that due to reductions in air freight capacity, there may be delays on the letters and parcels network that Australia Post operates around the country, particularly to regional and rural communities.

    Given this, your plastic licence card may take up to 14 days or more to arrive to your nominated address.

    Unfortunately, the Licensing and Regulation Division have no control over postal times. Please continue to follow important updates on the Australia Post website.

  • The Licensing and Regulation Division maintains its compliance and enforcement functions during the current crisis and will continue to conduct firearms and storage inspections during this time.

    With the uncertainty that the COVID-19 situation has caused, we strongly encourage the firearms community ensure that their firearms are safely secured, that all government advice regarding restrictions are followed and that they take care of themselves and each other.

Other news

  • Until recently, we have classified gel blasters and similar devices depending on the way the device operates. This means that if you were unlawfully found in possession of a gel blaster, a police officer could charge you with firearm or imitation firearm offences depending on how the gel blaster worked. 

    We have now made the decision to regulate gel blasters and similar devices that have the appearance of an operable firearm as imitation firearms under the Control of Weapons Act 1990. This means if you are found in possession of gel blasters that have the appearance of an operable firearm, you will be charged with possession of an imitation firearm. 

    To learn more about what this means and see definitions on imitation firearms, visit our Firearms licensing page

    FAQs

    I would like to purchase a gel blaster. Is it illegal?

    Gel blasters that have the appearance of an operable firearm are now classified as imitation firearms under the Control of Weapons Act 1990. To lawfully possess an imitation firearm in Victoria, a Chief Commissioner’s Prohibited Weapons Approval must be obtained. However, the Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) do not issue approvals for gel blasters and similar devices as there is no genuine reason to possess them. 

    The LRD advise Victorian’s not to purchase gel ball blasters because if you are found in possession of this device(s), you could be charged with imitation firearm offences.

    I currently have a gel blaster in my possession what do I do?

    If you are in possession of a gel blaster that has the appearance of an operable firearm then you will need to dispose of it to a police station. You can do this by contacting your local police station and arranging a time to bring the gel blaster in. You must ensure that when you transport the gel blaster, you do so in a way that does not cause alarm.

    If you are unsure if your gel blaster resembles an operable firearm or a toy firearm, please refer to the:

    I already hold a Chief Commissioner’s Prohibited Weapons Approval for imitation firearms can I own, buy or sell a gel blaster under my current approval?

    No. Your weapons approval would need to be approved for the reason of owning, selling and using a gel blaster that has the appearance of an operable firearm. The LRD do not issue approvals for the use of gel blasters as there is no genuine reason to possess a gel blaster or similar devices in Victoria. For this reason, individuals or wholesalers can only own, buy and sell the imitation firearms specific to the reason approved by the LRD. You would have also received a letter informing you of a special condition excluding gel blasters, that now applies to your approval. This condition means that if you are found to be in possession of a gel blaster, you will be committing an offence under the Control of Weapons Act 1990. 

    I am covered under a Governor in Council Exemption to own, buy and sell gel blasters, can I own one?

    No. Gel blasters have not been included in the exemption for imitation firearms. Gel blasters have not been approved for a lawful activity or purpose in any exemptions issued by the Department of Justice and Community Safety. A special condition now applies to the imitation firearm exemption order that excludes gel blasters that resemble operable firearms. This means that a person relying on the exemption is breaching the order and committing an offence if they are in possession of a gel blaster.
     

  • The Permit to Acquire a Longarm Application has been converted to an eForm. You can find it on the Firearm Forms and Reference Information page.

    Applicants wishing to obtain a Permit to Acquire (PTA) a Longarm may now either—

    a. Complete and submit the PTA Longarm application eForm online; or

    b. Apply through an authorised online firearms dealer, per the existing process.

    Other than the way in which a PTA Longarm application is lodged, the rest of the process remains unchanged. As per current practice, there will be no upfront permit fees. The payment notice will continue to be issued with the PTA.

    Please note that the Permit to Acquire a Handgun Application remains a PDF form and has not yet been converted to an eForm.

  • Australian governments have come together to hold an ongoing national amnesty to reduce the number of unregistered firearms and improve public safety. Commencing 1 July 2021, the permanent national firearm amnesty is Australian first. The amnesty implores members of the public to anonymously surrender any illegal or unregistered firearms, parts or ammunition in their possession without fear of prosecution.

    In Victoria, anyone in possession of illegal or unregistered firearms, parts or ammunition is strongly advised to surrender these to their nearest licensed firearms dealers  in the first instance.

    A person in possession of the following can surrender:

    • unregistered firearm
    • firearm parts
    • cartridge ammunition
    • Members of the public are encouraged to contact their nearest licensed firearm dealer to confirm they are participating in the amnesty.

    Victoria Police is strongly advising members of the public not to surrender any firearms to police stations. However, if it’s impractical for someone to surrender at their nearest licensed firearm dealer, they must call their local station to organise the conditions surrounding the surrender of the firearm or associated item ahead of any attendance at a station.

    Crime Stoppers  are leading in managing the national co-ordination of the campaign. For more information concerning the amnesty, including safety considerations and management of items surrendered, refer to the Crime Stoppers website: crimestoppers.com.au/FirearmAmnesty

  • Category C firearm licence holders whose licence has been issued for the reason of clay target shooting must meet the following conditions:

    • compete in at least four clay target shooting competitions per calendar year
    • competitions must be conducted by an approved clay target shooting club
    • provide a record of participation from an approved clay target shooting club when applying for the renewal of a licence or at any time throughout the duration of a licence

    Those who hold a Category C licence on behalf of a junior licence holder for the purpose of clay-target shooting are exempt from this condition.

  • In Victoria, paintball markers are considered firearms under the Firearms Act 1996.

    A non-prohibited person aged 16 years or older can participate in paintball gaming on an approved Victorian range without a Paintball Licence. However, only persons aged 18 years or older are eligible to apply for a Paintball Licence.

    In Victoria, a non-prohibited person can only own a paintball marker if:

    • they are the holder of a current Victorian Paintball Marker Licence
    • the paintball marker is for the purpose of participating in paintball events

    Paintball markers must be stored in accordance with the storage requirements prescribed in Schedule 4 of the Firearms Act 1996.

    Any person considering making an application for a Paintball Licence should be aware that such a licence will not be issued for any purpose other than paintball gaming and that you will have to demonstrate that you have successfully completed a paintball marker safety course when applying.

  • From 1 October 2019 lever action shotguns will no longer be classified as a Category A longarms. Under the new classification framework:

    • lever action shotguns that have a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds will be reclassified from Category A longarms to Category B longarms; and
    • lever action shotguns that have a magazine capacity of greater than 5 rounds will be reclassified from Category A longarms to Category D longarm

    Licence holders who lawfully held lever action shotguns on a valid licence before 1 October 2019 will be covered by transitional provisions. These licence holders will be required to complete a reconfirmation process.

    Reconfirmation process for lever action shotguns

    Licence holders who were the registered owners of lever action shotgun before 1 October 2019 have been identified by the Licensing and Regulation Division. These licence holders have been sent correspondence detailing the reconfirmation process.

    Licence holders who receive this letter are asked to consider the attachment included with the letter and return to the Licensing and Regulation Division according to the instructions.

    Transitional provisions

    Transitional provisions will also be enacted on 1 October. These can be found at section 221 of the Firearms Act 1996.

    The transitional provisions will allow persons who owned a lever action shotgun on a Category A or A&B before 1 October 2019 to continue to lawfully possess use or carry these firearms on their existing licence even though the shotgun will be classified differently.

    Application of transitional provisions

    Transitional provisions will only apply to individuals who held a valid licence with lever action shotguns of any capacity before 1 October 2019.

    For example, on 30 September Sally owns a lever action shotgun with a magazine capacity of 6 rounds on a Category A&B licence.

    On 30 September the firearm registered to Sally is a Category A longarm. On 1 October Sally’s lever action shotgun will be considered a Category D longarm but because of operation of the transitional provisions she will still be considered to lawfully own the firearm on her Category A&B licence.

    Transitional provisions will not apply to the acquisition of lever action shotguns after 1 October 2019. This means that from 1 October 2019:

    • to acquire a lever action shotgun with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds a person will need to hold a Category B longarm licence.
    • to acquire a lever action shotgun with a magazine capacity of greater than 5 rounds a person will need to hold a Category D longarm licence.

    Transitional provisions will cease to apply:

    • if a licence holder allows their licence to expire, successfully applies for a new licence and attempts to reacquire firearms previously held on the expired licence; or
    • when a licence holder transfers firearms covered under the transitional provisions away from their licence on or after 1 October 2019; or
    • when firearms covered by the transitional provisions are seized by police (e.g. upon suspension of a licence).

    Impact of changes for Class 2 firearm dealers

    The changes only impact Class 2 Firearm Dealers.

    From 1 October 2019, because lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than 5 will be a Category D longarms, Class 2 Firearm Dealers will no longer be able to trade in these types of firearms. 

    This means that Class 2 Dealers will no longer be able to acquire, dispose of or witness transactions involving lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds. Class 2 Dealers will still be able to deal in lever action shotguns with a capacity of no more than 5 rounds because they will be Category B firearms.

    Permits to acquire issued before 1 October 2019

    The transitional provisions only apply to licence holders and the firearms they held before 1 October 2019.

    Where a permit to acquire (PTA) a lever action shotgun was issued but not used before 1 October 2019 the person acquiring the lever action shotgun will need to be appropriately licensed according to the new classification framework.

    This means that from 1 October 2019, a person will need to hold a valid Category B firearm licence to acquire a lever action with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds and a Category D firearm licence to acquire a lever action shotgun with a magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds.

    If a person is not appropriately licensed to possess, use or carry Category B or D longarms an acquisition using a PTA issued before 1 October 2019 cannot be completed even if they would have been able to lawfully possess, use or carry the lever action shotgun on the date the PTA was issued.

Reviewed 29 September 2021

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