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Firearms licensing

Learn about the Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division, including information about firearms and regulation and licence requirements.

The Licensing and Regulation Division of Victoria Police regulates the firearms industry in Victoria.

To learn more about firearms legislation, please refer to the Firearms Act 1996External Link . You can also view our most recent Statement of Expectations, privacy statements and compliance principles on our Licensing and Regulation Division page and firearm licence fees on our Services fees and penalties page.

Status of current applications

Last updated 16 January 2023

Application type Processing applications submitted
New firearm licence applications 30 October 2022
Firearm licence renewal applications 20 December 2022

The application processing times outlined above are indicative only. Complex applications, or those with suitability concerns, may take longer to process.

Additionally, Permit to Acquire applications can take up to 28 days to process.

Phone hours

The Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) customer service phone line operates between 10am-2pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For enquires requesting application processing updates and approval time frames, please review the status of current applications on our website, hereExternal Link .

For general information, please refer to the Firearms and Private Security webpages. Our webpages contain information on topics relating to licensing requirements, access to application forms and guides.

About firearms

A firearm is a device that has the appearance of a firearm, and has the potential to fire an object (shot, bullet or other missile) by the expansion of gases produced in the device by the ignition of strongly combustible materials, compressed air or other gases whether stored in the device in pressurised containers (bullets) or produced by mechanical means. A firearm can be assembled or in parts, and is still a firearm whether operable, or made temporarily or permanently inoperable. There are essentially two types of firearms:

Handguns – firearms that do not exceed 65cm from the butt to the muzzle, are easily concealable and can be fired from one hand (hence the term ‘handgun’), and,

Longarms – firearms that are not handguns.

Examples

Handgun - Revolvers and starter pistols that appear to be a handgun.

Longarms - Rifles, shotguns and machine guns.

Regulation and licence requirements

Firearms are regulated by the Firearms Act 1996External Link . Firearms must be registered with Victoria Police, and a Permit to Acquireas well as an appropriate firearms licence is required to purchase, possess, carry and use such devices in Victoria.

  • An imitation firearm is a device that could be reasonably mistaken for an operable firearm. However, the device is not designed or has not been adapted to discharge a shot, or a bullet or other missile by the expansion of gases in the device due to:

    • the ignition of strongly combustible materials, or by compressed air or other gases, whether stored in the device in pressurised containers or;
    • produced in the device by mechanical means, and is not capable of being made to do so.

    Regulation and licence requirements

    Imitation firearms are regulated by the Control of Weapons Act 1990External Link . To display, possess, carry, use, import or sell an imitation firearm in Victoria, a Chief Commissioner of Police Prohibited Weapons Approval or a Governor in Council Exemption is required.

    Gel Blasters

    LRD know that there are a wide variety of designs and types of gel blasters available on the market. Depending on the type of gel blaster, it may have been classified as either:

    This means gel blasters and similar devices have been classified in Victoria without a physical inspection of each device.

    We have determined that gel blasters and similar types of devices, are classified as imitation firearms in Victoria if they have the appearance of a firearm.

    This means that:

    1. A gel blaster that has the appearance of an operable firearm and can be reasonably mistaken for a firearm are now regulated as an imitation firearm in accordance with section 3 of the Control of Weapons Act 1990External Link
    2. A gel blaster that does not have the appearance of an operable firearm and couldn’t be mistaken for a firearm are now classified as a toy firearm and not regulated
    3. A gel blaster that has been adapted or manufactured to operate like a firearm (whether it looks like a firearm or not) is now regulated as a firearm under the Firearms Act 1996External Link .

    Gel balls are not subject to any regulation as they are not regarded to be ammunition as defined under section 3 of the Firearms Act 1996External Link .

    We currently don’t issue approvals for gel blasters to any individual or organisation. There remains no lawful reason to possess or use them in Victoria.

    This decision not only removes any ambiguity surrounding the regulations around gel blasters, it also allows our members to appropriately enforce legislation. This means there is no need to physically inspect each device when an item is seized. The exception to this is when the gel blaster appears to have been modified to operate like a firearm.

  • A firearm is exempt from regulation if it was manufactured before 1900 and meets the following criteria:

    Handguns

    • its method of ignition pre-dates the development of ‘percussion’* or
    • is a single shot antique handgun

    Longarms

    • it does not take cartridge ammunition or
    • if it does take cartridge ammunition, that ammunition is not commercially available.

    *Percussion is defined as a means of ignition in a firearm in which metallic chemical compounds or fulminates are used to ignite the main powder charge.

    Examples of exempt firearms

    Exempt firearms include pre-1900 muzzle and breach loading firearms such as flintlocks, matchlocks, wheel locks, snap hances, cap locks, inoperable military cannons or field guns, cannon net devices and remote controlled model warship cannons.

    Regulation and licence requirements

    As these firearms are ‘exempt’ from the Firearms Act 1996, there is no regulation or licence requirements to purchase, possess, carry and use exempt firearms in Victoria.

  • A paintball marker is designed to discharge a projectile that primarily consists of a dye or similar substance designed to mark a person or object. Paintball markers come in a variety of styles.

    Regulation and licence requirements

    Paintball Markers must be registered with Victoria Police and anyone wishing to own a paintball markers (for paintball marker activities at an approved location) must hold a Victorian Paintball Marker licence. Non-prohibited persons wishing to participate in paintball activities only (not own a paintball marker) do not need a licence to do so.

  • Toy firearms are items that resemble firearms, but do not have the functionality of working firearms. They are manufactured as a plaything or for providing amusement; and their method of operation (if applicable) falls outside the definition of a firearm in the Firearms Act 1996. Their appearance cannot be mistaken for a working firearm by a reasonable person due to their shape and size; their overall colour which is not normally associated with a working firearm (e.g. fluorescent, or multi coloured); and the materials used in their manufacture create the immediate impression that the device cannot be functional.

    Examples of toy firearms

    Water pistols and foam dart guns that are made of transparent or florescent plastic/wood, and that are smaller or larger than working firearms are examples of toys.

    Regulation and licence requirements

    There is no regulation or licence requirements to purchase, possess, carry and use toy firearms in Victoria.

Firearm Storage

On 30 August 2022, several changes to firearm storage laws were introduced. Firearm owners must store their firearms in accordance with the updated minimum standards set out in Schedule 4 of the Firearms Act 1996. For more information, see the Firearms storage page.

Reviewed 18 January 2023

Our services

Contact Us

Licensing and Regulation Division GPO Box 2807, Melbourne, VIC 3001

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