In Victoria, it is an offence to use or carry a loaded firearm in certain places unless you have written approval from the Chief Commissioner or an exemption legislated under section 130 of the Firearms Act 1996 (the Firearms Act).
Individuals who are not exempt may apply to the Licensing and Regulation Division to obtain a Public Place Permit to authorise them to use or carry a firearm in public places in specific circumstances.
A person who applies for a Public Place Permit must have their application approved before they can carry or use a loaded firearm in a public place. This requirement should be considered before making an application for a Public Place Permit.
Firearms and public places
All applications for Public Place Permits are assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, the majority of public place permits are issued for vermin control, performing arts or historical re-enactment activities.
Permits issued for activities other than vermin control are generally issued for a specific activity or event.
Eligibility for Public Place Permits
To be eligible for a Public Place Permit you must provide evidence to support your application.
Applicants who require a Public Place Permit for use or carriage of a firearm in an enclosed area will be considered provided they hold their licence for any of the following genuine reasons:
- professional hunter
- (professional business) vermin (pest) controller
- performing arts and re-enactment groups
- municipal council employees
- Victorian Government department, eg. DELWP employer
- feral bird control
- veterinary purposes
- zoo employees
Applicants who require a Public Place Permit for use or carriage of a firearm in an open area (eg. farmland or football ground) will be considered provided they hold their licence for any of the following genuine reasons:
- primary production
Each application for a Public Place Permit (for vermin control, re-enactment or performing acts) will be considered on its merits and a determination will be made by the delegate of the Chief Commissioner of Police.
In addition to the submission of the application form, you will also be required to provide:
- a copy of your current business registration in respect to vermin control
- a copy of your Standard Operating Procedures, including specific reference to site risk assessments, firearms safety principles and general safety procedures
- a copy of public liability insurance specific to your vermin control business and the use of firearms
- evidence of current Level 1 First Aid qualification
The application form for Public Place Permits issued for the purpose of vermin control is available here:
The application form for Public Place Permits issued for performing art and re-enactment is available here:
Information for vermin controllers
In July 2017, Licensing and Regulation Division introduced changes to public place permits for vermin controllers. Public place permits for the activity of vermin control will be issued for a period of 12 months will no longer be date and location specific.
Holders of public place permits issued for vermin control will be permitted to carry and use loaded firearms in any public places at any time for the purpose of vermin destruction provided the use of the firearm complies with the conditions of the permit.
Prior to the use of a firearm in a public place the holder of the permit will be responsible for obtaining verbal approval from the Divisional Firearm Officer or police station closest to where the activity will take place.
The holder of the permit must abide by any verbal instructions given to them by the approving Divisional Firearm Officer or police member.
Reviewed 24 April 2019