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Bolt In? Or Bolt Out?

As the title suggests, this is a commonly asked question in Queensland.

There are many different interpretations from the general shooting community.

Overnight, I’ve heard such things as:

“My bolts are removed & in the ammo safe. I would put a trigger lock on leaver actions”

“Bolts must be removed. Lever actions obviously cant be removed so broken/open is sufficient.”

“The legislation (LAW) says the bolt must be removed”

“That clears it up, it must be in the safe removed from the rifle but not required to be locked away separately”

“Store the bolts in the bottom of the safe with the firearms. That’s always been written in the legislation. They don’t have to be removed from the safe where the firearm is store”


Sadly, they’re all wrong and these conversations prove my point that Facebook is a terrible source of credible information.

People are jumping through ridiculous hoops they just don’t have to.

I have a better idea than most because I deal with questions like this on a daily basis.

Let me break it down for you.

The Golden Rule: Always refer to the source document

Queensland Weapons Act 1990

Weapons Regulation 2016

Weapons Categories Regulation 1997

The regulation clearly states:

Section 94 (2)

A person who possesses a weapon must, when the weapon is not in the person’s physical possession, store it unloaded in a locked container complying with subsections (5) and (6), with the weapon’s bolt removed or its action broken.


The key words here are “weapon’s bolt removed OR its action broken”

Does this mean you MUST remove the bolt from your gun? No.

You must either remove the bolt from your gun OR store the gun with its action broken.

“Action Broken” seemed to also be a source of confusion for some people too. This is quite simple.

In regards to a Bolt Action, an action Open is an action Broken.

IF the action is OPEN, it is BROKEN.

Same for a Semi-Auto Handgun.

IF the action is OPEN, it is BROKEN

Pump Action? Open on the Action, Action = BROKEN

It’s important to note, that a rifle bolt is a major firearm component, as such it is required to be stored under the same requirements as your rifle itself.

Don’t fall into the trap of sticking your bolt in your ammo locker which has different or less stringent requirements.

I hope this clears it up for you.

Losing a bolt is an expensive process and in some situations it will cost you almost as much as replacing the rifle itself.

Pretty hard to lose a bolt if you keep it in the gun with the action broken. 


Matt Joseph
Staff Writer