On a daily basis, I field questions from members of the public about the quickest way to getting a firearms licence.
The truth of the matter is that becoming firearms licensed in Queensland can be a 12 week or even greater process that is driven by legislative requirements including training & having a genuine reason.
There are many reasons Queenslanders apply for a firearms licence.
Contrary to popular belief, with a genuine reason for ownership the process is not as daunting as it may seem.
I’ll break each of these steps down and further simplify as time goes on, but here is an overview of the Weapons Licensing Process.
1. FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE (10618NAT)
Also known as 10618NAT the Firearms Safety Course is a Nationally Recognised training course that is composed of theoretical and practical components delivered by accredited trainers who are licensed firearms instructors on behalf of a Registered Training Organisation.
As with any training environment in the vocational space, there are some great and some really ordinary operators.
The ultimate requirement for successful completion of this course is to;
Demonstrate knowledge of firearms legislation, firearms and community safety
Demonstrate use of Category specific firearms safely
We run courses frequently with the assistance of Pistol Shooting Queensland and In Training Systems as Registered Training Organisations.
To book a slot in our next available training course, check out our Courses page and select the next suitable date.
2. GENUINE REASON
A “genuine reason” as defined by the Queensland Weapons Act 1990 is:
- Sports or target shooting;
- Recreational shooting;
- An occupational requirement, including an occupational requirement for rural purposes;
- The collection, preservation or study of weapons;
- Another reason prescribed under a regulation.
We recommend Shooters Union as a must have membership that will satisfy the requirements of “Genuine Reason” as shown above.
At a cost of only $35/year, Shooters Union are at the forefront of protecting shooters rights in Australia.
If you came in-store seeking advice and assistance on lodging your Firearms Licence with Queensland Weapons Licensing, we would recommend Shooters Union as a valid Genuine Reason.
3. SAFE WEAPONS STORAGE
WEAPONS REGULATION 2016 – REG 78
How and where weapons must be stored
(1) This section applies to a weapon that —
(a) is possessed under an armourer’s licence, dealer’s licence or theatrical ordnance supplier’s licence; and
(b) is not in the licensee’s physical possession.
(2) The weapon must be stored unloaded in any of the following in premises complying with division 2 —
(a) a locked vault complying with division 3;
(b) a locked safe complying with division 3;
(c) a locked gun rack complying with division 4.
(3) However, a licensed dealer who has no more than a total of 20 weapons of category A, B or M at the premises need only store the weapons unloaded in a locked safe, or locked vault, complying with division 3.
(4) Subsection (2) does not apply while the weapon is in the physical possession of a body’s representative endorsed on the licence, or another individual, under the authority of a licence held by the body.
Now that I’ve explained the legal side of safe storage, the most common statement I hear is “I just want a cheap gun safe, so I can spend more money on my gun”.
That doesn’t make sense does it?
A cheap safe is just that, a cheap safe.
At On Target Sporting Arms, we stay well away from cheap gun safes. A cheap gun safe is easily accessed by the very people you are protecting the contents of your safe from.
If you’re about to drop a couple of grand on some guns, consider spending a couple of hundred dollars more and get a secure gun safe. It is a small price to pay.
We stock, sell and supply a variety of gun safes from the folks at Lokaway & Hunt-Pro. Both Lokaway and Hunt-Pro are Australian owned and operated companies. The safes are designed here in Victoria and manufactured overseas to keep costs down.
Their patented locking mechanisms make them among the most secure gun safes in the world today and the price is not that much more than the tin cans sold at Bunnings.
4. FIREARMS LICENCE APPLICATION
Now that you have done the Firearms Safety Course, received your Certificate of Attainment and have a Genuine Reason (become a Shooters Union member) it is time to start your licence application.
This is a daunting process for many people that I deal with so I try and make things as easy as possible and say, just come on down to our Keperra Store and we will walk you through it.
The key things with this part of the process is to be brutally honest. With yourself and the information that you put on the application.
You will be asked if you have ever had any offences, court attendances, past criminal history? Just be blatant and honest. They know already, you won’t fool the process.
If you have had a criminal conviction in the past, that is not necessarily a disqualifying factor when it comes to firearms licensing. Many factors will go into the decision including the time since offence, the seriousness of the offence as well as character.
Answer all questions, upload requested evidence including photograph of your Shooters Union Membership Card (genuine reason) and Proof of Training (Certificate of Attainment) and once complete and the relevant fee paid, the Queensland Weapons Licensing system will email you a Case Reference Number. Keep this handy, you’ll need it for the next part.
You’re all set now, your application is in.
5. PERMIT TO ACQUIRE APPLICATION
Now is the time to go gun shopping.
Using your Case ID Number allocated when lodging your Queensland Firearms Licence Application, you can now lodge a Permit To Acquire.
A Permit to Acquire or PTA is required for every single Firearm, Gun or Weapon (in the State of Queensland) that you wish to have registered on your licence and in your name.
Whether you are buying brand new or second hand from a shop or someone else, a Queensland Firearm Dealer can only broker or oversee the transaction in the presence of a validly issued Permit To Acquire (PTA).
PTA’s in QLD at the time of writing are $40.50 and this generally changes on the 1st July of every year in line with inflation and CPI increases.
The reason you lodge a PTA before receiving your licence and immediately after applying is because for every 1st in category weapon you purchase will require you to sit a mandated 28 day waiting period.
The first Category A Shotgun you buy, 28 day wait.
The first Category B Centrefire Rifle you buy, 28 day wait.
Once you serve these waiting periods once and the first gun is registered to your licence, a Permit to Acquire can take anywhere between 3-21 business days to be issued.
Generally we recommend doing PTA’s one each for a Category A and a Category B and doing it now will enable you to sit out the mandatory 28 days during the very same time that your Firearms licence is being considered.
IF you were to wait for your licence card to arrive (up to 12 weeks or more after applying) you would then have to wait a further 28 days. No one likes waiting. It sucks.
When lodging your Permit, you will need these details:
On Target Sporting Arms
9/65 Gilston Street, Keperra QLD 4054
Dealer Number: 50000393
Other details you will need to supply are:
Category: A, B, C or D
Description: Centrefire Rifle, Rimfire Rifle etc
Action: Break, Bolt, Lever etc
Calibre: 270WIN or 12GA for e.g.
Only supply the minimum required. You might change your mind and decide that the Make, Model & Serial number you have settled on needs to change and that only makes things more difficult down the track.
Lastly, make sure to select the tick box (as shown on image above) for “Email To Dealer” this means we will be sent a copy of your Permit To Acquire electronically and this will save you an average 10 days vs having it sent to you in the post.
6. QUEENSLAND POLICE IDENTITY CHECK
Typically, 3 to 4 weeks after lodging your Queensland Firearms Licence Application with QLD Weapons Licensing you will receive an email requesting you attend a QLD Police Station to provide 100 Points of Identification.
This identity check is to confirm that you are who you say you are and is a sign that your process is moving forward.
Now is the time to hurry up and wait.
The first sign of movement after completing the identity check will be an email from QLD Weapons Licensing notifying you of an outcome. When you receive an email it will typically be an approval email which means in the next 10-14 days you will receive your physical licence card and all going well, we will receive your Permits To Acquire. Once you have the licence and we have the Permits, you can collect your new Firearms and take them home with you.
Yes. It’s a process, but once you’re done, you’re done.
If you don’t start it now, it will be a much longer process to become Firearms Licensed in Queensland.
Need a hand? Give On Target Sporting Arms a call on 1300 SHOTGUN and chat with the team or visit the store and we will help you to lodge your application on the spot and get you on the road to legal firearms ownership in Australia.