If you want to own a firearm in NSW you need to obtain a firearms licence.
The licence requirements vary depending on the type of firearm and your reasons for wanting to own it.
If you are collecting firearms in NSW, you will need to apply for a Firearm Collector Licence.
What is a Firearm Collector Licence?
A Firearm Collector Licence allows you to legally possess a collection of firearms, but does not permit you to collect ammunition or use the weapons.
Under the terms of the licence, you can own a firearm collection that has a proven historical, financial or commemorative value as long as you are a member of an approved firearms collector’s club or society.
How do I get a Firearm Collector Licence?
Firearms licensing in NSW is administered by the Firearms Registry, which is part of the NSW Police Force.
To get a firearms licence, you will need to apply in writing and fill out the relevant form for the type of licence you want to apply for.
Depending on the type of licence you are applying for, there may be other requirements or documentation you need to provide.
To get a Firearm Collector Licence, you will need to provide details of the club or organisation that you are a member of.
If you want to collect certain types of firearms you may be asked to provide a letter from the club secretary or other office holder confirming that your collection is of historical, commemorative, financial or thematic value.
There are a number of firearms that are prohibited under this licence, except under specific circumstances.
You will not be allowed to collect any prohibited firearms, and post-1946 pistols are generally excluded.
Firearms that are dated after 1900 or prohibited pistols will need to be rendered temporarily inoperable, and any Category D firearms are required to be rendered permanently inoperable.
To maintain your Firearm Collector Licence you will need to keep up your club membership and attend at least one meeting in every 12-month period.
Do I need to undertake a safety course?
Even though a Firearm Collector Licence doesn’t allow you to operate a firearm, you will still be required to complete an approved firearm safety course if this is your first application for a firearms licence.
What are the storage requirements?
As a firearms collector, you will be required to abide by a number of restrictions to ensure your collection is stored safely.
As well as rendering certain categories of firearm inoperable by using trigger locks, these restrictions include:
- Firearms must also be stored in a separate area with specific types of locks and solid walls and roof.
- Doors should also be solid or reinforced with steel, and hinges must be concealed or welded so they can’t be removed.
- If you take your firearms out of their locked cases to display them you must be physically present in the room or area for the duration of the time they are removed, and return them before you leave the area.
- As a firearms collector, you could have your licence revoked if you don’t adhere to the requirements, so it is important to be aware what your obligations are.
If you feel that your Firearm Collector Licence has been unfairly refused or revoked, it may be worth speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in firearms matters for advice.