Firearms Licences

We understand that your firearms licence is important.

Click on a link below for information about firearms licences and how Sydney Criminal Lawyers® can assist you.

Restrictions on Issuing Firearms Licences

Being denied a firearms licence for work or other purposes can be frustrating and time-consuming.

If you’ve been unfairly refused a firearms licence for no good reason, our experienced lawyers can request an internal review of the decision by the Commissioner of Police. We will prepare all documentation and evidence to support your case and show why you require a firearms licence.

Should your application be further refused, we can request an appeal by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

What do I have to prove before I can get a firearms licence?

The law imposes rigorous restrictions to ensure that only suitable persons are issued with a firearms licence.

To obtain a firearms licence, you must prove to the Commissioner of Police that you:

What is a ‘fit and proper person’?

When determining whether you are a ‘fit and proper person,’ the Commissioner of Police can consider a range of personal traits, such as:

What is a ‘genuine reason’ for using or possessing a firearm?

To be issued with a firearms licence, you must prove to the Commissioner of Police that you have a ‘genuine reason’ for possessing or using a firearm.

A genuine reason does not include personal protection, protection of other people, or protection of property. For example, you will be denied a licence where your only reason for having a firearm is to protect against intruders or trespassers.

Genuine reasons for having a firearms licence include:

Why might I be refused a firearms licence?

You cannot be granted a firearms licence if:

You may also be refused a firearms licence where the Commissioner of Police has received criminal intelligence information that:

In these situations, the Commissioner does not have to give reasons for denying you a licence.

What is a prescribed offence?

The law says that you may be denied a firearms licence if you’ve been convicted of a ‘prescribed offence’ in Australia in the past 10 years.

‘Prescribed offences’ include:

Offences that Disqualify Applicants

Clause 5 of the Firearms Regulation 1996 (NSW) states that a firearms licence or permit cannot be issued for the following offences, or for equivalent offences in Australia or overseas:

  1. Any offence of possessing or using a firearm or any other weapon,
  2. Any drug offence where a sentence of 6 months imprisonment or more and/or fine of $2,200 or more is imposed,
  3. Any offence involving infliction of ‘actual bodily harm’ – or attempting, threatening or conspiring to commit actual bodily harm – where a sentence of 28 days imprisonment fine of $200 or more is imposed,
  4. Any offence involving kidnapping or abduction, stalking or intimidation, or attempting, threatening or consipring to commit such an offence,
  5. Any offence of a ‘sexual nature’ under Part 3, Divisions 10, 15 or 15A of the Crimes Act which are sections 61 – 80AA and 91C – 91H, including any offences under sections 38, 111, 112 or 113 of the Crimes Act where there is an attempt to commit offences under the previously stated sections, any offence under section 11G of the Summary Offences Act, or any equivalent offence outside NSW, or any attempt to commit, threatening to commit or conspiring to commit any of the said offences,
  6. Any offence of fraud, dishonesty or stealing where a sentence of 3 months imprisonment or more was imposed,
  7. Any offence involving robbery,
  8. Any offence relating to terrorism.

Additionally, a firearms licence cannot be issued to any person under a good behaviour bond for any of the above offences.

Suspension or Revocation of Firearms Licences

In some situations, the Commissioner of Police can suspend or revoke your firearms licence. Understandably, this can have a significant impact on your ability to work or engage in leisure pursuits, such as hunting or firearms collecting.

However, with the right legal team on your side, you can fight to get your firearms licence back, so that you can continue working or pursuing your hobbies as you please.

In what situations can my firearms licence be suspended or revoked?

Under the Firearms Act, the Commissioner of Police has the power to either suspend or revoke your licence in certain situations.

A suspension is a temporary cancellation of your firearms licence until a final decision has been made about whether or not you can keep the licence. If you have received a notice stating that your licence has been suspended, you will not be allowed to possess or use firearms during the specified suspension period. If you do so, you may face heavy penalties.

A revocation is where a decision has been made to permanently revoke your firearms licence. You will not be able to possess or use firearms once your licence has been revoked unless you manage to have the revocation overturned.

There are many circumstances which may give rise to your firearms licence being revoked or suspended. One of the most common situations is where you have been charged with a domestic violence offence, or where the Commissioner reasonably believes that you threatened or committed a domestic violence offence.

Other examples of situations in which your licence can be revoked include:

What happens if my firearms licence is suspended?

Generally, before your firearms licence can be permanently revoked, it will be temporarily suspended to allow you to respond to the decision before your licence is permanently cancelled. Until a final decision has been made, you will not be allowed to possess or use firearms.

If a decision has been made to suspend your firearms licence, the Commissioner of Police will issue you with a notice informing you that your licence has been suspended and providing you with the reasons why it has been suspended.

You will then be given the opportunity to provide the Commissioner with a response detailing why the licence should not be revoked.

In certain situations, the Commissioner of Police does not have to provide reasons for the suspension, or offer you a chance to prove why the licence should not be revoked. This generally occurs where the Police Commissioner receives information that you may be a risk to public safety, or that having a licence may pose a threat to the public interest.

If your firearms licence has been suspended or revoked, the law says that you must immediately surrender your firearms licence to police, along with any firearms in your possession. Alternatively, the police can seize your firearms in cases where you do not surrender them yourself.

If you fail to surrender your firearms, you could face the hefty penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine. These penalties will not apply where your licence has expired and you have applied for a new licence.

If your licence has been suspended and you wish to fight the suspension, it’s important to get an experienced lawyer on your side with a good track record of helping clients keep their firearms licence.

A good lawyer can assist you in writing to the Commissioner to show why your licence should not be revoked. A compelling letter will include all evidence as to why you should keep your licence – for example, evidence to show that you need the firearm for work, or expert evidence such as psychologist’s reports to show that you are a fit and proper person.

Surrender & Seizure of Firearms

Section 25 of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) requires a firearms licence holder to immediately surrender their firearms and their firearms licence to police if their licence is suspended, revoked or otherwise is no longer in force.

The maximum penalty for failing to do so is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.

The section also says that any police officer can seize any firearm from a person whose licence is suspended, revoked or no longer in force.

However, the section does not apply to expired licences if the licence continues to have effect while an application for a fresh licence is being determined.

Firearms Licence Appeals

If you feel that your firearms licence has been unfairly suspended or revoked, you may wish to appeal the decision of the Police Commissioner to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

If you’ve decided to lodge an appeal against the Commissioner’s decision, it’s important that you get a good lawyer on your side with considerable experience appearing before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. That’s where the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® can help.

Our experienced lawyers have appeared in countless appeals before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal in relation to firearms matters.

Because our lawyers understand the need for a firearms licence in many areas of work and leisure, we fight hard in every case to ensure that our clients keep their licence.

What types of decisions can be appealed?

Most decisions of the Police Commissioner to refuse a firearms licence, or to suspend or revoke a firearms licence, can be appealed to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Examples of decisions that can be appealed include:

What types of decisions cannot be appealed?

There are, however, certain decisions by the Police Commissioner that cannot be appealed to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. These are:

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

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Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases. Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial. Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.

    We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

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  7. All NSW Courts

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  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists. All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005. An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field. Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

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  12. Convenience

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