Frequently Asked Questions on the P650 Process

Use of an Approved Range by Unlicensed Persons

Overview

From 1 October, 2008, a person may possess and use firearms on an approved range without the authority of a licence or permit (or other exemption) when they wish to try out the sport of shooting or when they are participating in an approved firearms safety training course, provided that they:

  • Remain under the direct supervision of a suitably licensed club/range official (or licence holder appointed by them) or firearms instructor, and
  • Have completed a declaration form P650 and responded 'No' to all questions in the personal history in Section B of the form.

Completing the P650 Declaration Form

Direct Supervision

Unlicensed Persons undertaking Firearms Safety Training

Unlicensed Persons wanting to try Target Shooting

Club/Range Obligations

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Completing the P650 Declaration Form

What is a P650 Declaration form?Back to Top

A P650 'Declaration - Person shooting on an Approved Range or undertaking a Firearms Safety Training Course' is the form which must be completed prior to an unlicensed person shooting on a range or undertaking firearms safety training - section 6B of the Firearms Act 1996. The form asks a series of questions required by legislation - clause 110 of the Firearms Regulation 2006.

If a person wishes to participate in both activities as prescribed by section 6B (1)(a) and section 6B (1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1996, then two (2) declarations are required to be completed.

Where are the P650 forms available?

From approved Firearms Instructors, your local Firearms Club, on the Clubs Internet page or by clicking on the following link:

Direct Supervision

What is direct supervision?Back to Top

Close and direct supervision is direct, personal and exclusive supervision and must not exceed a ratio of one unlicensed person to one licensed supervisor.

The licensed supervisor must be present at the firing line and not leave whilst shooting activities are being undertaken by the unlicensed person.

The licensed supervisor must be able to immediately render assistance to the unlicensed person, if required.

The licensed supervisor must personally convey the firearm and ammunition to be used by the unlicensed person from its place of storage to the firing line.

The licensed supervisor must personally convey the firearm and ammunition from the firing line to the place of storage upon the conclusion of shooting activities.

Who is authorised to directly supervise unlicensed persons on the range?

A person who is the holder of a licence to possess or use a firearm of the kind being used by the unlicensed person may directly supervise the unlicensed person. The supervising person must be authorised by a club or range official.

Can an interstate person directly supervise unlicensed persons on the range?

Yes current legislation allows direct supervision of unlicensed persons by interstate licence holders who are authorised to possess or use a firearm of the kind being used by the unlicensed person.

Clause 109A of the Firearms Regulation 2006, extends the supervision of unlicensed persons using an approved range under section 6B of the Firearms Act 1996.

Clause 25(1)(e) of the Firearms Regulation 2006, provides for an interstate resident who is the holder of the equivalent of a category A or B licence issued in their State or Territory, to supervise an unlicensed person who possesses and uses a firearm at an approved range in accordance with section 6B(1)(a) of the Firearms Act 1996.

Clause 25(2) of the Firearms Regulation 2006, provides for an interstate resident who is the holder of the equivalent of a category H licence issued in their State or Territory, to supervise an unlicensed person who possesses and uses a firearm at an approved range in accordance with section 6B(1)(a) of the Firearms Act 1996.

Unlicensed Persons undertaking Firearms Safety Training

If a firearms safety training course is run over several days, does a person participating in that course need to complete the P650 form each day?

No, the P650 form, once completed for the purpose of a firearms safety training course lasts for the duration of that course.

When does the parent/legal guardian of a minor need to sign a P650 form?

Only when a minor is undertaking an approved firearms safety training course under direct supervision of an approved firearms safety training instructor. The P650 form covers the duration of the safety training course.

If I complete a P650 form to undertake a firearms safety (longarms) training course signed by an approved FST Instructor, does this also authorise me to shoot under supervision at an approved shooting range?

No, the P650 form you signed only authorises you to undertake the firearms safety training course. If you want to shoot under direct supervision of a licence holder at an approved range you need to complete a separate P650 Declaration form signed by an authorised club or range official.

Unlicensed Persons wanting to try Target Shooting

Does a person need to complete a new declaration every time they wish to try target shooting under direct supervision at an approved range?

No, the P650 form must be completed on the first occasion by an unlicensed person. Where the person seeks to attend the shooting range on more than one occasion, the club or range official can:

Club/Range Obligations

Does the P650 form apply to possession and use of longarms and pistols?

Yes, however it excludes prohibited firearms.

What is meant by 'possess' in relation to a person shooting on an approved range?

For the purposes of section 6B of the Firearms Act 1996, 'possess' is defined as knowingly having custody of a firearm. Section 4(1) and section 4A of the Firearms Act 1996.

Does a club/range official have a right to refuse to allow a person to shoot on the range?

A club and range approval must be operated with proper regard to the preservation of public safety and the peace. Clause 89(2)(a) and clause 92(2)(b) of the Firearms Regulation 2006, provide grounds for revocation of a range or club approval if they are not operated with proper regard to public safety. The club/range needs to be administered in accordance with their rules and the advice they receive from their peak firearms association and insurance provider.

The club/range official determines who they approve to shoot on their range.  Clause 132 of the Firearms Regulation 2006 provides for an offence of trespass where a person enters a shooting range without the approval of the owner/occupier of the range.  The club/range is private property and the club/range officials are at liberty to ask any person to leave the premises at any time.  If a person refuses to leave the range, the club/range officials may choose to contact local Police.

Will the licence number of all persons using the range need to be recorded?

No, only those persons who do not have target shooting as their genuine reason will need to have their licence number recorded (such as recreational hunters and primary producers sighting in on the range).

Is there a limit to the number of times a person can shoot at a range after completing the P650 form?

No, the legislation does not provide for statutory limits to the number of times an unlicensed person can shoot although club/range officials should consider the purpose for the return visits,  ie. completion of firearms safety training or to try sport target shooting.

Can a club stop unlicensed persons coming back multiple times, completing the P650 form and shooting with no intention of joining the club or applying for a firearms licence?

The club or range official determines who they approve to shoot on their range. Clause 132 of the Firearms Regulation 2006, provides for an offence of trespass where a person enters a shooting range without the approval of the owner/occupier of the range. The club/range is private property and they are at liberty to ask any person to leave the premises at any time. The club will need to administer this in accordance with their rules and the advice they receive from their peak firearms association and insurance provider.

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