Frequently Asked Questions - Acquiring a Firearm

Permit to Acquire a Firearm (PTA)

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How do I acquire a firearm?

Any person wishing to purchase a firearm must hold a current NSW firearms licence or permit and make application to the Firearms Registry for the issue of a Permit to Acquire a Firearm.

What requirements must be met to obtain a Permit to Acquire (PTA)?

To make application for a Permit to Acquire a firearm you must hold a current NSW firearms licence or permit to make application for a Permit to Acquire a firearm.

DO NOT send a PTA application until your firearms licence has been issued and received by you from Service NSW/RMS.

You may only acquire a particular type of firearm if you hold the corresponding category of licence for that firearm. For example, you must hold a category A licence to acquire a category A type firearm.

A separate PTA application form must be completed for each firearm and you must have 'good reason' for acquiring the firearm.

A PTA remains in force until the firearm is acquired or for 90 days, after which time it will expire.

How do I obtain a Permit to Acquire application form?

You can obtain PTA application forms from a firearms dealer or from your shooting club. Alternatively, you may email firearmsenq@police.nsw.gov.au and request the forms be mailed to you – please include the following details in your email:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Number of forms required (one form for each firearm you wish to purchase)
  • Whether you require Longarm or Handgun application forms, or both

Please allow up to 10 days to receive the forms by mail..

Upon completion the PTA application form must be returned to the Firearms Registry for processing. Remember, you may only make application for one firearm per application form.

When the PTA is issued it will be posted to you and you may then acquire your firearm on presentation of the issued PTA to your firearms dealer.

How much does a PTA cost?

Each Permit to Acquire costs $30.00. You may pay by cheque, money order or by completing your credit card details on the application form.

If you are paying by cheque or money order, please make this payable to the NSW Police Force.

There are certain exemptions for fees for a PTA for pensioners and primary producers. Please see the Schedule of Fees or the P562 or P563 FACT sheets for information on fee exemptions.

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How long do I have to wait until my PTA is issued?

Initial PTA - a mandatory 28 day waiting period applies from the date the application is received at the Firearms Registry before your PTA can be issued. Your licence must be current and in an issued status before a PTA will be issued.

Second and subsequent PTA's for the same type of firearm as one already registered to you or registered to you in the 90 days prior to making your application - no waiting period applies. For example, if you have an issued category A, B or H licence and you already have a category A, B or H type firearm registered to you at the time of making application for a PTA (or have had a firearm of that type registered to you in the 90 days prior to making application for your PTA), there is no waiting period for the issue of your PTA.

For the purpose of a PTA application, category A and B firearms are considered to be the same type of firearm. For example, if you have a licence issued for both category A and B and you have a category A type firearm registered to you at the time of making application for a category B type firearm, there is no waiting period for the issue of your PTA.

What is the validity of a PTA?

A Permit to Acquire (PTA) is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and the expiry date is printed on the PTA.  Once the expiry date has passed the PTA is no longer valid and cannot be used to purchase a firearm, nor be extended.  

Can I change the Firearm Category on a PTA application?

If processing of your PTA application has been finalised and the PTA has been approved and issued, no changes or amendments can be made.

If processing of your PTA application has not been finalised, requests to change the category of firearm will be considered. Please check the status of your PTA application on the ‘Check your Licence, Permit or Permit to Acquire link from our Home Page prior to lodging your request.

Your request should be emailed to frpta@police.nsw.gov.au or faxed to 02 6670 8558, marked ‘Attention PTA Officer’ and include the following details –

  • Full Name
  • DOB
  • Firearms Licence Number (or Drivers Licence Number)
  • Residential Address
  • Mailing Address (if different from residential)
  • Current Phone Number
  • The firearm category you wish to change,  for example now require A1 instead of B1.

Can I check on the progress of my PTA application?

The Public Register on the Firearms Registry website lists the status of your PTAs as well as the status of your firearms licence.

Click on the Check your Licence, Permit or Permit to Acquire link from our Home page, enter your Firearms Licence number and the Verification Code shown on screen, then press Search.  A status report listing any PTAs processing and issued will be displayed on screen.

What if my PTA has expired?

A Permit to Acquire (PTA) is valid for 90 days from the date of issue which is considered sufficient time to source and purchase a firearm.  A PTA cannot be re-instated after it has expired;  a new PTA application will need to be lodged along with the $30 fee (if applicable).

What if I am acquiring a firearm in NSW?

All firearms transactions, both acquisition and disposal, must be witnessed by a licensed NSW Firearms Dealer. The dealer will return the section titled 'Notice of Purchase' to the Firearms Registry to finalise the transfer of Registration of the firearm.

If there is no licensed Firearms Dealer within 100km of the residential address of both the buyer and the seller, the transaction may be witnessed by an authorised police officer.

What if I am acquiring a firearm from Interstate or Overseas?

If the firearm is to be acquired from Interstate or Overseas, you will still require a permit to acquire the firearm. In addition you will need to locate a NSW Firearms Dealer to arrange for the transfer of the firearm from Interstate or overseas to the NSW Firearms Dealer.

Once the firearm is received, the Dealer will undertake necessary steps to register the firearm in NSW and transfer the ownership of the firearm to you upon presentation of a valid PTA.

For further information refer to:

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