Licence Types

In NSW any person seeking to possess and use a firearm must be authorised by way of a licence or permit.

The links below provide information on each of the licence types and additional related information:

New Firearm Licence Application

When you apply for a NSW firearms licence you must provide evidence of your genuine reason for the possession and use of firearms.

The protection of yourself or another person is not considered a genuine reason.

Refer to the Licence Categories & Genuine Reason Table (PDF). Your genuine reason will determine:

  • the category of licence issued
  • the type of firearm you’re authorised to possess and use

You can have more than one genuine reason on your firearms licence.

Firearms licences are issued for 2 or 5 years with the exception of:

  • first time applicants for a category H firearm licence with the genuine reason of:
  • target shooting, who will be subject to a probationary pistol licence – PDF for the first 12 months.
  • business or employment as an armed security guard, who will be subject to a provisional pistol licence – PDF for the first 12 months.

Note: If you're applying for a genuine reason or category other than the above, you may need to be issued with a separate licence.

  • primary producers engaged in an authorised eradication campaign who may be eligible for a 12-month category D licence.

A fee is attached to a licence application. The application fee covers:

  • administration costs
  • national and NSW police checks
  • a photo card.

Fee exemptions may be available for:

  • primary producers whose sole genuine reason for their licence is primary production
  • holders of the following current concession cards who are applying for an A, B or H firearms licence only:
    • Centrelink Pension Card
    • Disability Card
    • Veterans' Affairs Card (including concession and health care card).

Eligibility

You must be a resident of NSW and:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a fit and proper person to have access to firearms
  • have successfully completed a firearms training and safety course applicable to the type of firearm licence you're applying for
  • be able to provide evidence to justify your genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm.

Note: The Firearms Registry may seek further information from you if there are concerns about your fitness to hold a firearms licence. This could include a medical assessment from your treating medical professional, if applicable.

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account (www.service.nsw.gov.au) linked to the NSW Police Force
  • a copy of your firearms training and safety course certificate or pistol safe handling certificate
  • documented details of the address(s) where you'll safely store your firearms (if applicable)
  • documentation to support each genuine reason/category
  • a current credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for your payment, or
  • a copy of your current eligible pensioner card.

In addition, depending on your genuine reason(s):

  • if you’re applying for a licence over and above a category A firearms licence, you need:
    • evidence that a ‘special need’ exists for a category B, C, D or H licence
    • the reason(s) why the special need cannot be met by using another category of firearm.
  • if you're applying for a category H firearm licence with the genuine reason of business or employment as an armed security guard, you need:
    • a copy of your current 1F security licence
    • a current firearms training and safety course certificate
    • a letter of intent and endorsement from an approved master licensee.

Note: All documentation (certificates, documents, letters, licences, concession cards) must be in a digital format for uploading. Accepted file types are BMP, DOC, DOCX, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF, XLS, XLSX with a 5MB size limit.

How to apply

  • Gather all your digital/scanned documentation, and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your application once you have started.
  • Check you meet all the eligibility requirements.
  • Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  • Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account at www.service.nsw.gov.au.
  • Link to the NSW Police Force.
  • Complete the online application form.
  • Upload your supporting documentation.
  • Enter your payment details (if requested).
  • Read and confirm the declaration.
  • Review and submit your application.

Service NSW will send you an email confirming your application has been successfully submitted.

More information

Before any new firearms licence can be issued, there is a legislated mandatory 28-day waiting period from the date of application.

In addition to the waiting period, the Firearms Registry thoroughly reviews new licence applicants to ensure they satisfy all licensing requirements and public safety considerations. As a result, processing times differ.

The Firearms Registry will send you a letter confirming that your application is being processed. You are also able to check:

If your application is approved, you'll receive a Photograph Advice letter requesting you to attend a Service NSW Centre to have your photo taken. Make sure you visit the service centre before your Photograph Advice expires. The licence will be sent to you by post.

If your application is not successful you can email the NSW Firearms Registry at firearms@police.nsw.gov.au to discuss refund options.

It is an offence to store firearms at premises where no-one resides. Please refer to the following Safe Storage FACT sheets for more information:

The following resources provide some additional information:

Genuine Reason

Sport / Target Shooting

Sport / Target Shooting Genuine Reason

This genuine reason applies to a person who wishes to participate in Sport/Target Shooting activities as a current member of an approved Target Shooting Club.

Note: The Club must be authorised for target shooting and approved for conducting competitions or activities for the type of firearm authorised by the category of licence for which you are making application. For example, if your club is approved for AB target shooting activities only, then membership of this club would support an application for a category A & B firearms licence application only.

For further information refer to:

Recreational Hunting / Vermin Control

Recreational Hunting / Vermin Control Genuine Reason

This genuine reason applies to a person who wishes to participate in recreational hunting/vermin control (RHVC) activities as:

  1. A current member of an approved club, or
  2. The owner/occupier of rural land, or
  3. A person who has permission to shoot from an owner/occupier of rural land, or
  4. A person who has permission to shoot from a prescribed government agency, including the Department of Primary Industries.

For further information refer to:

Primary Production

Primary Production Genuine Reason

This genuine reason authorises a primary producer to possess and use a firearm in connection with farming & grazing activities.

The authority of the licence is ONLY for land that the applicant owns, manages or leases for the business of primary production, except in the case of a category C licence issued to a primary producer. In this case the primary producer may possess and use a firearm to which a category C licence applies on land which is used for primary production that immediately adjoins their own land provided they have the prior written permission of the owner or occupier of that adjoining land.

An Employee Authority authorising possession and use of a Category C type firearm registered to a primary producer is available for a person employed by a primary producer. To apply, see the link below.

For further information refer to:

Vertebrate Pest Animal Control

Vertebrate Pest Animal Control (VPAC) Genuine Reason

This genuine reason applies to a person who wishes to use firearms for the control or suppression of vertebrate pest animals as:

  • A professional contract shooter engaged or employed to control vertebrate pest animals on rural land, or
  • An authorised officer or employee of a prescribed Government Agency, or
  • A Primary Producer taking part in an Authorised Eradication Campaign run by or on behalf of a government agency or public authority to eradicate large feral animals or animals that are affected by brucellosis or tuberculosis.

For further information refer to:

  • FACT Sheet - Vertebrate Pest/Animal Control (VPAC) Genuine Reason (PDF)
  • Business or Employment

    Business or Employment - Security Industry - Business or Security Guard

    For information in relation to a firearms licence for the genuine reason of Business or Employment for a Security Business or for a Security guard, please refer to our Security Industry Firearms page:

    Business or Employment - Commercial Fishing

    This genuine reason applies to a person who owns and operates a commercial fishing business or to a person employed in the fishing industry. Proof of employment as a commercial fisherman will need to accompany this application.

    For further information refer to:

    Business or Employment - Business Other

    This genuine reason form applies to a person who is in Business or Employment other than the Security Industry or Commercial Fishing. An example of this type of licence is a licence issued to a Council for the purpose of eradication of wild dogs etc.

    For further information refer to:

    Rural Occupation

    Occupational requirements relating to rural purposes - Rural Occupation

    This genuine reason form applies to a person who is employed or engaged in a Rural Occupation.

    This genuine reason could apply to an employee of a primary producer or a family member of the primary producer to whom the genuine reason of Primary Production does not apply.

    For further information refer to:

    Animal Welfare

    Animal Welfare Genuine Reason

    This genuine reason is for those people who work with or handle animals and need a firearm for the humane destruction of stock. There are four genuine reason forms for persons involved in animal welfare activities:

    1. An officer of the RSPCA or the Animal Welfare League who is a special constable, or
    2. A veterinary practitioner, or
    3. An employee of the Department of Primary Industries or the Local Land Services AND who has responsibility for animal welfare, or
    4. The owner, transporter, drover or other handler of animals who may need to humanely destroy animals.

    For further information refer to:

  • FACT Sheet - Animal Welfare Genuine Reason (PDF)
  • Firearms Collection

    Firearms Collection Genuine Reason

    This genuine reason applies to a person who collects firearms as a current member of a collectors' society or collectors' club approved by the Commissioner of Police. The collection must have a proven genuine commemorative, historical, thematic or financial value.

    A Firearm Collector licence allows for the possession of firearms only, not their use.

    In addition, there are specific requirements for the storage of firearms forming part of the collection. Section 20(e) of the Firearms Act 1996 and clause 36 of the Firearms Regulation 2017 provide further information on the requirements which must be met for safe storage of firearms kept as a firearms collection. There is also a FACT Sheet 'Safe Storage Level 9 - Firearms Collector' available on the Safe Storage page.

    NOTE: This licence does not authorise the collection of ammunition. For information on collection of ammunition see Ammunition Collection Permit.

    For further information refer to:

    Renew a Firearms Licence

    You must lodge your online renewal application before the licence expiry date. This is necessary so that your authority to possess or use firearms under your current licence will continue, while your renewal is being processed.

    The Firearms Registry will send you a letter when your licence is within 90 days of expiring. A second letter will be sent within 30 days of your licence expiring. If you haven't renewed it within 7 days of its expiry date, the Firearms Registry will send you an SMS reminder or contact you by phone.

    Changes to your current licence must be made before you renew.

    If you want to add a genuine reason and/or category:

    • complete the changes online.

    If you want to delete a genuine reason and/or category:

    If your renewal application is for an A, B, or H firearms licence only, and your pensioner status has changed and you'd like approval for a fee exemption:

    Note: The Firearms Registry may seek further information from you if there are concerns about your fitness to hold a firearms licence. This may involve a medical assessment from your treating medical professional.

    The Firearms Registry will email you when the change(s) have been made, and/or approval has been given, and you can then go ahead with your renewal.

    If your firearms licence is due to expire within the next 5 working days, and you want to add or delete a category, it's recommended that you contact the Firearms Registry on 1300 365 562 before you request any changes.

    Note: You have a legal obligation as a licence or permit holder to notify the Firearms Registry of any changes to your personal details.

    Eligibility

    You must be a resident of NSW and:

    • hold a current NSW individual firearms licence that is within 90 days of expiring, or
    • have received your notification from the Firearms Registry advising you to lodge your licence renewal online
    • have completed any changes to your current licence and received confirmation from the Firearms Registry that the changes have been processed.

    Changes could include:

    • adding or deleting a genuine reason or category
    • being approved for a fee exemption as a pensioner or primary producer.

    What you need:

    • a MyServiceNSW Account (www.service.nsw.gov.au) linked to the NSW Police Force
    • your current firearms licence number (located on the front of your licence)
    • details of the address/s where you'll safely store your firearms (if applicable)
    • documentation to support your genuine reason/category (if applicable)
    • a current credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for your payment, or
    • a copy of your current pensioner card (if you've been approved for a fee exemption).

    Note: All documentation (certificates, documents, letters, licences, concession cards) must be in a digital format for uploading. Accepted file types are BMP, DOC, DOCX, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF, XLS, XLSX with a 5MB size limit.

    How to renew:

    • Gather all your digital/scanned documentation, and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your renewal application once you have started.
    • Check you meet all the eligibility requirements.
    • Select the ‘Renew online’ button.
    • Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account at www.service.nsw.gov.au.
    • Link your MyServiceNSW Account to the NSW Police Force.
    • Complete the online renewal form.
    • Upload your supporting documentation (if requested).
    • Enter your payment details.
    • Read and confirm the declaration.
    • Review and submit your renewal.

    Service NSW will send you an email confirming your renewal application has been successfully submitted.

    More information

    The Firearms Registry will send you a letter confirming that your renewal application is being processed. You are also able to check:

    If you added a firearm category, the legislated mandatory 28-day waiting period will apply to the additional firearm category.

    If your renewal is approved, you'll receive a Photograph Advice letter requesting you to attend a service centre to have your photo taken. Make sure you do this before your Photograph Advice expires. The licence will be sent to you by post.

    Primary producers whose sole genuine reason for their licence is primary production are eligible for fee exemption.

    Approved fee exemptions are automatically applied during the online renewal process.

    The following resources provide some additional information (Note: If you need to update your personal details or you want to add a firearm category or genuine reason during renewal, the following resources provides information on the process required):

    Changes to an Existing Licence

    Add a Licence Category and/or Genuine Reason to an existing firearm licence

    You can apply to add a category and/or genuine reason to your existing firearms licence online.

    To complete your online application:

    • Log in or create a MyServiceNSW account at: www.service.nsw.gov.au
    • Click on 'Browse Services' and select 'Legal and Police Services'
    • Select the identity document you have details for on the Police Services link and complete the required fields
    • Click on the 'Apply for a firearms licence (individual)' option and select the applicable application type (new genuine reason, new category or new category and new genuine reason)
    • Upload electronic copies of supporting documents for your Genuine Reason and Special Need
    • If applicable, enter your credit card detail for payment of the licence application fee
    • Click the 'submit' button

    The fee to add a genuine reason to your firearms licence is $75, except for the addition of Firearms Collection which is $40. the fee to add a firearm category to your existing firearms licence is $40 for category A,B,C,D,G and $100 for category H.

    For further information on the process required to add a licence category and/or genuine reason to your firearms licence, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions - Genuine Reasons and Firearm Categories.

    Delete a Genuine Reason or Licence Category from an existing firearm licence

    To delete a genuine reason or licence category from your firearm licence or to cancel a firearm licence, please use the form below.

    In most cases removing a genuine reason or firearm category from your licence requires a replacement photo licence card. The fee to have a genuine reason or firearm category removed from your firearms licence is $75. The replacement licence card will retain the same expiry date as your current licence.

    For further information on the process required to delete a genuine reason or licence category from your firearms licence, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions - Genuine Reasons and Firearm Categories.

    Business Licence

    When applying for a NSW firearms licence, a business, club or government agency must nominate a licence holder or, if the business is a corporation, a 'nominated person'.

    The nominated licence holder or person must complete the application on behalf of the business, club or government agency.

    Evidence of a genuine reason for the possession and use of a firearm must be provided.

    There can be more than one genuine reason on a firearms licence, and the genuine reason(s) will determine:

    • the category of licence issued
    • the type of firearm(s) authorised for possession and use.

    Firearms licences are issued for either a 2-year or 5-year term.

    A fee is attached to this application. Fee exemptions are only applicable to businesses with the genuine reason of primary production.

    Eligibility

    The nominated licence holder or person must be a resident of NSW and:

    • at least 18 years of age
    • be a fit and proper person to have access to firearms
    • have successfully completed a firearms safety training course applicable to the type of firearm licence they're applying for
    • be able to justify the genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm.

    What you need

    The nominated licence holder or person will need:

    • a MyServiceNSW Account (www.service.nsw.gov.au) linked to the NSW Police Force
    • a copy of their firearms safety awareness certificate or pistol safe handling certificate
    • details of the address(s) where they'll safely store the firearms
    • documentation to support each genuine reason/category
    • a current credit card for payment (if applicable).

    In addition, depending on their genuine reason(s):

    • if they’re applying for a licence over and above a category A firearms licence, they may need to provide:
    • evidence that a ‘special need’ exists for a category B,C,D or H licence
    • the reason(s) why the special need cannot be met by using another category of firearm.

    How to apply

    • Check the eligibility requirements.
    • Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
    • Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account at www.service.nsw.gov.au.
    • Link to the NSW Police Force.
    • Complete the online application form.
    • Upload all supporting documentation.
    • Enter the payment details (if requested).
    • Read and confirm the declaration.
    • Review and submit the application.

    More information

    Fee exemptions can be claimed during the online process for primary producers whose sole genuine reason for their licence is primary production.

    It is an offence to store firearms at premises where no-one resides. Please refer to the following Safe Storage FACT sheets for more information:

    Once the application has been submitted, there's a mandatory 28-day cooling off period during which thorough background checks on the nominated licence holder or person will be conducted.

    The following resources provide some additional information:

    For any enquiries regarding licensing related issues, please email the Firearms Registry: firearms@police.nsw.gov.au.

    Further Information