New Licence Applications

Licence Renewal (Subsequent Licence)

Genuine Reasons and Firearm Categories

Business Licence Applications

Lost / Stolen / Expired / Cancel

Compliance

New Licence Applications

How do I apply for a personal firearms licence?

You can apply for a firearms licence online at www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete an online firearms licence application you will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • An electronic copy of the firearms training and safety course certificate
  • Electronic copies of supporting documents for your Genuine Reason and Special Need
  • A credit card for payment of the licence fee (if applicable)

Note, to claim an exemption from the licence fee as a pensioner you will need to provide an electronic copy of your Centrelink pension concession card, disability care or Veteran’s Affairs card (including concession and health care cards).

What is the minimum age to apply for a firearms licence?

To be eligible to apply for a NSW firearms licence you must be 18 years of age or over. You can apply for a firearms licence online at ServiceNSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

If you are aged between 12 and 18 years you can apply for a Minors Permit which will allow you to use firearms under supervision to receive instruction in the safe use of firearms or compete in approved shooting events. You will find additional information about Minors Permits on the Firearms Permits page.

Who do I contact about participating in a firearms training and safety course?

To arrange to undertake a firearm training and safety course please contact your local longarm or pistol shooting club or one of the organisations listed below who will provide you with details of an accredited trainer located near you –

Firearms Safety Training Council – Phone 02 9486 3077 or email training@firearmtraining.com.au

SSAA Training – Phone 02 8889 0400 or email admin@nsw.ssaa.org.au

Department of Primary Industries, Game Licensing Unit – Phone 02 6391 3750 or email game.licensing@dpi.nsw.gov.au

How long will it take to process my application and issue my firearms licence?

There is a legislated mandatory 28 day waiting period on all new applications; however, some applications may take longer to process. The Firearms Registry fully reviews all new licence applicants to satisfy their licensing requirements. This may take some time as public safety is the Firearms Registry’s priority.

For details on current volumes and average processing days, please refer to the Firearms Registry Performance Dashboard.

Following submission of your online licence application the Firearms Registry will mail you a letter containing your allocated firearms licence number and instructions on how to track the progress of your application on the Firearms Registry website using the Register of Firearms Licences and Permits to Acquire.

What can delay issuing a licence application?

Your firearms licence application can be delayed if:

  • you do not submit all requested supporting information and/or documents with your licence application.
  • you do not supply your NSW drivers licence number (if held).
  • the name, date of birth and address used for your firearms licence application is different from your driver’s licence. If these details are different you may need to update your driver’s licence details with Service NSW before submitting your firearm application.

What happens if I do not provide all the required information to support my licence application?

The Firearms Registry will contact you by email to request you supply further information to support your licence application. If this information is not provided, it will be considered that you no longer wish to proceed with your application and your application will be lapsed or refused if it is a renewal.

What personal history checks are conducted?

Mandatory police checks are conducted on all applicants to ensure that legislative provisions are being met, including provisions with respect to public safety. Certain criminal history may prevent a person from obtaining a firearms licence in NSW and a licence cannot be issued if a person:

  • Is subject to an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or for a period of 10 years from the expiry of the AVO (unless the AVO has been revoked)
  • Is subject to an Interim Apprehended Violence Order
  • Is subject to a Good Behaviour Bond for a prescribed offence
  • Is subject to a Firearms or Weapons Prohibition Order
  • Is a registrable person or corresponding registrable person under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000
  • Has been convicted within the last 10 years of an offence prescribed by the regulations.

A prescribed offence is a conviction for offences involving firearms or weapons, prohibited drugs/plants, violence, public order, assaults against law enforcement officers, offences of a sexual nature or involving fraud, dishonesty, stealing, robbery, organised criminal groups and recruitment, riot, affray or offences relating to terrorism – refer to Clause 5 of the Firearms Regulation 2017 and the information provided under Suspension Refusal and Revocation FAQs.

Restrictions on the issue of a firearms licence

General restrictions on the issue of a firearms licence state that a licence must not be issued unless the applicant is a fit and proper person and can be trusted to have possession of firearms without danger to public safety and, if a person has never held a licence, has completed a firearms training and safety course to the satisfaction of the Commissioner.

What is a Photograph Advice?

A Photograph Advice is official notification from the Firearms Registry for you to attend a Service NSW centre for the issue of your photo firearms licence card.

You must attend a Service NSW centre prior to the expiry date printed on the Photograph Advice and take –

  • The Photograph Advice
  • Proof of identity documents

What will happen after you apply online?

  • Service NSW will send you an email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted.
  • The Firearms Registry will send you a letter confirming that your application is being processed.
  • There is a legislated mandatory 28 day waiting period on all new applications; however, some applications may take longer to process. The Firearms Registry fully reviews all new licence applicants to satisfy their licensing requirements. This may take some time as public safety is the Firearms Registry’s priority.
  • You can check the Firearms Registry’s Public Register at any time at https://apps.police.nsw.gov.au/FPR/licenceCheck/search.jsp for an update on your application.
  • 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 do this before your Photograph Advice expires. The licence will be sent to you by post.

Licence Renewal (Subsequent Licence)

How do I renew my firearms licence?

The Firearms Registry will send you a letter by mail 90 days prior to the expiry of your current firearms licence and will include instructions on how to reapply for your firearms licence online at Service NSW (www.service.nsw.gov.au).

The Firearms Registry will send you a second letter within 30 days of your licence expiring, and a phone or SMS reminder 7 days before the expiry date, if you haven’t renewed it. You will need a MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force and a Credit Card for payment of the firearms licence application fee (unless you are a Primary Producer or you have a fee exemption status as a Pensioner recorded with the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry).

To renew your firearms licence online with no changes to your existing licence:

  • 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 'Renew a firearms licence (individual)' option
  • If applicable, enter your credit card details for payment of the licence application fee
  • Attach supporting documents (if required)
  • Click the 'submit' button.

Lodging your renewal before your current licence expires ensures that your authority to possess and use firearms under your current licence will continue, while your renewal is being processed.

How long will it take to process my licence renewal?

The Firearms Registry endeavours to process a licence renewal within 10-15 days; however, some renewals may take a little longer to process.

For details on current volumes and average processing days, please refer to the Firearms Registry Performance Dashboard.

If you added a firearm category to your licence at renewal, a legislated mandatory 28 day waiting period applies to the additional firearm category. Provided your renewal was submitted online prior to the expiry of your current licence, authority to possess and use your approved firearm category/s continues while you are waiting for notification that your licence has been approved.

What if I need to update my personal details?

YOU HAVE A LEGAL OBLIGATION AS A LICENCE HOLDER TO NOTIFY ANY CHANGE OF DETAILS ON YOUR LICENCE OR PERMIT.

If you need to update your contact details or your residential, postal or firearm safe keeping address, you can do this within the online renewal form.

If you need to update your name, you must do this before completing the online renewal. Complete the Firearms Registry 'Change of Personal Details' online form and attach certified scanned copies of the legal documents for your change of name. Refer to the Change of Personal Details FACT Sheet for details of the documents accepted and who can certify the documents.

The Firearms Registry will update your details and advise you by email when the online renewal in your new name is ready to complete. If you have an existing ServiceNSW Account, which has been linked to NSW Police Force in your previous name, you will need to unlink your account and re-link using an identity document in your new name.

What if my pensioner status has changed?

If your pensioner status has changed and you have been issued one of the following concession cards –

  • Centrelink pension concession card only
  • Disability card
  • Veteran's Affairs card (including concession and health care card)

you will need to email the NSW Firearms Registry at firearms@police.nsw.gov.au prior to commencing your online renewal and send an electronic copy of the front and back of your valid pension card. The Firearms Registry will send you an email confirming your pensioner status has been updated. Please allow 24 hours from receipt of this email confirmation before commencing your online renewal.

Please note that the Firearms Registry may seek further information from you if there are concerns about your suitability to hold a firearms licence. This may involve a medical assessment from your treating medical professional.

What if I want to add a firearm category or genuine reason when I renew my firearms licence?

To add a genuine reason and/or category to your existing licence during renewal, you will need to complete the online application ‘Apply for a firearm licence’ at Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au.  See steps below:

  • Log into your MyServiceNSW Account
  • Select ‘Apply for a firearm licence’
  • Select from ‘New genuine reason’, ‘New category’ or ‘New category and genuine reason’
  • Upload any supporting documentation (if requested).

Note: provided your firearm licence is due for renewal (you have received a letter from the Firearms Registry advising you to renew online), there is no application fee to add a genuine reason and/or category during renewal.

Once you have completed your request to add a genuine reason/category, you will need to complete the online renewal – refer to ‘How do I renew my firearms licence?' above.

Please note, a legislated mandatory 28 day waiting period will apply when adding a new firearm category to your firearms licence.

If you wish to add Category H Sport/Target Shooting to your firearms licence and you have never previously held a Category H licence, you will be issued with a Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) for one year prior to being issued with a Category H firearms licence.

What if I want to delete a firearm category or genuine reason when I renew my firearms licence?

To delete a genuine reason and/or category from your existing licence during renewal, please complete the 'Delete a Firearm Category or Genuine during Licence Renewal' form before completing your online renewal.

You will find a link to the above form on the 'Renew a Firearms Licence' page on the Services NSW website or you can click on the link above.

The form is emailed to the Firearms Registry (email: firearms@police.nsw.gov.au. The Firearms Registry will notify you via email when you can complete your renewal online. Please wait until you receive email advice from the Firearms Registry before completing your renewal online.

Can I check on the progress of my licence renewal?

You can check the progress of your firearms licence renewal using the Public Register on the Firearms Registry website to access a status report for your licence.

Click on the Check your Licence, Permit or Permit to Acquire link from the Firearms Registry Home page, enter your firearms licence number and follow the instructions provided.

What if I renew my firearms licence online and my old licence expires before my new licence is issued?

Clause 19 of the Firearms Regulation 2017 provides for the authority of your licence to continue until notification of the issue or refusal of your subsequent licence. This means that, as long as your renewal was submitted online prior to the expiry of your current licence, you can continue to possess and use firearms while you are waiting for notification that your licence has been approved for issue.

PLEASE NOTE: It is important that your renewal (for a subsequent licence) is submitted online prior to the expiry of your current licence. Once your licence expires, you will be unable to renew your firearms licence online and you will need to submit a new application for a firearms licence. In addition, you will have no continuing authority to possess and use firearms. If you have any firearms registered to your licence, police will be advised to seize the firearms in your possession.

Genuine Reasons and Firearm Categories

What is a genuine reason?

To make an application for a firearms licence you must be able to prove a genuine reason for possessing and using a firearm, noting possession has a broad legal meaning under the Firearms Act 1996 and is not restricted to ownership of a firearm but rather custody of a firearm.

There are 8 genuine reasons for obtaining a firearms licence:

  • Sport/Target Shooting
  • Recreational Hunting/Vermin Control
  • Primary Production
  • Vertebrate Pest Animal Control
  • Business or Employment
  • Rural Occupation
  • Animal Welfare
  • Firearms Collection

FACT Sheets detailing each genuine reason are available on the Licence page.

NOTE: Personal protection or the protection of another person does not constitute a genuine reason for possession and use of a firearm. Additionally, the protection of property does not constitute a genuine reason for possession and use of a firearm, other than for the genuine reason of Business Security Industry.

What is special need?

Any person wishing to make application for a licence over and above a category A licence must also produce evidence of a special need.

For example, special need for a category B firearm may be established by showing that a category B firearm is required to destroy animals or pests that cannot be humanely destroyed by a category A of firearm.

What happens if my reason for having a firearm licence changes?

If your genuine reason for having a firearms licence changes, you must inform the Firearms Registry, by email to firearms@police.nsw.gov.au within 14 days. If you can no longer support your genuine reason for a firearms licence, you may not be able to retain your firearms licence.

For example, if you hold a firearms licence for the genuine reason of target shooting and you cease your club membership, you can no longer support your genuine reason.

Can I add a genuine reason or firearm category to my licence?

Yes, you can apply to add a genuine reason or firearm category to your existing firearms licence online at Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete the online application you will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Supporting documents in electronic form for your new Genuine Reason or Firearm Category including Special Need (if applicable)
  • A credit card for payment of the fee (if applicable)

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.

Adding a genuine reason or firearm category to your licence requires a replacement photo licence card being produced.

Can I remove a genuine reason or firearm category from my licence?

Yes, you can apply to have a genuine reason or firearm category removed from your licence by completing the Delete a Category or Genuine Reason or Cancel a Firearms Licence online form.

The fee to have a genuine reason or firearm category removed from your firearms licence is $75.

Removing a genuine reason or firearm category from your licence requires a replacement photo licence card being produced.

NOTE: The replacement licence card will retain the same expiry date as your current licence.

I currently hold a firearms licence for sport/target shooting. Can I go hunting on rural property?

No, you are only authorised to shoot at an approved Sport/Target Shooting Club. If you wish to shoot on rural land you must apply to add the genuine reason of Recreational Hunting and Vermin Control or Primary Production to your existing firearms licence.

Please also refer to the information under 'Can I add a new genuine reason or firearm category to my licence?'.

My licence is issued for primary production. Can I shoot on property other than my own?

A licence issued for the genuine reason of Primary Production authorises you to use firearms category A and B firearms on your own primary production property. Category C firearms can be used on your own land and on land used for primary production that immediately adjoins your own land. Prior written permission from the owner/occupier of the adjoining land must be obtained before using category C firearms on that land.

In all other circumstances, if you wish to shoot on property other than your own, you must add the genuine reason of Recreational Hunting and Vermin Control to your licence.

What is the term of a Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) and what restrictions apply?

Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) is issued for a period of one year.

For the first 6 months of the term of the PPL you cannot possess or use a pistol unless:

  1. You are on the pistol shooting club premises, and
  2. You are under the supervision of a person who holds a full category H Sport/Target Shooting Firearms Licence and the level of supervision meets the requirements of clause 156 of the Firearms Regulation 2017.

For the second 6 months of the PPL you can only be issued with two Permits to Acquire a Handgun and these will only be issued if you have successfully completed the 'Pistol Safety Training Course'.

What happens at the end of my one year PPL?

You will receive notification via mail 90 days prior to the expiry of your PPL with instructions on how to apply for a full category H firearms licence online at Service NSW.  You must apply online prior to the expiry of your PPL.

Applications submitted prior to the expiry of the PPL provide for continuing authority to possess and use firearms on the PPL until the full category H firearms licence is issued or refused.

Business Licence Applications

What types of business licence are available?

A business firearm licence can be issued for many different types of business and varying entities.  Some examples of business licences are:

  • An approved firearms club wishing to acquire firearms for use by their club members on an approved range;
  • A pest control business with firearms;
  • A security firm providing armed security services;
  • An abattoir
  • A government agency.

What are the different business types?

Different entities can apply for a business firearm licence including:

Sole Trader –

  • Is a person who owns and runs a business alone without the use of a company structure or partners
  • Business can be traded in sole trader’s own name or in a business name. When a business name is used, registration of business name is required
  • They are the only person responsible for any actions of the business
  • The business may have employees
  • Business name is the entity name, as it appears on the ABN (Australian Business Register website)

Partnership –

  • Described as the relationship between two or more persons carrying on a business.
  • Agreement is reached between all parties which is a legally binding relationship and is contractual in nature
  • ‘Licence holder’ is one of the partners. Partners can be listed
  • Business Name is the entity name, as it appears on the ABN.

Company / Corporation –

  • A company is registered with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)  and will have an ACN number
  • The firearms licence is held by the company, not the nominated person
  • The nominated person is the person making the application on behalf of the company
  • Business name is the company name recorded as it appears in ASIC.

What firearm categories and genuine reasons are available for business licences?

The firearm categories and genuine reasons available for a business licence is dependent upon the entity type. For example, a licence issued to a corporation is restricted to category A, B and H for the genuine reason of Business or Employment.

Refer to the information available on the Licence page including FACT Sheets detailing each genuine reason and the Business Licence Categories and Genuine Reason Table.

What is the difference between licence holder and nominated person?

The term ‘nominated person’ is used when the business is a company. The licence is held in the name of the company and the ‘nominated person’ is the person who makes application on behalf of the company.

In all other cases the person making application for a business licence is the ‘licence holder’.

What is the difference between business name and trading name?

The business name is a legal entity and must be the current entity name as it appears on the ABN (Australian Business Register) or, in the case of a company, as it appears on the ACN (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

The trading name is not mandatory but is entered if the business has a current trading name.

What about safe storage for a business?

All persons who possess a firearm in NSW, must take all reasonable precautions to ensure:

  • its safe keeping, and
  • that it is not stolen or lost, and
  • that it does not come into the possession of a person who is not authorised to possess the firearm.

In addition to the above general safe keeping requirement, different categories of licence require different levels of safe storage. Numerous resources are available on the Safe Storage webpage including FACT Sheets regarding each firearm safe storage level and a safe storage assessment tool (Reduce your Risk) to help identify and evaluate any possible risks.

How do I apply for a business firearms licence?

You can apply for a business firearms licence online at Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete an online business firearms licence application the licence holder or nominated person will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Firearms training and safety course certificate (if not already a licence holder) electronic copy
  • Supporting documents for your Genuine Reason and Special Need electronic copy
  • A credit card for payment of the licence fee

How long until a business application is processed?

A legislated mandatory 28 day waiting period applies from the date you submit a new business firearms licence application online before a firearms licence can be issued.

For details on current volumes and average processing days, please refer to the Firearms Registry Performance Dashboard.

Following submission of your new application the Registry  will mail a confirmation letter to you containing your allocated firearms licence number and instructions on how to track the progress of your application using the Register of Firearms Licence and Permits to Acquire (Public Register) on the Firearms Registry website.

How do I reapply for my business firearms licence when it’s due to expire?

You can reapply for your business firearms licence online at Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete an online business firearms licence application the licence holder or nominated person will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Supporting documents for your Genuine Reason and Special Need electronic copy
  • A credit card for payment of the licence fee

What if I want to add a firearm category to my existing business firearm licence?

Business firearm licence holders can add a category to their existing business firearms licence using the online application via Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete the online application you will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Supporting documents for the addition of a firearm category to your existing licence electronic copy
  • A credit card for payment of the fee.

Lost / Stolen / Expired / Cancel

What if my firearms licence is lost or stolen?

Within NSW - If your licence is lost or stolen within NSW, you must notify NSW Police within 14 days by phoning the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. The PAL operator will provide you with an Event number.

You then contact the Firearms Registry by emailing firearmsenq@police.nsw.gov.au, quoting the Event number and requesting a replacement firearms licence card.

A Photograph Advice Letter will be produced and mailed to you which you take to a Service NSW/Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office for the issue of your replacement photo licence card.

The card will be sent to you by mail.

The fee for a replacement licence card is $75 (unless you are exempt as a pensioner or primary producer) and is payable at the Service NSW/RMS office when the photo for your replacement licence is taken.

Outside NSW - If your licence is lost or stolen outside NSW, please contact the Firearms Registry by emailing firearmsenq@police.nsw.gov.au to request a replacement firearms licence card and provide the following details:

  • Firearms Licence Number
  • Personal Details - name, address and date of birth
  • Details of the Loss or Theft - date, time, location and any other relevant details.

A Photograph Advice Letter will be produced and mailed to you which you take to a Service NSW centre for the issue of your replacement photo licence card.

The fee for a replacement licence card is $75 (unless you are exempt as a pensioner or primary producer) and is payable at the Service NSW centre when the photo for your replacement licence is taken.

What if my firearms licence is damaged, destroyed or mutilated?

If your licence card has been defaced, damaged, destroyed or mutilated, please contact the Firearms Registry by emailing firearms@police.nsw.gov.au to request a replacement firearms licence card and provide:

  • Firearms Licence Number
  • Personal Details - name, address and date of birth

A Photograph Advice Letter will be produced and mailed to you which you take to a Service NSW centre for the issue of your replacement photo licence card.

The fee for a replacement licence card is $75 (unless you are exempt as a pensioner or primary producer) and is payable at the Service NSW centre when the photo for your replacement licence is taken.

How do I cancel my firearms licence?

If you no longer require a firearms licence you can notify the Firearms Registry by completing the 'Delete a Category or Genuine Reason or Cancel a Firearms Licence' online form.

If you have firearms registered in your name, you must dispose of your firearms before cancellation of your firearms licence can occur. The disposal of firearms must be through a licensed Firearms Dealer and you must forward the completed Notice of Disposal (on the reverse of the Firearms Registration Certificate) to the Firearms Registry within 7 days of the disposal transaction.

What if my Photograph Advice Letter has expired?

When your firearms licence is approved for issue by the Firearms Registry, you will receive a Photograph Advice Letter to attend a Service NSW centre for production of your firearms licence card. You must attend the Service NSW centre before the expiry date on your Photograph Advice or it will not be accepted.

If you have a legitimate reason for being unable to attend Service NSW for the issue of your photo licence card, you must contact the Firearms Registry by phone on 1300 362 562 or email at firearms@police.nsw.gov.au before the expiry of the Photograph Advice for consideration of an extension of the time allowed for you to attend Service NSW.

Once your Photograph Advice has expired, the following will occur:

  • A new application for a firearms licence will be lapsed.
  • A re-application for a subsequent firearms licence will be deemed surrendered (Clause 19 of the Firearms Regulation 2017) upon expiry of the photograph advice and you will no longer be authorised to possess and use firearms. In this case, you will be required to surrender your firearms to Police. You will need to lodge a new licence application including genuine reason forms and supporting documents and your licence application will be subject to the mandatory 28 day waiting period specified in Section 11(2) of the Firearms Act 1996.

Compliance

Can a suspended Firearms Licence Holder attend a club or range?

A person whose licence is suspended is not permitted to possess or use firearms or ammunition.

Such a person would be permitted to attend a firearm competition as a spectator where restrictions regarding access to firearms and ammunition could be met and the club has given permission. A suspended licence holder could also judge or be an official at a firearm competition provided the restriction regarding access to firearms and ammunition could be met. Allowing a suspended licence holder to attend a firearms club function such as a barbecue would be at the club's discretion.

What if I can't meet the club attendance requirements?

Firearms licence holders using club membership to support the genuine reason for that licence must comply with the prescribed number of shooting activities as outlined in Part 10 of the Firearms Regulation 2017.

If you have not complied with the minimum number of shooting activities your club will report your non-attendance to the Firearms Registry. You will need to respond  to a letter from the Firearms Registry seeking an explanation as to why you failed to meet your minimum number of shooting activities.

In addition to the above, if a licence holder who is required to complete their participation requirements is a member of more than one approved club of that category, the licence holder must:

  • Notify the Firearms Registry of their principal club for each discipline, AND
  • Notify their principal club of club activities and shoots conducted at clubs other than the principal club.

Please also refer to the Participation Requirements for Club Members FACT Sheet for further details.