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 Service NSW: www.service.nsw.gov.au

To complete an online firearms licence application you will need:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Firearms Safety Training Certificate
  • 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 a 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 Firearms Safety Training?

To arrange to undertake Firearms Safety Training (longarms) 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?

A mandatory 28 day period applies from the date you submit your online licence application before your firearms licence can be issued. We recommend you allow a minimum of 35 days, allowing 7 days for postage and handling plus the mandatory 28 day waiting period.

Following submission of your online licence application  we will mail a confirmation letter to you 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 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 fail to supply your NSW drivers licence number (if held).
  • the name and date of birth used for your firearms licence application varies from that on your drivers licence.

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

The Firearms Registry will contact you 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.

If an applicant answers 'Yes' to any of the questions in:

  • Section B – Personal History on a P650 Declaration-Person shooting on an Approved Range or undertaking Firearms Safety Training or
  • the person history section on the online firearms licence application

the applicant will not be permitted to undertake firearms safety training or proceed with a licence application until comprehensive personal history checks have been conducted and/or a medical assessment report has been provided to the Firearms Registry by the applicant's treating general practitioner or specialist.

What is a Photograph Advice?

A Photograph Advice is official notification from the Firearms Registry for you to attend a Service NSW/Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) office for the issue of your photo firearms licence card.

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

  • The Photograph Advice
  • Proof of identity documents

Licence Renewal (Subsequent Licence)

How do I renew my firearms licence?

A letter will be mailed to you 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).

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 reapply for your firearms licence online with no changes to your existing licence:

  • Go to your MyServiceNSW Account and connect to the Firearms Registry Online Forms
  • Select and complete the Renew Existing Firearms Licence Application
  • Pay the firearms licence application fee by credit card (if applicable)
  • Attach supporting documents (if required)
  • Click the 'submit' button.

Provided you submit your reapplication online prior to the expiry of your current licence and no changes are made to the categories of licence held, there is no mandatory waiting period for the issue of your licence and you will have continuing authority to possess and use firearms.

How long will it take to process my licence renewal?

The Firearms Registry endeavours to process a licence reapplication within 10-15 days however, complex reapplications may take a little longer to process.

If you added a firearm category to your licence at reapplication, a mandatory 28 day waiting period applies to the additional firearm category. Provided your reapplication 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?

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

If you need to update your name, you must do this prior to completing the online reapplication. 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 reapplication 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 fronline@police.nsw.gov.au prior to commencing your online reapplication and include a 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 reapplication.

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 reapplication, 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 reapply online), there is no application fee to add a genuine reason and/or category during reapplication.

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

Please note, a 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 reapplication, please complete the 'Delete a Firearm Category or Genuine during Licence Reapplication' form prior to completing your online reapplication.

You will find a link to the above form on the 'Reapply for 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: fronline@police.nsw.gov.au) The Firearms Registry will action your request and advise via email when you can complete your reapplication online. Please wait until you receive email advice from the Firearms Registry before completing your reapplication 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 re-apply for my firearms licence 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 re-application 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 re-application (for a subsequent licence) is submitted online prior to the expiry of your current licence. Once your licence expires, you will be unable to reapply for 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.

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. The online application has provision for completion of special need if required.

For example, special need for a Category B firearm is established by listing the types of animals/pests to be humanely destroyed or controlled, the reasons why a category B firearm is required and why firearms covered by a category A licence is not sufficient.

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, in writing or in such other manner as may be approved, 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 (unless you advise the Firearms Registry of a new club membership).

Can I have more than one genuine reason on my licence?

Yes, if you can provide the information and/or documents to support each genuine reason you wish to apply for – FACT Sheets are available for each genuine reason and give details of the requirements you must meet and the supporting documents which must accompany your application. Refer to the Licence page for these FACT Sheets.

What information is required to support my genuine reason?

Each genuine reason for a firearms licence has specific requirements which must be met. FACT Sheets are available for each genuine reason and give details of the requirements you must meet and the supporting documents which must accompany your application. Refer to the Licence page for these FACT Sheets.

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 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.

Can I apply for a firearms licence for personal protection?

No. Personal protection is not listed as a genuine reason for a firearms licence. Please refer to Section 12(2) of the Firearms Act 1996 which specifically states that personal protection and protection of any other person do not constitute a genuine reason for possessing and/or using a firearm.

Can I apply for a full Category H licence?

If you have previously held a full Category H Sport/Target Shooting licence you may apply for a Category H licence.

If you have never held a Category H Sport/Target Shooting 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 is the term of a Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) and what restrictions apply?

A 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 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 Safety Training Certificate (if not already a licence holder)
  • Supporting documents for your Genuine Reason and Special Need
  • A credit card for payment of the licence fee

How long until a business application is processed?

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

Following submission of your new application we 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
  • 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
  • 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 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/Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office 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/RMS office 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 firearmsenq@police.nsw.gov.au to request a replacement firearms licence card and provide:

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

An image showing the damage to your licence card must be attached to your email.

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 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.

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/Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office for production of your photo firearms licence card. You must attend the Service NSW/RMS office 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/RMS for the issue of your photo licence card, you must contact the Firearms Registry by phone or email prior to the expiry of the Photograph Advice for consideration of an extension of the time allowed for you to attend the Service NSW/RMS office.

Once your Photograph Advice has expired, it is considered that you no longer wish to hold a firearms licence and 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, subject to receiving permission from club officials, and where restrictions regarding access to firearms and ammunition could be met. 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 barbeque 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. Please also refer to the Participation Requirements for Club Members FACT Sheet for further details.

It is the individual club member's responsibility to:

  • 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.

If you have not complied with the minimum number of shooting activities your club will report your non-attendance to the Firearms Registry and you will be asked to explain why you failed to meet the minimum shooting requirements.

Non-compliance with attendance requirements is a reason for which your firearms licence may be revoked however, if the licence holder can prove that compliance was not reasonably practical, an exemption may be approved. This will be determined on a case by case basis. Note, there are no provisions in the Firearms Regulation 2017 to pre-approve exemptions to the minimum attendance requirements.