Permit to Acquire a Firearm (PTA)

How do I acquire a firearm?

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

If you do not hold a firearms licence, you can request firearms licence application forms by completing the on-line Request for Firearms Licence Application Form. Pre-printed firearms licence application forms will be sent to you by mail which you complete and return to the Firearms Registry for processing, along with any supporting documents. If you have not previously held a NSW firearms licence or do not hold a current interstate firearms licence, you will need to complete a firearms safety training course.

What requirements must be met to obtain a PTA?

You must hold a current NSW firearms licence or permit before you can apply for a PTA a firearm.

DO NOT apply for a PTA until your firearms licence has been issued and you've received your photo licence card 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 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.

What requirements apply to Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) holders?

There are restrictions on the acquisition of handguns by PPL holders. No PTA will be issued for the first 6 months of the licence and only 2 PTAs will be issued in the second 6months of the licence.

During the second 6 months of the licence you may apply to acquire a combination of any 2 handguns with the exception that you must not possess a centrefire and a rimfire pistol at the same time.

PPL holders will need to include the following documents with each PTA application submitted during the second 6 months of the licence:

How do I apply for a PTA?

You can apply for a PTA online at Service NSW (www.service.nsw.gov.au)

What you'll need to complete an online PTA application:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
  • Your firearm licence or permit number
  • Full address details where you will store the firearm
  • Credit Card for payment of the $30 PTA fee (unless you are a Primary Producer, or you have fee exemption status as a Pensioner recorded with the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry)
  • If applying to acquire a handgun for sport/target shooting you will also need:

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.

Why do I need to select a 'Good Reason'?

Having a 'good reason' for acquiring a firearm has always been a legislative requirement under section 31(3)(c) of the Firearms Act 1996. The Firearms Registry previously met this requirement on the paper forms which required the applicant to sign a general declaration that they had a 'good reason'.

The introduction of a new online form has provided the opportunity for the applicant to easily and quickly select their 'good reason' from a drop-down list.

What is the Club Confirmation?

The Club Confirmation is a requirement for licence holders who apply to acquire a handgun for Sport Target Shooting, including Probationary Pistol Licence and Large Calibre Pistol Permit holders.

The Permit to Acquire Application - Club Confirmation form should be signed by the Secretary or other authorised club official and confirm that:

  • The applicant is a current financial member of the club, and
  • The applicant has adequate safe storage as specified under the Firearms Act 1996, and
  • The shooting activities for which the pistol is required.

NOTE: For detailed safe storage requirements for each type of firearm, please see the Safe Storage page on the Firearms Registry website.

Can I update my address details on the PTA application?

Yes. You can enter a new residential, mailing and/or safe storage address on the online PTA application. The Firearms Registry considers this to be a change of address notification and will amend our records accordingly.

How much does a PTA cost?

The application fee for each Permit to Acquire is $30.00 and payment is made by credit card when applying online at Service NSW. Note, this payment is an application fee and is not refundable.

Fee exemptions are automatically applied during the online application process to:

  • Primary Producers who hold a current licence issued with the genuine reason of Primary Production,
  • Holders of the following current concession cards are entitled to a pensioner fee exemption:
    • Centrelink pension concession card only
    • Disability card
    • Veteran's Affairs card (including concession and health card card)

NOTE: If your pensioner status has changed and you have been issued with one of the above concession cards, you will need to email the NSW Firearms Registry at fronline@police.nsw.gov.au with a copy of the front and back of your valid pension card prior to commencing your application for a PTA. When you receive a confirmation email that your status has been updated, allow 24 hours before commencing your online PTA application.

If your pension card has expired since lodging a prior application, you are able to upload a copy of your current concession card during the PTA application process.

How long will it take to process my PTA application?

Your firearms licence must be current and in an issued status before a PTA will be issued.

First time PTA

If the application is approved

Category A, B, C, D, H and Large Calibre Pistol

Prohibited Firearms

  • 28 day mandatory cooling off period, and
  • 7 – 10 working days additional to receive permit in the post

(6 weeks in total if approved)

Subsequent PTA for same category of firearm already registered to you

If the application is approved

Category A and B only

  • No waiting period for the same category of firearm as one already registered to you (Category A and B firearms are taken to be the same for the waiting period test)
  • Still allow 7 – 10 working days to receive in post, from application date

Category C, D, H, Large Calibre Pistol and Prohibited Firearms

  • No waiting period for the same category of firearm as one already registered to you
  • All PTA applications for these firearm types are reviewed and manually processed by an adjudicator
  • 20 working days to receive in the post from application date
  

The above timeframes may be subject to change where there is an increased volume of applications.

You are able to track the progress of your PTA application using the Check your Licence Permit or PTA (Public Register) link on the Firearms Registry website. You will need your licence number or PTA number.

What happens when my PTA is issued?

If approved, your PTA will be issued and mailed to you at the address listed on your firearms licence file.

When received, you present the PTA to a firearms dealer when acquiring the intended firearm. The firearms dealer identifies the firearm, completes the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership of the firearm and forwards the information to the Firearms Registry. The Firearms Registry will issue and mail a new registration certificate to you.

Note, the issued PTA may also be used, in lieu of the registration certificate, to acquire ammunition for the firearm.

What is the validity of a PTA?

A 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?

Please check the status of your PTA application on the 'Check your Licence, Permit or Permit to Acquire' link from our Home Page and if processing has not been finalised:

  1. If the type of firearm is a completely different category from the firearm on your PTA application it cannot be changed. For example, you change from a category A firearm to a category B firearm, you would need to submit a new PTA application and pay another application fee (unless you are fee exempt).
  2. If you selected the wrong type of firearm but within the same category for A and B firearms, the Firearm Dealer will be able to process the PTA and amend the firearm type on the paperwork. For example, you selected A3 but you need an A2 firearm OR you selected B1 but you need a B2 firearm. Note, this applies to PTAs for category A and category B firearms only.
  3. If you selected the wrong type of firearm but within the same category for C or D firearms, you should contact the PTA Officer at the Firearms Registry. Send your request by email to frpta@police.nsw.gov.au or fax to 02 6670 8558 and include your Full Name, DOB, Firearm Licence number (or Drivers Licence number), Current Phone number and details of the requested change.

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

What if my PTA has expired?

A PTA is valid for 90 days from the date of issue which is considered sufficient time to source and acquire 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 PTA. In addition you will need to locate a NSW Firearms Dealer and 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:

Go to Frequently Asked Questions - Firearms and Ammunition