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  • 09 Criminal Offences and Penalties
  • Drug Offences
  • Commonwealth Law: importing and exporting
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Commonwealth Law: importing and exporting


There are strict storage requirements under firearms legislation. Guns are required to be stored in locked receptacles, with the ammunition being stored separately from the firearm.


In order to be granted a firearms licence a person must be at least 18 years of age, be a fit and proper person, have satisfactorily completed an approved firearms safety course and be able to meet the storage requirements imposed under the Act. In determining whether a person is a fit and proper person to have a firearms licence, the Police Commissioner is able to take into account a significant range of matters, including the person’s ability to responsibly store and use a gun, together with their criminal history and mental health.

The Commissioner is precluded from granting a licence to a person who in the last five years has been involved in a crime involving violence, or has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for an offence involving violence to another person, or who is subject to a firearms prohibition order or a restraint order relating to personal injury. Most importantly, the Commissioner cannot grant an application for a licence unless the Commissioner is satisfied the person has a genuine reason for possessing or using the gun.

Beyond the basic licensing restrictions, different categories of gun licences have different restrictions. Category B firearms licenses (being muzzle-loading firearms, non-self-loading centre-fire rifles and shotgun/centre-fire rifle combinations) cannot be granted to a person unless they have a need for that type of firearm. A Category C firearm (self-loading rim-fire rifle with a magazine of up to ten rounds, self-loading or pump action shotgun with a magazine capacity of no more than five rounds) cannot be granted to a person unless they need the firearm for primary production and actually need that type of firearm. Finally, Category D firearms licences (self-loading centre-fire rifles and shotguns with larger magazine capacities) cannot be granted to people unless they require the gun for animal population control or firearms collection. Finally, there is a category of firearms licences for hand guns (Category H), and membership of a sport or target shooting club is a prerequisite for such a licence.

Once a person has a firearms licence, before they can actually purchase the firearm they must obtain a permit to purchase. There are a series of requirements before such a permit is granted and these are very similar to the licence requirements.

Family Violence: automatic suspension of license

Where a restraint order, a police family violence order, or a family violence order is imposed, any firearms license is automatically suspended for the period that the order is in force. Police may also enter premises to search for and seize a firearm if a police officer reasonably suspects that a person has or is likely to commit family violence and that they are in possession or control of a firearm (s10(5)Family Violence Act 2004 (Tas)).


Every firearm must be registered.

Prohibited Weapons

Under the Act all self-loading, pump-action or semi-automatic firearms are prohibited, subject to specific permits or licence provisions of the Act.


The law concerning federal drug offences is contained in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)  Chapter 9, Part 9.1. Australian law is in line with our international obligations under the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. This chapter w...

Possession in Commonwealth Law

To establish possession of a thing, it must be established that a person: received or obtained possession of the thing; or had control over the disposition of the thing (whether or not the thing is in the custody of the person); or had joint possession of the thing. It is a possible...


Prosecution: combining drugs or precursors The Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) enables charges to be brought on the basis of combined quantities of drugs or combined amounts of precursors in certain situations under Division 311, Section 311.1. So, separate trafficking (selling) transactions on the...

Defences of Importing and Exporting in Commonwealth Law

A person is not criminally responsible for a Part 9.1 offence if, at the time of the conduct constituting the offence, the person was under a mistaken but reasonable belief that the conduct was justified or excused by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a state or territory, and had the cond...

Search, Seizure and Detention under the Customs Act 1901 (Cth)

The Customs Act 1901 (Cth) contains specific powers for the detention and search of people reasonably suspected of unlawfully carrying any prohibited goods or internally concealing a suspicious substance. Frisk search Sections 219L, 219M, 219N, and 219P of the Customs Act are the frisk search p...

Page last updated 13/12/2017

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