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  • 09 Criminal Offences and Penalties
  • The Firearms Act 1996
  • Storage, Licensing, Registration and Prohibited Weapons
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Storage, Licensing, Registration and Prohibited Weapons


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.

Page last updated 14/12/2017

Previous Section Offences and Police Powers Under the Firearms Act