New provisions relating to the sales, purchase and possession of ammunition become effective in December 2020.
Ammunition is now treated differently in the Arms Act:
Possession of any ready-made ammunition (other than airgun projectiles) now requires (s22B) a person to be:
- the holder of a firearms licence; or
- under the immediate supervision of a person who is the holder of a firearms licence; or
- the employee of an ammunition seller performing their duties at their place of work under the supervision of a person who is the holder of a firearms licence.
Both the seller (or supplier) and the buyer of ammunition must now hold a firearms licence, otherwise both parties can be convicted and fined up to $10,000 (ss22B, 22C). There is an exception for an employee of an ammunition seller performing their duties under the supervision of a holder of a firearms licence.
The sale or supply of prohibited ammunition without reasonable excuse is an offence. On conviction a person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years (s43AA).
It is an offence for a person to be in possession of prohibited ammunition, when not expressly authorised or permitted by or under the Arms Act. On conviction a person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years (s50CA).
From December 2020 any person who is managing a business that includes the sale or supply of ammunition and who is not the holder of a dealer’s licence needs to be recognised by Police as an ammunition seller.
That means the person must have a current firearms licence, and apply to Police if they wish to start or continue a business as an ammunition seller. This is so Police can verify the person’s security – such as appropriate facilities to ensure the secure storage of the ammunition – and record keeping arrangements are satisfactory.
An ammunition book must be kept by the seller / supplier of ammunition to record the name and licence number of the purchaser / receiver and the quantity and type of ammunition (s22D). Records must be retained for 10 years after the last transaction in the book (be it physical or electronic).
An ammunition seller’s records and stock can be inspected at any reasonable time subject to Police giving seven days’ notice (s22D).
Non-prohibited magazines and non-prohibited parts
From December 2020 a person will need a firearms licence to purchase or possess a non-prohibited magazine of a non-prohibited part unless they are under the immediate supervision of a person who is the holder of a licence (s22A).