New firearms laws and what they mean

In June 2020, the Arms Act was significantly amended. Some of the changes to the Arms Act came into effect immediately. Others came into force in December 2020, and in June 2021. Others will come into force in June 2022 and the final provisions – those relating to the establishment of a firearms registry – will come into force in June 2023.

On 1 February 2022, the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 came into force and caused the Arms Regulations 1992 to be updated. These new regulations support the amendments in the Arms Legislation Act 2020 that are now in force. The information below focuses primarily on these changes to the Regulations; what you need to know today.

The later changes can be found on the other changes pages. As time progresses, the information on those pages will be updated to include more detail.

Overview of Arms Regulation changes February 2022

The updated Arms Regulations improve the regulatory oversight of the full range of dealer activities specified in the Arms Legislation Act 2020 which took effect in June 2021, strengthen rules for the secure storage and carriage of firearms and ammunition, and support the vetting process for firearms licence applicants.

What changes have been made?
The Arms Regulations 1992 are amended. They:

  • Require an applicant for a dealer's licence to provide additional information. This includes the name and firearm licence number of each employee who will be handling any arms item or ammunition in their capacity as an employee, and who has access to the premises where the applicant intends to carry on business as a licensed dealer
  • Expand the record-keeping requirements in relation to the items received, manufactured, and delivered by dealers, according to to the specific dealer activities being carried out:
  • Impose tighter conditions on a dealer's licence relating to the security requirements for the display and storage of arms items and ammunition at a dealer's place of business
  • Impose a number of further conditions on a dealer's licence, including the condition that a dealer must, on receiving 7 days' notice of a proposed inspection, permit a member of the Police to inspect all non-prohibited firearms, non-prohibited magazines, prohibited parts, airguns, and air pistol carbine conversion kits that the dealer holds and the place where the items are kept.
  • Clarify the type of conditions that the Commissioner of Police may prescribe on a dealer's licence for each type of dealer activity that the licence authorises a dealer to carry on
  • Enable a commissioned officer of Police to amend a dealer's licence upon application to change the dealer activities that a dealer may engage in, the arms items in relation to which a dealer may carry on dealer activities, and the place of business that a dealer is authorised to operate from
  • Require persons who intend to be an ammunition seller to notify the Police, have appropriate security arrangements, and keep records of all sales
  • Require an importer of a pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part that does not have an identification number to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item
  • Require a manufacturer of a pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part to stamp, cast, or engrave an identifying number on the item at the time of manufacture
  • Require a dealer who receives a firearm, pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, restricted airgun, blank-firing gun, restricted weapon, or major firearm part that does not have an identification number to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item within 30 days of its receipt
  • Require further information to be supplied by applicants for a firearms licence, including a list of countries travelled to or visited in the previous 5 years involving stays of 14 days or more, and the length of stay in each country, and in cases of applicants residing in an overseas country for over 6 months in the previous 10 years the provision of criminal history checks from those countries.
Note: The Arms Regulations 1992 will be updated with the amendments in the coming weeks. To view the specific changes to the relations refer to the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021.

 

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