New firearms laws and what they mean

Changes to legislation have impacted the legal obligations of firearms licence holders. This page gives an overview of the changes made to the Arms Regulations that came into effect on 1 February 2022, and what you need to know as a firearms licence holder.

In June 2020, the Arms Act 1983 was significantly amended. Some of the changes to the Arms Act came into effect immediately. Others came into force in December 2020, June 2021 and June 2022. Further changes 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 on this page focuses primarily on these changes to the Arms Regulations 1992 and what you need to know today.

Previous or later legislation changes can be found on the relevant changes pages (as listed in the navigation of this page). These pages will be updated over time so that the most recent information is available. 

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
  • support the vetting process for firearms licence applicants.

What changes have been made?

Key updates to the Arms Regulations 1992, as introduced in the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021, are detailed below.

 

Licence applications

  • Further information must 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.

 

Additional requirements and condition for dealers

  • An applicant for a dealer’s licence is required 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.
  • A commissioned officer of Police may 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.
  • The record-keeping requirements have expanded in relation to the items received, manufactured, and delivered by dealers, according to the specific dealer activities being carried out.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Clarity around 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.

 

Ammunition

Persons who intend to be an ammunition seller are required to notify the Police, have appropriate security arrangements, and keep records of all sales.

 

Identification of arms items

  • Importers of  pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part that does not have an identification number are required to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item.
  • Dealers who receive 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 are required to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item within 30 days of its receipt.

 

Manufacturing

Manufacturers of a pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part are required to stamp, cast, or engrave an identifying number on the item at the time of manufacture.

 

Helpful information

 
Arms Regulations 1992
Arms Amendment Regulations 2021

Need help?

 
Find your local Firearms Office