Last updated 16 August 2016
The possession of any weapon without an appropriate licence is unlawful (s 50 Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) (Weapons Act)). A range of penalties applies depending on the category and number of weapons involved (e.g. up to a maximum of 13 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of 10 or more weapons where at least five are category D, E, H or R weapons). The Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing branch is the administering agency covering the range of licences that can be sought under pt 2 of the Weapons Act. The Weapons Act includes minimum penalties. For example, where an unlawfully possessed weapon of certain categories is used in the commission of an indictable offence, the penalty is 18 months served in prison. The unlawful possession of a short firearm in a public place also attracts a penalty to be served wholly in prison.
Licensed weapon holders will still commit an offence if they carry or discharge a weapon in a public place without reasonable excuse, fail to keep a weapon in secure storage or have physical possession of a weapon whilst under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Shortening of firearms is also an offence.
Since the sale of a weapon to an unlicensed person is illegal, a licence must be obtained before acquiring a weapon. Most licences are not transferable, though some are (e.g. those which are attached to a business which is being sold (s 21 Weapons Act).