Last updated 1 September 2021
Only people with a genuine reason for possessing a weapon may obtain a licence to possess one. Such people may include recreational shooters, a member of a shooting club, those who require a weapon for their work and firearm collectors.
Licences may only be issued to adults, although minors who are at least 11 years of age may be granted a minor’s licence, which allows the use of firearms under the supervision of someone licensed to possess the weapon.
Under the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) (Weapons Act), applicants for a licence must:
- be a fit and proper person to possess a weapon including not be prevented by a court order from obtaining a licence (s 10B)
- have (and be able to demonstrate) a genuine reason for possessing a firearm (e.g. recreational shooters, and sports and target shooters who are currently members of a recognised shooting club or collecting, preserving or studying weapons (s 11))
- demonstrate an adequate knowledge of safety practices for the use, storage and maintenance of the weapon to be possessed (s 10A)
- have secure storage facilities (s 60).
Types of licences
Categories of licences include collector, dealer, armourer, shooting gallery, shooting club, theatrical ordnance supplier, minor, visitor and security guard licences (s 12 Weapons Act).
Factors in considering an application for a licence
When a person applies for a licence, the police must determine if the applicant is a fit and proper person, and police may make enquiries about the applicant to ascertain:
- the mental and physical fitness of the applicant
- any convictions for criminal offences, including those involving the misuse of drugs, or use or threatened use of violence
- whether any part of the application contains material which the applicant knows to be false or misleading
- whether any domestic violence orders have been taken out against the applicant
- whether the applicant is a risk to public safety
- whether it would be contrary to the public interest for the person to have a licence.
The licence will state the categories of weapons the licensed person is permitted to possess and any conditions which have been imposed (s 16 Weapons Act).
While particular issues about applying for and owning a firearm licence should be discussed with a solicitor, for more detailed information on particular matters about applying for a licence, the various types of licences available and many other aspects of owning a firearm licence see the Weapons Regulation 2016 (Qld).