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Protocol Guidelines

13.3 Possession of firearms for sporting purposes

Any person owning a non-prohibited firearm must hold a firearms licence. Applicants must show genuine reasons for possessing firearms. Local state or territory police should be contacted for detailed advice.

Any officer of a mission or post, or a dependant, who wishes to apply for a firearms licence for genuine sporting purposes must first seek DFAT's agreement. DFAT will not agree to members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps purchasing, possessing, holding or retaining firearms for any reason other than genuine sporting purposes, even where the intention is eventually to export the firearm(s).

A firearm must not be purchased or imported, or a firearms licence sought from state or territory authorities, before Protocol Branch's approval has been obtained.

13.3.1 Conditions under which approval can be given

DFAT's approval to apply for a licence does not oblige state or territory licensing authorities to issue a licence. The applicant must comply with relevant state or territory requirements.

DFAT will not agree to a person joining a registered gun club or association in order to hold a firearm for the purpose of eventually exporting it from Australia. The applicant should participate regularly in gun club or association shooting activities.

The firearm must be stored either at the gun club or association or at the private residence of the owner in a safe container approved by the relevant state or territory authority. A firearm may not be held, used, carried or stored in or adjacent to official diplomatic, consular or international organisation premises. A firearm is to be carried only when the owner is participating in, or travelling to or from, a relevant sporting activity.

Where a person does not wish to continue with the sport as a club or association member, or the person's licence to hold a firearm has been withdrawn, the firearm must be legally disposed of through a licensed gun dealer, or surrendered to the relevant state or territory authorities, or legally exported. DFAT must be informed when any such action is taken.

13.3.2 Applications - supporting information

Staff or dependants of missions or posts seeking DFAT's approval to apply for a firearms licence should complete and submit an Approval to Apply for a Firearm Licence form to Protocol Branch

The following supporting information must also be provided:

  • confirmation that the applicant belongs to a registered sporting gun club or association located near their place of residence in Australia, and has successfully undergone proficiency testing by this body
  • if applicable, evidence of any previous membership of gun clubs or participation in shooting as a competitive sport
  • advice as to whether the firearm is to be imported, or purchased in Australia.
Last Updated: 13 February 2019
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