When you apply for a NSW firearms licence you must provide evidence of your genuine reason for the possession and use of firearms.
The protection of yourself or another person is not considered a genuine reason.
Refer to the Licence Categories & Genuine Reason Table – PDF. Your genuine reason will determine:
- the category of licence issued
- the type of firearm you’re authorised to possess and use.
You can have more than one genuine reason on your firearms licence.
Firearms licences are issued for 2 or 5 years with the exception of:
- first time applicants for a category H firearm licence with the genuine reason of:
- target shooting, who will be subject to a probationary pistol licence – PDF for the first 12 months.
- business or employment as an armed security guard, who will be subject to a provisional pistol licence – PDF for the first 12 months.
Note: If you're applying for a genuine reason or category other than the above, you may need to be issued with a separate licence.
- primary producers engaged in an authorised eradication campaign who may be eligible for a 12-month category D licence.
A fee is attached to a licence application. The application fee covers:
- administration costs
- national and NSW police checks
- a photo card.
Fee exemptions may be available for:
- primary producers whose sole genuine reason for their licence is primary production
- holders of the following current concession cards who are applying for an A, B or H firearms licence only:
- Centrelink Pension Card
- Disability Card
- Veterans' Affairs Card (including concession and health care card).
You must be a resident of NSW and:
- be at least 18 years of age
- be a fit and proper person to have access to firearms
- Note: The Firearms Registry may seek further information from you if there are concerns about your fitness to hold a firearms licence. This could include a medical assessment from your treating medical professional, if applicable.
- have successfully completed a firearms training and safety course applicable to the type of firearm licence you're applying for
- be able to provide evidence to justify your genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm.
What you need
- a MyServiceNSW Account linked to the NSW Police Force
- a copy of your firearms training and safety course certificate or pistol safe handling certificate
- documented details of the address(s) where you'll safely store your firearms (if applicable)
- documentation to support each genuine reason/category
- a current credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for your payment, or
- a copy of your current eligible pensioner card.
In addition, depending on your genuine reason(s):
- if you’re applying for a licence over and above a category A firearms licence, you need:
- evidence that a ‘special need’ exists for a category B, C, D or H licence
- the reason(s) why the special need cannot be met by using another category of firearm.
- if you're applying for a category H firearm licence with the genuine reason of business or employment as an armed security guard, you need:
- a copy of your current 1F security licence
- a current firearms training and safety course certificate
- a letter of intent and endorsement from an approved master licensee.
Note: All documentation (certificates, documents, letters, licences, concession cards) must be in a digital format for uploading. Accepted file types are BMP, DOC, DOCX, JPG, PDF, PNG, TIF, XLS, XLSX with a 5MB size limit.
How to apply
- Gather all your digital/scanned documentation, and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your application once you have started.
- Check you meet all the eligibility requirements.
- Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
- Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
- Link to the NSW Police Force.
- Complete the online application form.
- Upload your supporting documentation.
- Enter your payment details (if requested).
- Read and confirm the declaration.
- Review and submit your application.
- Service NSW will send you an email confirming your application has been successfully submitted.
- Before any new firearms licence can be issued, there is a legislated mandatory 28-day waiting period from the date of application.
- In addition to the waiting period, the Firearms Registry thoroughly reviews new licence applicants to ensure they satisfy all licensing requirements and public safety considerations. As a result, processing times differ.
- The Firearms Registry will send you a letter confirming that your application is being processed. You are also able to check:
- If your application is approved, you'll receive a Photograph Advice letter requesting you to attend a Service NSW Centre to have your photo taken. Make sure you visit the service centre before your Photograph Advice expires. The licence will be sent to you by post.
- If your application is not successful you can email the NSW Firearms Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss refund options.
- It is an offence to store firearms at premises where no-one resides. Please refer to the following Safe Storage FACT sheets for more information: