Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

COVID-19 information

Due to the restrictions on movement and social distancing resulting from the COVID-19 health orders, Regulations have been developed under the Firearms Act and the Weapons Prohibition Act:

The provisions in the Regulations are to assist the NSW firearms and weapons community manage their responsibilities while the health orders are in place.

The Firearms Registry continues to operate as business as usual, and does not want any licence holder to be affected adversely because of circumstances outside of their control.

Visit the Registry's COVID-19 Response page for detailed information on, but not limited to:

  • the compliance period for club participation shoots
  • licence obligations such as:
    • mandatory training or accreditation requirements
    • having your photo taken at a service centre.

Introduction

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).

Eligibility

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

  1. Gather all your digital/scanned documentation, and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your application once you have started.
  2. Check you meet all the eligibility requirements.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Link to the NSW Police Force.
  6. Complete the online application form.
  7. Upload your supporting documentation.
  8. Enter your payment details (if requested).
  9. Read and confirm the declaration.
  10. Review and submit your application.
  11. Service NSW will send you an email confirming your application has been successfully submitted.

More information

  • 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 firearms@police.nsw.gov.au 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: