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Firearms licences and categories

Original

If you have never held a Western Australian firearms licence, you will be applying for an 'Original' Licence. This is subject to a 28 day cooling off period, during which the application does not progress. You will also be subject to certain requirements in accordance with legislation.

Additional

If you have a current firearms licence and make an application to add more firearms, you will be submitting an 'additional' firearm licence. This will not be subject to a 28 day cooling off period, however there will be further requirements in accordance with legislation. 

Co-user

Legislation requires that if you use any firearms you must be licensed; therefore if you wish to use someone else's firearms but do not want to own them then you will need to apply for a Co-user licence.

If you have never held a firearm licence, you will be subject to a 28 day cooling off period, however if you already have a firearm licence, then any application will be treated as an 'additional' application.

Collector's licence - firearm

A firearm collector's licence allows the holder to possess, but not carry or use any firearm named and identified in the licence. You must complete an application form online by going to the application form. You will need to show the firearm has significant commemorative, historical, thematic or heirloom value.

If you have not previously held a Collectors Licence for Firearms, then the first application is treated as an Original, regardless if you already hold another Firearms Licence (or Collectors Licence – Ammunition); therefore the application is subject to a 28 day cooling off period.

Collector's licence - ammunition

An Ammunition Collectors licence allows the holder to possess and carry ammunition however the ammunition can not be used.

In some cases the quantities of ammunition may be specified.

You need to be a person of good character and have a genuine reason and need to collect ammunition.

If you have not previously held a Collectors Licence for Ammunition, then the first application is treated as an Original, regardless if you already hold another Firearms Licence (or Collectors Licence – Firearms); therefore the application is subject to a 28 day cooling off period.

Corporate licence

A corporate licence is issued to any business involving club or occupational use of firearms – (Corporate, 'Trading As' or Shooting club – usually with a number of employees (nominated persons)/club members)

Dealers

A dealer's licence is issued to a business which is involved in the sale of firearms and/or ammunition – (corporate or 'trading as' – usually with a number of employees/nominated persons).

Manufacturers

Issued to the individual for the manufacture or modification of firearms and/or the manufacture of ammunition - With or without business name.

Repairers

Issued to a qualified person who is involved in the repair of firearms – (Whether as a business or as an individual)

Firearm types

Pneumatic firearms

Pneumatic firearms are commonly referred to as air guns. Some firearms have rifled barrels and some do not. Most are not fitted with any type of safety catch. They come in two main calibres .177 or .22 and there are pneumatic pistols and rifles available in these calibres. They are usually single shot firearms although some gas operated models have magazines.

Break open firearms

Break open firearms are usually single or double barrel shotguns in various gauges but can include some rifles and handguns. In most cases there is a lever on the rear of the action or top tang. Generally moving this lever to the right allows the action to be opened.

Usually firearms of this type will have the safety catch located at the rear of the lever that opens the action making it readily accessible to the shooter's thumb. Some models have no external safety catch.

Bolt action firearms

Bolt action firearms are usually a repeating rifle or single shot in almost every conceivable calibre and can include some shotguns. They may have a fixed or removable box magazine, hinged floor or tubular magazine under the barrel or in the butt of the firearm. These firearms can be easily identified by a turned bolt, with the bolt handle usually on the right-hand side of the action. The bolt is raised and drawn to the rear to open the action. Safety catches are normally found at the rear of the action behind the bolt handle or near the trigger guard.

Lever action firearms

Lever action firearms are usually manually operated repeating rifles and can be identified by the cocking lever under the action of the firearm. They usually have a tubular magazine under the barrel or movable box magazine. They are available in a variety of calibres.

Downwards movement on the lever opens the action. Most of the western style rifles will not be fitted with a safety however the newer models have been fitted with a push button safety just in front of the hammer.

Pump action firearms

Pump action firearms are common in shotguns of various gauges but can also include rifles in rim fire and centre fire calibres.

They can be identified by a sliding fore end that is drawn to the rear to open the action. They can be fitted with a tubular magazine under the barrel or a box magazine. Most have a safety catch located near the trigger guard.

Self loading firearms

Self loading firearms are available in a large variety of rifle calibres and in shotgun gauges. They are usually identifiable by a small cocking handle which usually protrudes to the right-hand side of the breech bolt. They may be fitted with box or tubular magazines and can vary greatly in ammunition capacity.

Self loading firearms are also referred to as semi automatic firearms as each press of the trigger cycles the action automatically. These firearms will operate in one of the following manners: blowback, gas operated or recoil operated.

Fully automatic

Most fully automatic weapons take the form of general purpose machine guns fed from either a cloth or disintegrating link belt, or sub machine guns of varying size and styles. They usually have a large capacity box or drum magazine. Most have a select fire switch to allow either semi automatic or full automatic fire. Some military rifles have selective fire capacity.

Single shot rifles

Single shot rifles do not have a magazine. Bolt or lever action single shot rifles are manually loaded through the ejection port and into the chamber. 

Firearms categories

Category Description
A1  an air rifle
A2.1  a single shot rim fire rifle
A2.2  a repeating rim fire rifle
A3.1  a single shot shotgun
A3.2   a double barrel shotgun
A3.3  a repeating shotgun (lever or bolt action)
A4.1 a combination firearm made up of a shotgun and a rifle each of which would individually be of category A
A4.2  a rifle combination made up of rifles each of which would individually be of category A
 

Category B

Category Description
B1 a muzzle loading firearm (except a handgun)
B2.1  a single shot centre fire rifle
B2.2 a double barrel centre fire rifle
B2.3 a repeating centre fire rifle
B3.1 a combination firearm, not of category C or D, made up of a shotgun and a rifle at least one of which would individually be of category B
B3.2 a rifle combination, not of category C or D, made up of rifles at least one of which would individually be of category B

Genuine need test for Category B: the applicant is required to satisfy the Commissioner that a firearm of category A would be inadequate or unsuitable for the purpose for which the firearm is required.

Category C

Category Description
C1 a self loading rim fire rifle with a magazine capacity no more than 10 rounds
C2  a self loading shotgun with a magazine capacity no more than 5 rounds
C3 a pump action shotgun with a magazine capacity no more than 5 rounds
C4.1 a combination firearm, not of category D, made up of a shotgun and a rifle at least one of which would individually be of category C
C4.2 a rifle combination, not of category D, made up of rifles at least one of which would individually be of category C

Category E

Category Description
E1 a cannon
E2  a captive bolt
E3 a line thrower
E4 a tranquilliser
E5 a paintball gun
E6 any firearm that is not of sub-category E1, E2, E3, E4 or E5, or category A, B, C, D, or H

Category H

Category Description
H1 a handgun (including an air pistol)
H2 an underwater explosive device

Genuine need test for Category H:

  1. The applicant is required to satisfy the Commissioner that a firearm of category A, B, or C would be inadequate or unsuitable for the purpose for which the firearm is required.
     
  2. A person does not have a genuine need to acquire or possess a firearm of category H because it is required for:

    (a) hunting,

    (b) recreational shooting, other than by a person described in paragraph  under the heading “Restrictions for category H”, and for a purpose described in that paragraph; or

    (c) destroying stock or vermin.

 

 

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