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Firearms Amnesties

The Firearms (Further Amendment) Act 2005 (which received Royal Assent on 22 November 2005) makes a number of important changes to the Firearms Act 1996.

The changes relate to firearms collectors, handgun target shooters, paintball, high-capacity detachable magazines and firearms in the security industry.

However, a range of administrative and practical concerns have led to the Amendment Act being commenced in stages between 1 January 2006 and 1 July 2008.


Firearms law reforms

The documents in this section explain the firearms law reforms relating to handgun target shooters, paintball, high-capacity detachable magazines and firearms in the security industry.


Reforms and amnesties - firearms collectors

From 1 July 2006, the storage, registration and licensing requirements for firearms collectors changed.

  • Collectors are required install an effective (rather than monitored) alarm system if more than 15 antique handguns, or in any other case, more than five firearms, are stored on premises.
  • All handguns, except pre-1900 pre-percussion or single shot antique handguns, must be registered.
  • People must hold an antique handgun collector's licence if they wish to possess, carry, buy or sell antique handguns.

  • The Minister for Police & Emergency Services and the Chief Commissioner of Police announced amnesties to give firearms collectors adequate time to comply with the Firearms Act 1996 requirements.
    1. Holders of firearms collector licences under Division 6 of Part 2 of the Firearms Act 1996 are exempted from effective alarm requirement imposed by section 122(1)(a) and item 3(2) of Schedule 4 of the Act. (These provisions require the installation of an effective alarm system of a class approved by the Chief Commissioner of Police if more than 15 antique handguns, or in any other case more than 5 firearms, are stored on a premises.)
    2. People are exempted from the requirement under section 7B of the Firearms Act 1996 to register antique handguns (other than single shot antique handguns). This exemption does not apply to antique handguns that use cartridge ammunition that is commercially available.
    3. A person who holds a category 1 firearms collector licence under section 21 of the Firearms Act 1996 is exempt from the requirement that they hold a licence under section 21B of the Act to possess or carry antique handguns for the purpose of collecting any such antique handguns.
    4. A person who does not hold a category 1 firearms collector licence under section 21 of the Firearms Act 1996 is exempt from the requirement that they hold a licence under section 21B of the Act to possess or carry antique handguns for the purpose of collecting any such antique handguns. This exemption does not apply to antique handguns that use cartridge ammunition that is commercially available.
    5. A firearms dealer who acquires an antique handgun from a person who is not a firearms dealer and does not hold an antique handgun collector's licence under section 21B of the Firearms Act 1996 is exempt from the requirement under section 93(4)(b) of the Act to only acquire that antique handgun if it is being acquired from a person who holds a licence under the Act to possess, carry or use that firearm.
    Under the terms of these amnesties, people affected are granted immunity from prosecution for failure to comply with these requirements.

    These amnesties will expire on 31 March 2007.


    Further information on the current Firearms Amnesty and how it affects Victorian firearm collectors can be obtained from the Victorian Department of Justice:

    Justice Policy
    GPO Box 4356QQ
    Melbourne VIC 3001
    Tel: 03 8684 1036
    Email: JPenquiries@justice.vic.gov.au

    Further Reading

    Letter from the Chief Commissioner, February 2006.

    Letter from the Chief Commissioner, June 2006.


    * The information contained in the above documents is subject to revision or ammendment by the Victorian Government. These details are provided here by way of historical background to the current amnesty.
    © Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.