Anyone in Queensland wishing to own or use a gun, crossbow, paintball gun, and even own certain types of knife, must have a valid weapons’ licence.
The most commonly held licence in Queensland is a general ‘Firearms Licence’ which is suitable for the needs of farmers and sports and target shooters.
If you have a licence and want to buy a weapon, you must complete a 'permit to acquire'. Only people with a valid weapons’ licence can complete this form.
Types of weapons licence
The type of licence you need depends on the category of weapon you want to own or use, and what you want to use it for.
- firearms: The most commonly used general licence used by farmers and sports and target shooters.
- minor: A restricted firearms licence for young people between the ages of 11 and17 which allows use of weapons in certain circumstances, but not the acquisition of firearms.
- visitor::For people temporarily visiting Queensland with a firearm.
- armourer: Required if you run a business for the storage, manufacture, modification or repair of weapons.
- dealer: Required if you run a business buying or selling weapons.
- firearms instructor: Required if you give firearms’ training on behalf of a Registered Training Organisation.
- group: Authorises members of an organisation or employees of an organisation to possess and use weapons for the purpose stated on your licence e.g. members of a sports or target shooting club.
- blank-fire firearm: Issued for the use of blank-fire firearms for use in the theatre or at sporting events.
- theatrical ordnance supplier: Required if you run a business supplying weapons on a temporary basis for use in theatre film or television productions.
- collector's licence: Required by weapons collectors and permits the ownership of temporarily or permanently disabled weapons.
- miscellaneous weapons: Required for the use of body armour, crossbows and the possession of some knives.
- concealable firearms: Specifically for handguns.
- security (guard): Required if you provide armed security services for the escort of valuables.
- security (organisation): Required by businesses providing armed security services for the escort of valuables by licensed employees.
Categories of weapons
Depending on your licence type and your need for a weapon, your licence may be endorsed with categories that are appropriate for that licence and your need.
These categories are:
(A) Rimfire rifles, single or double barrel shotguns, paintball guns, air rifles and powerheads (a specialised weapon for use underwater).
(B) Centre-fire rifles (other than semi-automatic); shotgun/rifle combinations.
(C) Semi-automatic or pump action shotguns (capable of holding 5 rounds or less); and semi-automatic rimfire rifles (capable of holding less than 10 rounds).
(D) Semi-automatic centre-fire rifles; semi-automatic shotguns (capable of holding more than 5 rounds); and semi-automatic rimfire rifles (capable of holding more than 10 rounds).
(E) Bullet-proof vests.
(M) Crossbows, certain knives and other hand held weapons capable of causing bodily harm.
(R) Machine guns, fully automatic large calibre military weapons.
There is also a category of ‘restricted items’ which includes handcuffs, thumb cuffs or other similar restraints, martial arts weapons, studded gloves and some clubs and laser pointers..
Find out more about weapon categories.
Who can apply
To get a gun licence you must:
- be over the age of 18
- have successfully completed an appropriate firearms safety training course during the previous year
- have secure storage for your guns
- have a legitimate reason for owning the gun such as being a member of a gun club or a collector—you may have to provide proof to support your reason
- be a ‘fit and proper person’—this takes into consideration your criminal record and potential health issues.
If you’re aged between 11 and 17, you can apply for a minor’s licence.
How to apply for a gun licence
The first thing is to be prepared. Gather all the information and documents you need before starting your application.
New licences require a passport quality photograph and supporting documentation, such as proof that you’ve completed a firearms safety training course within the last 12 months.
The documents you need to supply may be different depending on the type of licence you need. Find out what documents you’ll need to supply for your particular application.
You will also have to pay a fee for your gun licence.
You can apply for a weapons licence online. You can either upload and attach the necessary documentation or send them separately by post.
You can pay using credit/debit Mastercard or Visa.
Apply at your local police station
Permit to acquire (PTA)
Once you either have or have applied for a weapons’ licence, you can apply for a permit to acquire (PTA) a weapon.
You must be over 18 years of age to apply for a permit to acquire, so a ‘Minors’ firearms licence is not accepted for PTA applications. Minors are not allowed to buy weapons in Queensland.
There is a mandatory waiting period for a PTA of 28 days from the date the application is lodged.
Changing your address
If you have a weapons’ licence, you need to let the police know if you change your home or weapons storage address within 14 days of the change.
Renewing, surrendering, amending or cancelling your licence
You can register new weapons to your licence but you may have to pay a one-off fee for each firearm.
You need to let the police know if your circumstances change (e.g. you change your name or address) within 14 days of the change.
Find out who to contact if your circumstances change, you lose your licence, or you need to renew, give up or cancel your licence.