How to Get A Firearms Licence In QLD Gun Bar Blog

How To Get A Firearms Licence In Queensland


Every day, we receive enquiries regarding the fastest way to obtain a firearms licence in Queensland.

In reality, obtaining a firearms licence in Queensland can be a lengthy process. 

The QLD weapons licensing process is driven by legislative requirements.

This process includes training, providing a genuine reason for owning a firearm as well as criminal history and fitness of character requirements.

Approval of a firearms licence in QLD is not automatically granted and requires an individual to meet a strict criteria as assessed by QLD weapons licensing in accordance with the Queensland Weapons Act 1990 and Queensland Weapons Regulations 2016.

There are various reasons why individuals in Queensland apply for a firearms licence.

Despite common misconceptions, the process is not as overwhelming as it may appear when there is a legitimate reason for firearm ownership.

Whether you are interested in acquiring a rifle, shotgun, or handgun for hunting, sport, recreational or occupational purposes, there are specific steps mandated by the Queensland Weapons Act 1990 that must be followed.

Here is a quick summary of the Weapons Licensing Application Process with future blogs incoming that will explain each step in more detail.

Path to a firearms licence

  1. Have a Genuine Reason
  2. Firearms Safety Course (11029NAT)
  3. Obtain your Certificate of Attainment
  4. Safe Storage Capability
  5. Complete the Licence application
  6. Wait…patiently

Genuine Reason For Firearm Licence

Section 11 of the Queensland Weapons Act states:

Genuine reasons for possession of a weapon 

The following are reasons for possession of a weapon— 

(a) sports or target shooting; 

(b) recreational shooting; 

(c) an occupational requirement, including an occupational requirement for rural purposes; 

(d) the collection, preservation or study of weapons; 

(e) another reason prescribed under a regulation.

We will discuss the section in more detail in another article, but an example of a genuine reason if you wanted to become a sports or target shooter would be to join an association such as the Shooters Union Australia.

This membership would offer you a genuine reason for both Sports and Target Shooting and Recreational Shooting. 

Occupational requirement would be if you were employed by a Primary Producer and needed to utilise firearms during the course of your employment. For more in-depth discussion on “genuine reason” keep an eye out for our upcoming blog on the topic. 

Shooters Union Logo Gun Bar Blog

Firearm Safety Course

11029NAT Course In Firearms And Weapons Safety (Approved For Firearms Licensing in Queensland) is the official title of the course that you are required to complete prior to applying for your QLD Firearms Licence.

There are a variety of Qualified Trainers & Assessors that are authorised to deliver this course throughout the state. 

The course material consists of both theoretical and practical components and is undertaken over the course of one (1) day in a classroom setting on an approved range. 

Course costs average $125 at time of writing and a course is available for each Weapons Category that you wish to apply for. 

Safe Firearms Storage

Firstly, Gun Bar do not sell gun safes. 

There are a multitude of local gun shops out there that sell a wide variety of gun safes. 

It would be our absolute recommendation that you spend a few extra dollars and get yourself one that is both higher quality and larger than you think you will need. 

It is very common to hear of people having 2, 3 or even more safes when it would have been easier, cheaper and an all around better result just doing it properly the first time.

As a part of the weapons licensing application process you will be asked if you have Safe Weapons Storage. 

Many people leave the acquisition and installation of their safe until they receive approval of their firearms licence. 

You would be in a really tough situation if you said “Yes. I’ve got it” on the application form only to be found otherwise and try to justify that “I don’t have guns yet so don’t need it”.

Regulations for Safe Storage

Make sure you give this section some serious thought. Having access to safe storage prior to your application is very important.

Queensland Weapons Regulations 2016 Part 21, Section 94(2) stipulates that:

A person who possesses a weapon must, when the weapon is not in the person’s physical possession, store it unloaded in a locked container complying with subsections (5) and (6), with the weapons bolt removed OR its action broken.

So in essence: Any time that you are not in direct physical possession of your firearm, it must be stored accordingly. 

Subsection 5(b) states the requirement of:

A rigid structure made of solid steel or solid timber AND – IF the container weighs less than 150kg be fixed to the frame or floor of a permanent building. 

Subsection 6 necessitates the need for:

A sturdy combination lock, keyed lock or keyed padlock AND always be locked (other than the time necessary to insert or remove a weapon, or something else, for a proper purpose).

Many people interpret this section of the Weapons Regulations differently and there are a few tricks to be aware of. 

weapons bolt removed or its action broken

Is to be interpreted as written.

This is not a stipulation that you have to remove every bolt from every rifle stored in your safe. 

It means that the action of every firearm stored regardless of action type must be broken.

Broken = open. 

For a bolt action rifle this means, bolt open. 

With a pump action shotgun this means action open

For a break action shotgun this means action open

And for a lever action rifle this means lever open. 

In a very simple sense, someone inspecting your safe can quickly and easily identify that every firearm in the safe is in fact in a “SAFE” meaning unable to fire position.

The Right Safe

Another thing to look out for when interpreting the Weapons Regulations is that a safe under 150kg for category A, B, C & M weapons must be bolted to the floor OR wall of a permanent building. 

I’m sorry to tell you, a shipping container in most instances will not cut it.

Gun Safe vs Shipping Container Gun Bar Blog

For category D & H weapons the weight of the safe is irrelevant, it must be bolted to the floor or wall of a permanent building and it must be a rigid structure made from steel. 

This is highlighted in Subsection 5(a) which reads:

For a category D, H or R weapon–be of a rigid structure made of solid steel and be bolted to the frame or floor of a permanent building.

In really simple terms, buy yourself a decent gun safe and bolt it in.

Meeting the requirements of legislation shouldn’t be something that you do at a bare minimum.

Apply For QLD Firearms Licence Online 

If you have a genuine reason, have completed the 11029NAT Course in Firearms and Weapons Safety Course and have acquired and installed a firearm safe then you are ready to apply online via QLD Weapons Licensing for your Queensland Firearms Licence. 

Once your licence is issued, you’re then ready to apply for your Permit To Acquire. Check out the Gun Bar blog for more info on taking this next step.

Matt Joseph gunbar-admin
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