Licensing & security

Legislation summary - Western Australia

1. Licensing requirements
Under Section 11A (2) (a)-(f) of the state's Firearms Act :
A person has a genuine reason for acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition if and only if -

  • it is for use by the person as a member of an approved shooting club and the person is an active and financial member of the club;
  • it is for use by the person as a member of an organisation approved under this paragraph;
  • it is for use in hunting or shooting of a recreational nature on land the owner of which has given permission for that hunting or shooting;
  • it is required by the person in the course of the person's occupation;
  • it is to form part of a genuine firearm collection or genuine ammunition collection; or
  • it is for another approved purpose.

While there is no specific requirement under the Act or regulations, the Western Australian Police Service routinely demand proof (usually in the form of a letter) that an applicant (especially a new applicant) has either the support of a club or permission from a land-owner before they will issue a license.

While there are no restrictions on how many guns a licensee may possess, the WA Police Service frequently hinder shooters seeking to license additional firearms, especially high powered centre-fire rifles.

Under Section 18 of the Act, a 28 day waiting period applies to first time license applicants only.

Under Schedule 3 of the regulations, exemptions for category C shotguns extend to anyone who requires the firearm - "for the purpose of training for, and participating in, an approved national or international shooting discipline."

There are no training prerequisites currently in place in Western Australia. New applicants are required to complete a safety questionnaire before a license is issued.

2. Storage requirements
All firearms (including air rifles) must be stored in accordance with Schedule (4) of the regulations This involves a steel cabinet which meets very specific criteria. However, under Section 11 of the regulations, alternative arrangements may be approved in certain circumstances. Ammunition must be stored in a separate locked container which also meets the specifications set down in Schedule (4). Propellants must be held in accordance with the Explosives and Dangerous Goods Act 1961.

3. Hunting
Hunting anywhere other than on private property is difficult in Western Australia without the support of authorities such as the Department of Conservation And Land Management. Groups such as SSAA Hunting and Conservation clubs are granted access to certain state controlled lands for the purposes of vermin control from time to time.

Duck hunting is banned except for mitigation purposes.

4. Moving between states
Western Australia does not automatically recognise firearms licenses issued in other jurisdictions. Under Sections 17 and 17A. of the Act, visitors from interstate need to apply for a temporary permit in order to lawfully possess firearms registered elsewhere whilst in WA. This can either be done by contacting the Firearms Branch of the Western Australian Police Service prior to entering the state, or by making application at the first available police station once inside WA.

Noted: the WA Police Service is not obliged to grant a permit. Some interstate visitors have been refused permission to take certain firearms into Western Australia.

5. Juniors
Under Section 10 of the Firearms Act the minimum age for the issue of a license or permit in Western Australia is 18. However, there are no age restrictions on the use of a firearm, other than a handgun, while under supervision.

Home > Licensing & security > Legislation summary - Western Australia