Losing your licence

Refusal to grant a firearms licence

The registrar must refuse to issue a firearms licence to an applicant unless satisfied on reasonable grounds:

  • The information in the application is true and accurate
  • The applicant’s identity
  • The applicants suitability
  • The applicant has a genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm
  • The applicant will comply with part 12 (Safe storage of firearms) in relation to each registered firearm held under the licence
  • The applicant is, or is about to become a resident of the ACT
  • In accordance with section 61, it would be necessary for the applicant to possess or use the firearm in the lawful course of business or employment in the ACT
  • That each registered firearm held under the licence will be stored in the ACT
  • Section 17 (suitability)
  • Section 18 Suitability (discretionary criteria)
  • Section 19 Suitability (mandatory criteria).

Automatic cancellation of a licence

A firearms licence will be automatically cancelled in the following situations:

  • The licensee becomes subject to a final protection order under the Family Violence Act 2016 or Personal Violence Act 2016
  • The licensee has contravened the Firearms Act (whether or not convicted of an offence)
  • The registrar is of the opinion that the licensee is no longer a 'suitable person' to hold a licence.
  • It becomes apparent to the registrar that the initial licence should have been refused.

Other reasons for cancellation

A firearms licence may be cancelled if the licensee:

  • has obtained the licence by deception
  • has contravened any provision of Section 81 of the Firearms Act (ACT legislation register) or the Regulations
  • has failed to comply with the safe storage requirements, or
  • has contravened any condition of the licence.

What happens when a licence is cancelled

When a licence is cancelled, a notice of suspension is issued and the licence holder is required to deliver their firearm(s) and licence to the Firearms Registry. Failure to comply will result in the firearm(s) being seized and penalties may apply.

If your firearms licence is suspended you have the right to appeal to the ACAT (ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal).

Review decisions for firearms licences

Applications can be made to the ACAT (ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal) for a review of specific decisions made by the firearms registrar.

The types of decisions that can be appealed against are listed in the Firearms Act 1996.

Examples of these decisions include:

  • refusing to issue a licence or permit
  • cancelling licences, permits or registration
  • not approving the modification of a firearm.

Surrendering your firearms licence

If you no longer require your firearms licence it must be surrendered to the Firearms Registry. Your surrendered licence needs to be accompanied by a letter to confirm that it is no longer required.

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