The use of guns varies on their type and the license you obtain for them. Before we discuss the types of guns you can have at home, let’s talk about the different categories of guns in general.
Categories of Weapons
According to Queensland Police, weapons can be categorised into the following:
- Category A: this includes miniature cannon under 120cm in barrel length, air and rimfire rifles, pump-action or self-loading shotguns and conversion units under this category.
- Category B: weapons under this category encompass muzzle-loading firearms, a combined break action shotgun and centre-fire rifle, a lever-action shotgun with no more than 5 rounds in magazine capacity, and centre rifles.
- Category C: includes semi-automatic rim-fire rifles and shotguns with no more than 5 or 10 rounds in capacity respectively.
- Category D: this category involves self-loading centre-fire rifles engineered for military purposes, self-loading and pump-action shotguns with more than 5 rounds of capacity and rim-fire rifles with more than 10 rounds of capacity.
- Category H: includes handguns such as air pistols and blank firearms under 75 centimetres in length.
- Category M: includes crossbows, certain knives and other handheld items capable of causing bodily harm. Some include ballistic, butterfly, push, sheath, star, flick, and trench knives. Examples of handheld items are stilettos, walking sticks, inflammable devices, rope, chain, knuckle duster and other objects that can inflict injury to others.
- Category R: this category pertains to machine guns and fully automatic huge calibre military weapons, hand grenades, electrical or acoustical anti-personnel devices, rocket launchers and all artillery or inflammable weapons.
What should I do to own or use a gun in Australia?
Essentially, the use of guns in Australia is under the jurisdiction of each state and territory. What may be applicable in one state may be different in another. In Queensland, it is governed by the Weapons Act 1990.
If you are wishing to own or use a weapon in Queensland, you must have a valid weapons licence. This may include a gun, crossbow, paintball gun and certain types of knife. The most commonly held license for weapons is a “firearms licence,” suitable for recreational shooting sports or target shooting and some occupational shooters.
It is noteworthy to know that your “licence to use” is different from having a permit to acquire a weapon. You must also be more than 18 years old to apply.
Applications may be done online by filling out a PTA web form or you can visit the nearest Police Station in Queensland. All PTA applications have a mandatory cooling-off period of 28 days reckoned from the date when you applied.
What types of guns can you have at home?
Generally, the type of guns you can have at home depends on 2 things, and they are as follows:
- Whether or not you have a license to use a weapon; and
- Whether or not you have a permit to acquire such a weapon.
The further requirement under permit to acquire is categorised according to what you need to use it for.
Here are the valid categorical uses of weapons under a permit to acquire or PTA:
- Firearms: the most prevalent weapons licence used by farmers and those engaged in sports like target shooting.
- Armourer: if you are running a business for the storage, manufacture, modification or repair of weapons, you need a PTA under this category.
- Dealer: if you are running a business of buying or selling weapons, you will be required to have a permit to acquire under this category.
- Firearms Instructor: for trainers or instructors providing firearms training, you should have a PTA to do so and you should be acting on behalf of a Registered Training Organisation.
- Blank-fire Firearm: these PTAs are issued for use in the theatre or during sporting events only.
- Theatrical Ordnance Supplier: if you are running a business supplying weapons temporarily for use in theatre film or television productions, you will be required to have a PTA under this category
- Collectors: If you are into collecting weapons, you will be required to have a PTA for the ownership of temporarily or permanently disabled weapons for the sole purpose of collecting.
- Miscellaneous Weapons: required for the use of body armour, crossbows and the possession of some knives.
- Concealable Firearms: the issuance of PTA is specifically for handguns but such can only be used under conditions stated in your license.
- Security Guards: if your work constitutes armed security services for the escort of valuables whether, for persons of interest or objects of indispensable value, you will be required to have a PTA under this category.
- Security for Organisations: this is a requirement for businesses or organisations providing armed security services. The employees they employ should also possess a PTA under the preceding category.
Licenses to use or permits to acquire are endorsed under the categories that are appropriate for your needs. In no case should you use the weapon for purposes not stated in your license or permit.
Do you need to use or own a gun?
Contact Smith Criminal Law to learn more about the types of guns you can use or own under a PTA!