If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18* and residing in Victoria, you are eligible to apply for a Victorian longarm firearms licence.
All the information and forms you need to get your longarm licence are on the Victoria Police website under the Firearm Licensing and Regulation tab. But to help you understand the basic requirements, SSAA Victoria has put together this list of fundamental steps you’ll need to take to be a successful applicant.
It is a process that requires a bit of nous around a computer to fill out the application and patience as it can take some months before your licence is issued. But once you have it, you’ll be able to take part in many of the shooting disciplines offered by SSAA Victoria’s clubs, including target shooting, collecting, clay shooting and hunting.
The longarm licence category you will most likely apply for is A & B, which covers everything from air rifles to shotguns and centrefire bolt-action rifles. We recommend this category as it will allow you to try all the longarm opportunities legally available to you. If you want a handgun licence, that’s a different and much stricter process and you can find details on the Victoria Police website www.police.vic.gov.au.
* Children aged between 12 and 17 years may apply for a junior firearm licence in Victoria. The junior licence holder is only ever able to handle a firearm under the supervision of an adult who has a current firearm licence for the same category of firearm.
1. Book in for a compulsory firearms safety course. Do it now to save time.
There are two firearms safety course alternatives: Victoria Police’s free theory course or the Practical Firearms Training Program run by SSAA Victoria which includes range shooting to give you practical experience. Both will give you the certificate you need to complete your firearms application. But it is also the longest delay in the process – the free course can take up to three months from the time you book to the course date. Go to the Training section of our website to book into the PFTP or contact your local Divisional Firearms Officer for the LRD course.
2. Have a genuine reason. Just wanting a licence is not enough.
Victorian firearm laws require you to have an actual reason for having a firearm licence and you will be asked to specify the reason. For a Category A & B firearm licence (which is what you will be applying for, unless you’re a primary producer or security guard), sport/target shooting and/or hunting is sufficient reason. Being a member of an approved organisation, such as SSAA, is one way to prove your genuine reason. Join up once you get your Firearms Safety Course certificate and you’re on your way.
3. Be computer literate. New licence applications are now online.
Victoria Police has shifted its firearms licence application process to its website, eservices.police.vic.gov.au, which requires you to create an account with its eServices Portal. You will need an email address to complete this process. Also, you will need to send copies of required documents (proof of genuine reason such as association/club membership, Firearms Safety Course certificate, personal reference, 100 points of identification) with your application.
4. Be a fit and proper person. Having a firearm licence is not a right.
Firearms licences are issued at the discretion of the police. If they are not satisfied you are a fit and proper person, then they will refuse your application. You will be asked if you have been guilty (pay attention to that) of a crime or been subjected to an intervention order. It’s personal and probing but it is important to read the questions carefully and be honest. Keep in mind that you can still get a licence even if you don’t have a clean slate, but if that is the case it may require assistance to navigate the process. SSAA Victoria has a legal service you can call (0430 468 127) with the first consultation free if you need help.
5. Know an acceptable referee. You need someone to vouch for you.
Your spouse or best mate won’t cut it. You need a referee of good standing as specified by Victoria Police to certify the documents you submit. It might be a GP or dentist, registered nurse, school teacher, Justice of the Peace, bank manager or chartered accountant. There’s a list on the police website. Note: you won’t get the form you need for the referee until you complete and submit the electronic part of your application. The form will be attached to the PDF document that’s emailed to you on completion.
Get ahead of the game
SSAA Victoria offers an Introductory Course which caters for unlicensed shooters under our Practical Firearms Training Program. It is an official firearms safety course which means it satisfies the Victoria Police requirement in obtaining a firearms licence.
The Introductory Course includes actual firearm use on a range, so it is a great way to better understand firearms as you go through the licensing process.
Click on the Training tab at ssaavic.com.au or phone (03) 8892 2777 to find out more.
Try it out first
You don’t need a firearms licence to try shooting. You can come to the SSAA Springvale Range anytime during opening hours and use our .22 calibre rifles under the supervision of our friendly range officers. SSAA Victoria’s other regional ranges and Eagle Park also have come and try days.
Click on the Ranges tab at ssaavic.com.au to find out more.