Welcome to our first edition of the Firearms Bulletin for 2021!
The Licensing and Regulation Division would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the all stakeholders within the firearms industry for their continued understanding and cooperation during the State of Emergency and navigating the complexities presented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are constantly striving to improve our services. To ensure that we continue to achieve a high level of service delivery, this quarterly newsletter will be used to raise issues with you and assist you in resolution.
To stay up-to-date with current information, please refer to the Victoria Police website.
Firearm Licence Renewals
Please be advised that the Licensing and Regulation Division is currently experiencing a high volume of applications. As such, approval of your renewal application may be delayed and encourage you to check the status of current applications we are processing on the Victorian Police website. This is updated on a weekly basis and will be able to provide you with the most current information about your application.
Under Section 41A of the Firearms Act 1996, if a licence holder has applied to renew their licence and that application has not been determined before the licence expiry date, the licence is deemed to continue in force, on and from that date, until the determination of the application.
A renewal application package will be posted to you eight weeks before the expiry of your licence. Included with your package will be:
• a renewal application form
• a list of firearms registered in Victoria to your licence/s.
Please consider using Registered or Express Post to lodge your application and supporting documents.
High quality PDF copies of your application and supporting documents can be emailed to LRD@police.vic.gov.au
If you fail to submit your renewal application prior to the expiry of your licence, you will become unlicensed and be required to dispose of your firearms to a Licensed Firearm Dealer. You will then need to lodge a new licence application to retake possession of your firearms.
Updating Your Change of Address
A friendly reminder to licence holders, please ensure that you notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of any changes to your residential, postal and/or storage address so that you receive your renewal application in a timely manner. Failure to notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of an address change is the most common cause of firearms licenses inadvertently expiring.
Under Section 139 of the Firearms Act 1996, the holder of a licence has 14 days to notify the Chief Commissioner of a change to their residential, postal and/or storage address.
Operating Under ‘COVIDSafe’ Conditions
As we begin to see restrictions ease around Victoria, the Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) recommend all licensed firearm dealers continue to refer to the Victoria Government website for updated COVIDSafe practices.
• Handgun Participation requirements
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LRD waived all handgun participation requirements for the calendar year of 2020.
As we move into a new COVIDSafe normal, licence holders will need to return to business as usual and fulfil their shooting requirements at an approved shooting club. We encourage licence holders to spread out their yearly required shoots and adhere to COVIDSafe practices while conducting their shoots.
We are happy to confirm that fingerprinting services have resumed throughout Victoria, with operations returning to full services on 17 February 2021. However due to demand the first available appointments at VPC for live scan fingerprinting is 6 May, 2021 and ink fingerprinting is 15 June, 2021. All regional sites continue to book two weeks in advance.
In relation to firearms, the Executor or Administrator of a deceased estate has a legal responsibility to ensure that firearms are transferred correctly.
Legal obligations of the Executor/Administrator:
• Notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of the death of the licence holder as soon as possible.
• Ensure the continued safe storage of firearms belonging to the estate of the deceased licence holder.
• Dispose of the firearms belonging to the deceased licence holder within six months of the person’s date of death.
It is vital that that Executors and Administrators are aware of their requirements to notify the Chief Commissioner. Guidelines to transfer firearms from deceased licence holders and other information regarding firearms from deceased estates can be found on the Victoria Police website.
Failure to dispose of a firearm with an expired licence will cause you to be in possession of an unregistered firearm. Penalties will apply.
On how to safety and appropriately dispose of your firearms please visit the Victoria Police website.
Please be advised that under Section 41A of the Firearms Act 1996, if a licence holder has applied to renew their licence and that application has not been determined before the licence expiry date, the licence is deemed to continue in force, on and from that date, until the determination of the application.
Safe Transportation of Firearms
As information comes to light regarding a stolen pallet containing firearms, which was stored at a logistics facility in Melbourne’s South-East, there are rising concerns about firearm theft.
LRD would like to reiterate that community safety is the main priority and the safe handling of guns is vital to this objective. We ask that Dealers and Exporters understand their responsibility when transporting firearms and the care that needs to be taken when leaving firearms with logistics centres.
This reminder also extends to all firearm licence holders. LRD wants to reinforce the responsibility that you have as licence holders and emphasise the importance of protecting your firearms against possible thefts during transportation.
Guidelines for safekeeping of firearms when being transported:
• Firearms should be transported in a padded cover or hard case, unloaded and preferably rendered inoperable
• Firearms and ammunition should be kept out of sight and stored separately inside the vehicle or in a lockable component of your vehicle
• Exercise common sense and be mindful of legislative requirements
The Victorian Firearm Safety Foundation has further information regarding the safe and secure transportation of firearms.
If you have any information regarding firearm theft or on the illicit firearms market, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
We are always open to feedback and encourage you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions.