Firearms licences permits information

General licencing requirements

In all cases when applying for a firearms licence, certain basic requirements must be met to qualify for a licence under the Northern Territory Firearms Act. In the case of a person you must:

  • be of at least 18 years of age (or 12 years of age for a Junior Club Licence)
  • provide proof that you are a resident of the Northern Territory
  • provide proof of identity in accordance with requirements under the Financial Transactions Report Act (1988), which is the same standard which banks apply when you open a new account
  • not be subject to, or not have been subject to a Domestic Violence Order within the last five years
  • have undertaken an approved Firearm Safety Training Course
  • be able to meet the safe storage requirements under the Firearms Act & Regulations (see safe storage requirements for further information)
  • have a genuine reason/need for holding a licence (see genuine reason for further information)

in addition you will be required to disclose any criminal history, or history of mental illness or incapacity, which could affect your fitness to hold a licence.

In the case of a business or company:

  • proof that the business or company is a Northern Territory registered business or an Australian Registered Company (ACN)
  • provide details of the owners or directors of the company, or a nominee who will be responsible for the firearms to be held on the licence. These persons will be subjected to the same checks that apply to an individual who applies for a licence.
  • be able to met the safe storage requirements under the Firearms Act & Regulations (see safe storage requirements for further information)
  • have a genuine reason/need for holding a licence (see genuine reason for further information).

Types of licences

Ammunition Retail Outlet Permit

An Ammunition Retail Outlet Permit authorises the holder of the permit to sell ammunition for specified Categories of firearms.

To qualify for an Ammunition Retail Outlet Permit under the Northern Territory Firearms Act, the Business/Organisation must provide evidence to the Commissioners satisfaction that:

  • the premises used by the Business/Organisation is located within the Northern Territory,
  • the Business/Organisation nominates one or more suitable Representatives to the Commissioner,
  • the Business/Organisation can meet the safe storage requirements under the Firearms Act and Regulations, or has made other suitable arrangements for the storage of any ammunition held on this licence,
  • the Business/Organisation has a genuine reason/need for and ability to sell the categories of ammunition applied for in the application.

Antique Licence

An Antique Firearm Collectors Licence authorises the holder to possess and display firearms of a category specified and were manufactured before 1st January 1900.

In order to qualify for an Antique Firearm Collectors Licence you must produce evidence to the Commissioners satisfaction when you apply that you have a genuine reason for the licence and for possessing and collecting firearms.

An applicant must be eligible to hold a licence in accordance with the provisions of the Firearms Act.

An applicant is required to provide a letter outlining the reason for wanting an antique collector licence which outlines the theme and/or structure of the proposed collection

Armourer’s Licence

An armourer is defined as a person who repairs or manufactures firearms in the course of his or her business. The emphasis is on the applicant carrying out such work on a commercial basis.

There are two grades of Armourers Licence available. The two grades authorise the holder to carry out different levels of work on firearms.

Grade 1

A person who qualifies for this type of licence would have to be an experienced 'gunsmith'. This grade of licence allows the Armourer to carry out all the services of a Grade 2 Licence and in addition allows him/her to manufacture parts, carry out firearms modifications and any other type of work required on firearms.

To qualify for this type of licence the applicant must:

  • provide suitable references of past work employment with firearms, this can also include Gun Clubs, firearm factory experience, Dealers, Gun Shops, Interstate Armourer’s Licence etc
  • hold suitable Trade qualifications to support the application (qualifications such as a fitter and turner, machinist etc)

An inspection of premises may be conducted by the "panel" or a nominated person at isolated centres to ensure that their "requirements" are suitable.

The requirements are that the applicant has possession and use of machinery and prove knowledge in use to the satisfaction of the panel. The minimum gunsmithing tool requirements should be a suitable lathe and drill press (milling machine) as well as the general tools of the gunsmithing trade.

If deemed necessary a theory test in front of the selected panel to prove competence and knowledge in ability to work in metals relating to firearms, showing an extensive knowledge in gunsmithing and safety requirements, certificates and endorsements from firearm manufacturers will be accepted and assist in applications.

The issue of Grade 1 Licence is for the purpose of commercial enterprise only. This licence will be issued for all classes of licence.

Grade 2

This grade of Armourers Licence allows the holder only to undertake limited work on a firearm, such as, to replace and fit factory/aftermarket parts, and to maintain and carry out a general service of firearms only.

To qualify for this type of licence the applicant must:

  • provide original references from past employees as to expertise on firearm experience
  • provide details of work experience and knowledge with firearms
  • provide proof from an accepted organisation (i.e. gun club, firearm dealer etc.) that they have personal knowledge of the applicants experience and expertise in firearms
  • produce certificates or work experience on firearms

To gain endorsement the applicant must notify the types/classes of firearm he/she wishes to work on.

If deemed necessary a theory test in front of a selected panel to prove competence and knowledge in ability to fit, replace, maintain and carry out general service requirements. This will only occur when the applicant can not produce sufficient documentation relating to the references or experience

Cat H Sport Shooters Licence

A category H sports shooter's licence authorises the holder to possess only prescribed category H firearms and to use a firearm under the licence only at an approved firearms club.

To qualify for a Cat H Sports Shooters Licence the applicant must:

  • currently hold and have held for at least 3 months, a ‘Sport Shooters Permit’ to use category H firearms under supervision at an approved firearms club, or hold a current Category H Sport Shooters Licence, or hold a current corresponding licence issued by another State or Territory issued for the same purpose as a Category H Sport Shooters Licence,
  • provide the required supporting documentation in the form of a ‘Certificate of Firearm Club Membership’ endorsed by an authorised signatory of the Club,
  • have completed the approved number of competitive shoots and produce a Log (Record of Participation) at the time of application for the new licence, and
  • satisfy the Safe Storage provisions of the Firearms Act & Regulations.

Collectors Licence

A firearms Collectors Licence authorises the holder to posses and display firearms of the categories for which their licence was issued.

A collector is defined in the Firearms Regulations as a person whose genuine reason for possessing firearms is to collect and display firearms:

  • as curiosities or ornaments
  • for their historic or artistic value or mechanical uniqueness

A collector’s piece is a firearm that a collector may want for either of the reasons stated above, and may include a firearm that:

  • would not normally be permitted to be registered
  • is unsafe
  • the applicant does not wish to register it as a firearm to carry and discharge
  • is approved by the Commissioner of Police as a collector’s piece

Corporate Licence

Corporate Licences are issued to the Directors/Managers/Owners etc. of businesses who have the need for a firearm to carry out their business (i.e. fishermen, safari operators, cattle station owners, security firms etc.)

A Corporate Licence may be issued to an entity that satisfies the Commissioner of Police that it:

  • is engaged in a commercial activity and that it has a genuine need for a firearm to undertake that activity
  • has made adequate provision for the safe and secure storage of firearms, and has adequate controls for the issue of firearms to its employees
  • has in place an approved firearm safety and training program for its employees who are to use the firearms.

Dealers Licence and Dealer Nominee/Employee Licence

Dealers Licences are issued to allow the holder to buy, sell and otherwise trade firearms in the course of his /her business. The clear intent of the legislation is that there is a commercial element to the applicant’s activities before they can be classified as a dealer, and become eligible to apply for this type of licence.

A Dealer's Licence does not authorise the repair of firearms (refer Armourer’s Licence).

A dealer (or an employee or partner of that dealer) may in the ordinary course of the business of the licensed dealer:

  • buy, sell, exchange or hire out firearms
  • possess unregistered firearms
  • carry or discharge a firearm for the purpose of demonstrating the firearm to a prospective purchaser or for the purpose of testing it.

Employee Licence

An Employee’s Licence permits a person to possess and use a firearm owned and registered by the holder of the Corporate Licence. The licence allows the employee only to use the firearm as part of his/her work duties and not for any other purpose.

The firearms used must belong to the holder of the Corporate Licence, and this licence does not allow the applicant to purchase his/her own firearm.

The applicant will be required to meet with all the provisions set out in General Licencing Requirements, with the exception of the need to comply with Safe Storage Requirements, as this is the responsibility of the Corporate Licence holder.

Firearm Club Licence

A Firearm Club is defined by the Act as a "shooting union, association, club or other group of persons, however described, who associate for purposes connected with the discharge of firearms". Club licences are issued to allow a club to own firearms from use by its members or prospective members.

Not only must the club be licensed, but the facilities which a club uses must be inspected and approved by the Commissioner of Police as being safe for use by club members as well as the public. This requires an inspection by qualified range inspectors, who generally travel throughout the Territory on a yearly basis.

Because of the specialised nature of this type of licence, applicants are advised to contact the Officer-in-Charge, Firearms Policy and Records Unit, Peter McAulay Centre for further advice.

Heirloom Licence

A firearms heirloom licence authorises the holder to possess only a firearm, or firearms of a matched pair or set, specified in the licence.

To qualify for an Heirloom Licence the applicant must:

  • provide evidence that they own the firearm(s) to be held on the licence, or it has been given or bequeathed to them,
  • provided evidence that the firearm(s) to be held on the licence has significant historical or sentimental lineage to the applicant or the applicant’s family,
  • produce a NT Police certificate that the firearms(s) to be held on the licence have been deactivated, or the applicant has surrendered the firearm for inspection to be certified as deactivated.
  • provide written details of how they are going to store firearms to comply with the requirements of the Act and Regulations.

Instructors Licence

A firearms instructor licence authorises the holder to possess and use firearms of a category specified in the licence for the purpose of conducting approved firearms training and safety courses.

International Visitors Permit

All persons from overseas who wish to bring Category A, B or H firearms into Australia through the Northern Territory for safari hunting or competition shooting must apply for and be issued an International Visitors Permit. No International Visitors Permit will be issued for category C (pump action or self-loading shotguns only) firearms without the applicant first obtaining approval of the Federal Government to bring the firearm into Australia. No Category D or H firearms will be considered for hunting purposes in Australia.

The Police will also issue, a "B709" Importation of Firearms certificate that will allow the firearms to successfully pass through Customs.

All applicants must provide the following details:

  • complete an official application for an International Visitors Permit
  • provide a colour passport photograph
  • provide a photocopy of your current Firearms Licence (if applicable)
  • provide a photocopy of your current registration certificate for the firearms for which the Permit is required (if applicable)
  • provide a full detailed list of all firearms (make, model, serial number, type) and ammunition
  • provide copy of passport
  • pay prescribed fee as per application

Junior Club Licence

A Junior Club Licence permits the holder to possess and use the category of firearm specified in the licence. There are a number of controls that are placed upon the issue of this licence, these are:

  • the firearm can only be possessed and used under the personal supervision of the holder of a licence who is authorised to possess or use firearms of the same category
  • the firearm only be used when receiving instruction in the safe use of firearms at an approved shooting range or competing in an approved event.

When considering applications for this type of licence, the Commissioner in consultation with the NT Shooters Council, applies the following guidelines:

  • the Junior must have attained the age of 12 years
  • the applicant must have the written support of the committee of the licensed Firearm Club of which the Junior is a member
  • the parents/guardians of the Junior must give permission for the issue of the Licence
  • the Territory body which administers the discipline under which the Junior competes, must support the application to the effect that the Junior is a representative of the Territory at National or International level.

Museum Licence

A firearms Museum Licence authorises the holder to posses and display firearms of the categories for which their licence was issued. This type of licence differs from a Collectors Licence in that it allows for the permanent display of firearms. As such a specialised set of storage standards apply.

To be eligible for a Museum Licence the applicant must be affiliated with the Museum and Art Galleries of the NT. Applications are to be on the approved form and are to include:

  • the name and location of proposed museum
  • full names, addresses and titles of executive members
  • a copy of the Constitution or Memorandum of Association or Charter under which the museum is formed
  • full name and address (including postal address) of the person nominated as being responsible for storage and display of the firearm exhibits
  • opening hours for the museum
  • type of firearms to be collected and displayed
  • security provisions for the storage and display of the firearms.

Because of the specialised nature of this type of licence, applicants are advised to contact the Officer-in-Charge, Firearms Policy and Records Unit, Peter McAulay Centre for further advice.

Paintball Operators Licence and Paintball Employees Licence

The game of Paintball is now legal in the Northern Territory and is regulated by the NT Firearms Act. Paintball requires a Corporate Firearms Licence as a Paintball Operator. Ownership of private paintball markers/firearms is not permitted in the Northern Territory. A Paintball Information package is available from the Officer-in-Charge, Firearms Policy and Records Unit at the Peter McAulay Centre, Berrimah - Phone 08 8922 3543

Purchase/Transfer Permit

The holder of a licence may apply to the Commissioner for a permit to purchase or acquire a firearm.

A separate permit to purchase or acquire a firearm is required for each firearm to be purchased or acquired.

A PF451-Notice of Change of Personal Particulars or Particulars for Firearms OR a Registration Certificate OR a Statutory Declaration OR a Letter from the current owner of the firearm must be provided for private sale.

A Statutory Declaration OR a Letter from the Executor of the Estate must be provided for Deceased Estate.

A copy of the Interstate Registration Certificate must be provided for interstate transfers.

Shooters Licence

This is the most common type of firearms licence issued to individuals and allows for the private ownership of firearms for non-commercial purposes. Under the Firearms Act a person must be licensed to own, possess, purchase or discharge a firearm, however an applicant for a Shooters licence need not own a firearm in order to apply for a Licence.

Sport Shooters Permit

A Sport Shooters Permit authorises the holder to use a category H firearm under supervision at an approved firearms club.

To qualify for a Sport Shooters Permit the applicant must provide the required supporting documentation in the form of a ‘Certificate of Firearm Club Membership’ endorsed by an authorised signatory of the Club.