Australasian Police Ministers' Council
Special Firearms Meeting

Canberra, 10 May 1996

Resolutions


This document was first made available and can also be found [no longer] at http://www.nla.gov.au/cleb/firearms.html and is available as a downloadable Word 6 document via ftp from: ftp://email.nla.gov.au/pub/firearms.doc.
It is a large document (54k) and is presented here in two sections.

  1. Bans on Specific Types of Firearms
  2. Effective Nationwide Registration of All Firearms
  3. Genuine Reason for Owning, Possessing or using a Firearm
  4. Basic Licence Requirements
  5. Training as a Prerequisite for Licensing
  6. Grounds for Licence Refusal or Cancellation &Seizure of Firearms

    Continued on Page 2
  7. Permit to Acquire
  8. Uniform Standard for the Security & Storage of Firearms
  9. Recording of Sales
  10. Mail Order Sales Controls
  11. Compensation/Incentive Issues

1. Bans on Specific Types of Firearms

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that all jurisdictions ban the sale, resale, transfer, ownership, possession, manufacture and use of those firearms banned or proposed to be banned from import other than in the exceptional circumstances listed in paragraph 1.2 of the Commonwealth proposal (see below).

para 1.2
The only need for the use of an automatic or semi-automatic longarm would be:

(b) that all jurisdictions ban competitive shooting involving those firearms banned or proposed to be banned from import.

Council agreed to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

  1. All jurisdictions to ban the sale, resale, transfer, ownership, possession, manufacture and use of those firearms banned or to be banned from import other than in the following exceptional circumstances:
  2. All jurisdictions to ban competitive shooting involving those firearms banned or proposed to be banned from import.
  3. The Commonwealth to ban the importation of all semi-automatic self-loading and pump action longarms, and all parts, including magazines, for such firearms, included in Licence Category D, and control the importation of those firearms included in Licence Category C.

2. Effective Nationwide Registration of All Firearms

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania immediately establish an integrated licence and firearms registration system and that all other jurisdictions review their existing registration systems to ensure that all systems are compatible.

(b) that these databases be linked through the National Exchange of Police Information (NEPI) to ensure effective nationwide registration of all firearms.

Council noted that there is an urgent need for funds to upgrade NEPI and for additional recurrent funding

Council resolved to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

  1. New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania to immediately establish a registration system for all firearms in consultation with NEPI.
  2. Victoria, ACT, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory to work with NEPI in reviewing existing systems to ensure compatibility.
  3. All jurisdictions to link their registration systems to NEPI.
  4. New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia to immediately place the names of all firearms licence holders in their States on NEPI's Police Reference System.
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3. Genuine Reason for Owning, Possessing or Using a Firearm

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that personal protection not be regarded as a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm.

(b) that the following classifications be used to define the "genuine reason" an applicant must show for owning, possessing or using a firearm:

(c) that over and above satisfaction of the "genuine reason" test, an applicant for a licence for the categories B, C, D and H must demonstrate a genuine need for the particular type of firearm.

For Licence Category C:

(d) that firearms collectors should be regulated by means of a licence and permit system designed to test their bona fides. The licensing process should include a provision for an initial inspection of storage facilities and for subsequent mutually arranged inspections. All such inspections will be subject to the recognition of the individual's right to privacy. The onus of defining "bona fide firearms collector" rests with each State and Territory. However, the following principles should underpin the regulation of bona fide firearms collectors:

Council agreed to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

  1. All jurisdictions confirm that personal protection is not a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm.
  2. All jurisdictions to immediately implement a uniform system of testing applicants for firearms licences such that each applicant must establish, to the satisfaction of the licensing authority in the relevant jurisdiction, that he or she has a "genuine reason" for owning, possessing or using a firearm. The classifications used to define "genuine reason" are as follows:
  3. All jurisdictions to immediately implement a uniform system of testing applicants for firearms licences of categories B, C, D and H such that each applicant must establish, to the satisfaction of the licensing authority in the relevant jurisdiction, that he or she has a "genuine need" for owning, possessing or using a firearm of the nominated type. For Licence Category C:
  4. All jurisdictions to immediately implement a uniform system for regulating firearms collectors by means of the licence and permit system as follows:

(a) the firearms which are the subject of the collection should be of or above a defined age;
(b) firearms in a collection which have been manufactured after 1 January 1946 must be rendered inoperable;
(c) collectors may not possess ammunition for a collection firearm;
(d) no prohibited firearm may be included in a collection;
(e) any attempt to restore firearms in the collection to usable condition should be regarded as a serious offence and subject to severe penalties; and
(f) all operating firearms which are owned by the collector (ie those not forming part of the collection) should be subject to the same level of regulation as any other operating firearm.

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4. Basic Licence Requirements

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that in addition to the demonstration of "genuine reason", a licence applicant should be required to:

(b) that the licence:

(c) that, within a regime of uniform firearms legislation, all States and Territories recognise, for visiting gun owners, licences issued in other Australian jurisdictions in order to facilitate the lawful pursuit of sporting and other purposes.

(d) that jurisdictions recognise, for a period of no longer than 3 months, a category A or B firearm licence issued in another jurisdiction to an individual who moves permanently to a new jurisdiction for such an individual with a licence categories C, D and H, a period of recognition will not exceed 7 days.

(e) that the following categories be used in the licensing of firearms:

Licence Category A:

Licence Category B:

Licence Category C (prohibited except for occupational purposes)

Licence Category D (Prohibited, except for official purposes)

Licence Category H: (Restricted)

Council agreed to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

  1. All jurisdictions to establish the following licensing requirements:

    (a) that in addition to the demonstration of "genuine reason", a licence applicant should be required to :

    • be aged 18 years or over;
    • be a fit and proper person;
    • be able to prove identity through a system similar to that required to open a bank account, that is, a 100 point system requiring a passport or multiple types of identification; and
    • undertake adequate safety training; and

    (b) that the licence:

    • bear a photograph of the licensee;
    • be endorsed with the category of the firearm;
    • be endorsed with the holder's address;
    • be issued after a waiting period of not less than 28 days;
    • be issued for a period of no more than 5 years;
    • contain a reminder of safe storage responsibilities;
    • be issued subject to undertakings to comply with storage requirements, to provide details of proposed storage provisions at the time of licensing, and submit to a mutually arranged (with due recognition of privacy) inspection by licensing authorities of storage facilities;
    • be subject to immediate withdrawal of licence and confiscation of firearms in certain circumstances. (Jurisdictions may wish to consider appropriate penalties - additional to withdrawal or confiscation - for the failure to comply with security and storage conditions.)
  2. All jurisdictions to consider appropriate penalties - additional to withdrawal of licence or confiscation of firearms - for failing to comply with security and storage conditions.
  3. All jurisdictions to recognise visiting licensees for sporting purposes and (other than licence categories C, D and H and for a limited period) for individuals moving permanently to a new jurisdiction, as outlined in the following:

    (a) that, within a regime of uniform firearms legislation, all States and Territories recognise, for visiting gun owners, licences issued in other Australian jurisdictions in order to facilitate the lawful pursuit of sporting and other purposes.

    (b) that jurisdictions recognise, for a period of no longer than 3 months, a category A or B firearm licence issued in another jurisdiction to an individual who moves permanently to a new jurisdiction for such an individual with a licence categories C, D and H, a period of recognition will not exceed 7 days.

  4. All jurisdictions to adopt the categories proposed by Council for the licensing of firearms as follows:

    Licence Category A:

    Licence Category B:

    Licence Category C (prohibited except for occupational purposes)

    Licence Category D (Prohibited, except for official purposes)

    Licence Category H: (Restricted)

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5. Training as a Prerequisite for Licensing

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that all jurisdictions require the completion of an accredited course in safety training for firearms for all first time licence applicants. The course should be:

(b) that a specialised course should be established for training of persons employed in the security industry.

Council agreed to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

  1. The Commonwealth to chair a Working Party, to include representatives of firearms interest groups, to develop an accredited course for safety training in firearms.
  2. All jurisdictions to introduce a requirement for the completion of an accredited course in safety training for firearms for all new licence applicants
  3. All jurisdictions to establish a specialised course for training of persons employed in the security field.
  4. That jurisdictions will establish an appeal from a refusal of a licence application and the cancellation of a licence.
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6. Grounds for Licence Refusal or Cancellation and Seizure of Firearms

RESOLUTION

Council resolved:

(a) that jurisdictions set out in legislation circumstances in which licence applications are to be refused or licences are to be cancelled. The following minimum standards are proposed:

(b) that in regard to the latter point, a balance needs to be struck between the rights of the individual to privacy and fair treatment, and the responsibility of authorities, on behalf of the community, to prevent danger to the individual and the wider community.

(c) that a Commonwealth/State working party, including health officials, police and medical representation, be established to examine possible criteria and systems for determining mental and physical fitness to own, possess or use a firearm. The working party should report to the second APMC meeting for 1996, but jurisdictions should not delay the introduction of necessary legislative changes while awaiting its report.

(d) that jurisdictions will establish an appeal from a refusal of a licence application and the cancellation of a licence.

Council agreed to implement its resolution via the following action plan:

1. All jurisdictions to immediately implement a uniform minimum standard of circumstances, to be set out in legislation, in which applications are to be refused or licences cancelled.

2. All jurisdictions to undertake a review of their legislation to ensure that it is consistent with the uniform, minimum standards as follows:

3. All jurisdictions to establish a working party, including health officials, police and medical representation, to examine possible criteria and systems for determining mental and physical fitness to own, possess or use a firearm. The working party should report to APMC's November 1996 meeting.

4. That jurisdictions will establish an appeal from a refusal of a licence application and the cancellation of a licence.


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