Headshot of Dan Daley - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthUnder the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) (“the Act”), to possess or use a firearm a person must be authorised to do so, by either a firearms licence or permit.

Section 8 of the Act provides a person who holds a firearms licence (“the licensee”) is authorised to possess or use a registered firearm of the kind to which their licence applies, but only for the genuine reason they have for possessing or using the firearm. It is an offence to possess or use a firearm without authorisation.

The Commissioner of Police has broad ranging powers to revoke a firearms licence via automatic, mandatory, and discretionary decisions.

 Automatic Decisions

A licensee’s licence is automatically revoked by operation of law if they are subject to a firearms or weapons prohibition order (s 24(1)), a final AVO (s 24(1)) or they cease employment in their position that allowed them to have off duty possession of pistols (like armed security guards).

Mandatory Decisions

These mandatory decisions relate to armed security guards that fail to undertake required firearms training, their Security Licence is revoked under the Security Industry Act 1987 (NSW) and/or the security licensee breaks any condition of the firearms licence.

Discretionary Decisions

Under s 24 of the Act, the Commissioner can revoke a licensee’s firearms licence:

  • For any reason for which a licence application may be refused;
  • For any contravention of the Act or Firearm Regulations;
  • For any contravention of a condition of the licence;
  • If the Commissioner believes the licensee is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence;
  • If the Commissioner is satisfied that the licensee through either negligence or fraud has caused a firearm to be lost or stolen; and/or
  • For any reason prescribed in the Firearm Regulations

What are your options if the NSW Firearms Registry revokes your firearms licence?

Under s 75(1) of the Act, the revocation of a firearms licence is a reviewable decision. The first step is to request an internal review of the decision by the Firearms Registry. If this review is unsuccessful or the registry doesn’t respond within 21 days your only option is to apply to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to review the revocation decision. This will involve presenting evidence to the Tribunal as to why the revocation should be overturned.

Challenging a revocation to a firearms licence can be quite complex, so for this reason we would invite you to speak to one of our specialist team as Helping You is our Business.

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