Definitive Guide to Obtaining Your Category A & B Longarm Licence Victoria

man holding firearm over back
10/07/2023

It may seem difficult to get a Victorian Firearm Licence amidst all the internet noise. In order to help you become aware and prepared to apply for your firearms licence quickly and easily, we have designed this comprehensive guide to getting your category A and B longarm licence in 2023.

Genuine Reason for Holding A firearm

A “Genuine Reason for Holding a Firearm” is required once you have made the decision to apply for your category A and B longarm licence. This is a legal necessity, and is the reason given for owning a firearm. You must give a valid reason and supporting documentation in all States and Territories. These are the reasons:

  • Sport or Target Shooting
  • Hunting
  • Primary Production
  • Security Guard
  • Prison Guard

Sport or target shooting and hunting are the two most common valid reasons for owning a firearm, so we advise including them both. Genuine reasons typically have several approaches to support each reason. Click here to view all the types of evidence you can use.

For Sport or Target Shooting there is only one piece of evidence possible and that is to be a part of an approved shooting organisation. There are numerous organisations such as the

For Hunting there is a few forms of evidence, but I recommend that you purchase a Game Licence. There are a few types but if you want to stalk deer & hunt pest animals on crown land this will set you back $61.20. If you just want to hunt pests on crown land it will only cost $13.00. If you would like to hunt deer with hounds and or Duck- including all game birds a test will be required. You will just need to show a copy of your game licence or permit to have this reason covered.

There are some other options for proving this reason such as having written permission from an owner or manager of the land upon which you intend to hunt. There are specifications that must be adhered so refer to the full pdf for more info.

Complete a firearm safety course

The next step involves booking in your firearm safety course which is required to obtain a category A & B Firearm Licence. Many people may find this confusing because most guides advise contacting your local Divisional Firearms Officers (DFO) to schedule your training at your earliest convenience. We recommend searching for your local firearms training course as there are many different providers and can set you back anywhere from $80-$160. To complete the course, you will need to attend in person. To be fully prepared for the firearms safety course you can read this booklet which covers everything you need to know to pass the short quiz. The course generally consists of an instructional section and then a quiz at the end. Make sure you keep a copy of your certificate when you complete it as you will need it for your application.

Apply for your Victorian firearm licence online

To begin the application process, you will need to create an account on the Victorian Police Licensing eServices Portal. This will allow you to submit most of the information on the form required for the application such as Personal Information, Genuine Reason & Evidence, History including medical and offences, identification documents and more. After you have submitted that through the portal VicPol will send you the full form with all your original responses and all the stuff that is not able to be submitted through the portal. You will need to print off the form to complete the rest of the form, this will include some copies of licences, firearms safety course, your acceptable referee and more depending on your circumstances. On the form it will list the acceptable referees you can use but just in case

You will receive a notification to your email when the application and supporting documents have been received. At this point once the application is submitted you will not need to pay anything at this point.

Deliberation process

Now it is a waiting game as there is a minimum legislative requirement that new firearms applications cannot be issued until 28 days have passed from the date of completion. It is hard to say how long it will take to receive confirmation of acceptance, but a good rule of thumb is 14 days after the first 28 days, so roughly 42 days. Some individuals purport that their licence took 3-4 months to be accepted. Mine was accepted in 54 days. You can find out the estimated time here. If you have not heard anything after the first 42 days, you should contact the Licencing & Regulation Division via email. There are some prohibited offences and court results which will prevent you from obtaining a Firearms licence which you can find here. They take every application case by case so you may still be denied for an infringement that is not listed.

Acceptance Period

Once you have received the notification that the application was approved, the Licencing & Regulation Division will send a payment notice for information on how to make payment and have your photo taken. You can find all the fees here. The fee for a Victorian Category A & B Longarm Licence is $301.30 which lasts 5 years. Once you have completed this you should receive your firearms licence card in the mail. Congratulations.

Purchasing your safe and secure storage

There are regulations in regard to storing firearms & ammunition in Australia and they vary slightly from state to state. In Victoria, the main rules are as follows:

  • Firearms must be stored in a purpose-built steel storage receptacle.
  • The steel must be of a thickness of at least 1.6mm (which complies with Australian/New Zealand Standard 1594:2002).
  • If the receptacle weighs less than 150 kilograms when it is empty, it must be bolted to the structure of the premises.
  • When firearms are stored in the receptacle, it must be locked with a lock of sturdy construction. (It can be bolted to the floor or the wall)
  • Cartridge ammunition must be stored in a locked container separate from the storage unit in which the firearm is stored. It is acceptable to have a purpose-built storage unit that has two separate lockable compartments (one for firearms and one for ammunition)

It is handy to always look on the VicPol website for changes to these regulations as the last changes were in August 2022.

We recommend a sturdy Lokaway LBA series gun safe. They are the best value safes that offer a lifetime break in guarantee and anti-pry swing and slide technology. They come in 3 sizes LBA8, LBA14, and LBA20 so you can fit as little or as many guns as you need. In order to purchase this safe you can find your nearest dealer here and contact them. If you would like further guidance on the storage requirements, you can find them here

Permit to Acquire

Once you have your firearms licence & the appropriate storage it is now time to purchase your first firearm. You can only purchase firearms & ammunition as it relates to your type of licence that being a Category A & B. But hold up a minute you must first submit a permit to acquire in order to purchase your first firearm. This can be done through the portal or physical copy and will cost $9.20. When you acquire your first firearm there is a legislative requirement that enforces a 28-day waiting period which means you will need to wait 28 days before the permit to acquire has been approved to go and pick it up. After the first gun you acquire, a permit to acquire is processed quickly and may be processed on the same day or next day. If you know that you want to buy a shotgun and a rifle it is best to copy the details of all the firearms that you wish to acquire on the Permit to Acquire form. On each permit to acquire form you can list 3 firearms and if approved you will receive an individual permit to acquire for each firearm.

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We hope that you enjoy shooting as much as we do. The future of the shooting industry depends on how you conduct yourself. Every shooter should be a good role model and set a high standard.

Goodluck.

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