Responsibility for firearms is shared between the Australian, state and territory governments.
The Australian Attorney-General's Department administers the granting of permission to import certain types of firearms and firearm‑related articles under the regulatory scheme set out in the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Regulations).
If you wish to make an application to the Attorney-General's Department to import firearms or firearm-related articles, you can do so through the Application to import firearms or firearms related articles form.
Importing firearms and firearm-related articles
The importation of firearms and firearm-related articles (including accessories, parts, magazines, ammunition, components of ammunition and imitation firearms) is controlled under the Regulations. Articles can only be imported if they are included in the items listed in Part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations, in accordance with the requirements corresponding to that item.
A list of controlled articles is available with the Application to import firearms or firearms related articles form.
There are three (3) requirements for importation:
- import tests
- serial numbers
- safety testing.
All firearms manufactured on or after 1 January 1900 must have a serial number and must comply with safety requirements outlined by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
A person seeking to import a firearm or firearm related article must be able to meet at least one of the applicable import tests.
To find out which import tests are relevant for the firearm or firearm related article you wish to import, refer to the Application to import firearms or firearms related articles form.
The import tests administered by the Attorney-General's Department are:
- the official purposes test—for articles supplied to government agencies, demonstrated to government agencies or tested/evaluated by government agencies
- the specified purposes test—for a range of purposes including use in television/film production, research and development and by foreign military and law enforcement personnel
- the specified person test—for importers whose occupation is partly or wholly the business of controlling vertebrate pest animals
- the sports shooter test—for importers who require a semi-automatic shotgun to compete in clay target events due to a lack of strength or dexterity, or who owned a semi-automatic shotgun on 15 November 1996
- the international sports shooter test—for people who are not Australian citizens or permanent visa holders competing in certain clay target events in Australia
- the dealer test—category C and category D articles—applies to firearm dealers
- the returned goods test—for articles previously in Australia that have been legally exported and are being returned.
For articles that are being (or have been) imported by a licensed firearm dealer, the Regulations also provide for the Attorney‑General to certify a person as:
- a certified sports shooter—for people who require a semi-automatic shotgun to compete in clay target events due to a lack of strength or dexterity or who owned a semi-automatic shotgun on 15 November 1996
- a certified buyer (for the purposes of government)—for firearms or firearm related articles that will be used for government purposes and owned by a government agency, or
- a certified buyer (vertebrate pest control)—for people whose occupation is partly or wholly the business of controlling vertebrate pest animals.
Import tests and certifications administered by the relevant state or territory police services are:
For information on these tests, contact your relevant state or territory firearms registry.
How to apply
Applications to the Attorney-General for import permission and certification can be made using the Application to import firearms or firearms related articles form.
Please contact the Firearms Team if you require a hard copy of the application form.
There is no fee for an application for import permission or certification.
For information on exporting firearms, contact the Defence Export Control Office or the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
National firearms agreement
State and territory firearm registries