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The possession and use of firearms are highly regulated in New South Wales. Ensuring that firearms are only in the hands of responsible and law-abiding individuals is a top priority for public safety. One crucial aspect of this regulation is determining whether individuals with a criminal record can obtain a firearms licence in NSW. Usually, if you have a criminal record, you cannot get a firearms licence.
Sections 11, 12, and 29 of the Firearms Act delineate the essential prerequisites that must initially be met to qualify for a firearms license or permit, as summarised below:
Before looking into obtaining a firearms licence with a criminal record in NSW, it’s essential to understand what a criminal record entails. A criminal record is a documented history of a person’s involvement in criminal activities and interactions with law enforcement. It contains information about arrests, charges, convictions, and any related penalties or sentences.
A criminal record can result from a range of offences, including but not limited to:
In New South Wales, criminal records are maintained by law enforcement agencies, and they are accessible to authorised personnel, such as police officers, judges, and government officials. The presence of a criminal record can have significant implications for various aspects of a person’s life, including employment opportunities, travel, and the ability to obtain a firearms licence.
Obtaining a firearms licence in New South Wales is a comprehensive process, and the authorities take various factors into account to ensure that only responsible individuals gain access to firearms. Here are the key steps involved in applying for a firearms licence in NSW:
Determine the Type of Licence: There are several types of firearms licences available in NSW, each catering to specific purposes. These include:
Category A: Allows possession of air rifles, rimfire rifles, and shotguns for recreational hunting and sport shooting.
Category B: Includes handguns and centrefire rifles used in sports shooting and occupational reasons.
Category C: Pertains to specific purposes like primary production or pest animal control.
Category D: Applies to firearms collectors.
Category H: Covers handguns for sports shooting and security industry personnel.
Attend a Firearms Safety Training Course: To apply for any category of firearms licence, individuals are required to complete an approved firearms safety training course. This training educates applicants on safe firearm handling, storage, and usage.
Meet Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for a firearms licence in NSW, individuals must:
Apply Through a Licensed Firearms Dealer: Applicants must apply through a licensed firearms dealer, who will facilitate the application process and assist with the necessary paperwork.
Waiting Periods: After submitting the application, there is typically a waiting period of at least 28 days to allow for background checks and processing.
Police Checks: As part of the application process, the police conduct thorough background checks, including checking for any criminal record or history of violence.
Obtaining a firearms licence in New South Wales is a regulated and stringent process aimed at ensuring public safety while allowing responsible individuals access to firearms for legitimate purposes. While having a criminal record can complicate the application process, it does not automatically disqualify an individual from obtaining a firearms licence. The outcome depends on factors such as the nature of the offences, the time that has elapsed since convictions, and the applicant’s commitment to rehabilitation and responsible firearm ownership.
If you have been refused a firearms licence in NSW and require legal advice, criminal lawyers in Burwood. We can provide you with legal advice and assist you in writing to the NSW police in relation to any refusal.