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  • 10 Part Guide to a Firearms Licence in Queensland (Part 10)

     

    Gun Safes - Safe Storage of Firearms and Ammunition

     

    Storage Generally

    Number of weapons

    Weapon categories

    Required weapon state

    Required storage facility

    30 or fewer

    (or any number of weapons for a miscellaneous licence)

    A, B, C, E & M

    Unloaded, with the bolt removed or the action broken

    In a locked container constructed of solid steel or solid timber, and securely fixed to the frame or floor of a permanent building if the container weighs less than 150kg.

    Container must be kept locked with a sturdy combination lock, keyed lock or keyed padlock.

    30 or fewer

    (For a collector's licence, only permanently inoperable category H.

    See row 4 for temporarily inoperable category H weapons, regardless of number)

    D, H & R

    (including temporarily inoperable Cat H)

    Unloaded, with the bolt removed or the action broken

    In a solid steel container, bolted to the frame or floor of a permanent building.

    Container must be kept locked with a sturdy combination lock, keyed lock or keyed padlock.

    More than 30A, B & C

    Unloaded, with the bolt removed or the action broken

    Either:

    In a locked container (as per requirements in row 1), or a locked gun rack, in a locked storeroom;

    or

    In a locked vault.

    More than 30

    D, H & R

    Unloaded, with the bolt removed or the action broken

    Either:

    In a locked container (as per requirements in row 2), or a locked gun rack, in a locked storeroom;

    or

    In a locked vault.

     

    Dealers/Armourers/Theatrical Ordnance Suppliers

    The storage requirements for these types of licences are at a higher level than that of a firearms licence holder, due to the ability of the licensee to possess and trade in high risk and larger number of weapons. These sections outline specific requirements for:

    • how weapons may be stored
    • floors
    • walls
    • ceiling
    • external doors
    • grills for windows and shopfront doors
    • burglar alarms; and
    • vaults and safes; and general requirements for gun racks.

    Contact Weapons Licensing to arrange an inspection of premises. If establishing new premises or modifying existing premises, it is recommended that contact is made with Weapons Licensing before beginning construction or purchase, to ensure the premises are compliant with the relevant sections of the Weapons Regulation 2016.

    Refer to sections 78 - 87 of the Weapons Regulation 2016 for more information.

     

    Security Organisations

    Section 75 of the Weapons Regulation 2016 states that an organisation that holds a 'security licence - organisation' must take reasonable precautions to ensure that weapons under the licence are not accessible to a person other than an endorsed representative or an employee of the organisation who holds a 'security licence (guard)' or 'firearms licence (instructor)'. 

    To ensure the secure storage of weapons registered to your licence Weapons Regulation 2016 also outlines the legislative requirements regarding:

    • vaults
    • vault doors, and
    • safes. 

     

    Storage away from a Secure Storage Facility

    Sometimes you may not have access to your normal storage facility but you are still required to store your weapons appropriately.  This means storing your weapons unloaded in:

    • a securely closed container with the bolt removed or with a trigger lock fitted, or
    • a locked container.​​

    The container must be either:

    • out of sight in a locked room of a permanent building, or
    • locked in the boot of a vehicle, or
    • out of sight, locked in a vehicle that does not have a boot.

    This does not replace your usual secure storage facility .

    Weapons must be kept unloaded at all times unless being used. For example, the weapon must be unloaded during transport to a range, and at the range when it’s not being used in actual competition.

     

    Storage in or on Vehicles

    As a general rule, you should not store any weapons in a vehicle. Loose firearms in a vehicle are a prime target for thieves.

    In some situations, you may need to store a weapon in a vehicle, in these circumstances ensure that:

    1. If the vehicle has a lockable boot, the weapon is locked in the boot; otherwise:

    (a) the weapon is locked in a metal container fixed to the vehicle; or
    (b) the weapon is in a securely closed container that is out of sight in the 
         vehicle.

    2. The metal container and anything on or attached to it, must not suggest that a 
        weapon is inside.

    3. A person in control of a weapon (whether or not the person has custody of it) must 
        ensure the weapon is not left in an unlocked vehicle if the vehicle is not being 
        attended by someone licensed to possess the weapon.

     

    Safe Storage of Ammunition

    If you bring you own ammunition into Queensland you must fulfil the requirements contained in the Explosives Act 1999 and the Explosives Regulation 2017.

    You require a licence or authority issued under the Weapons Act 1990 to possess ammunition. A dealer must be satisfied that if you are purchasing ammunition, you must be licences appropriately. The only way a dealer can be satisfied is to see the licence. 

    Schedule 2 of the Explosives Act 1999  defines ammunition as:

    • bombs
    • grenades
    • rockets
    • mines
    • projectiles and other similar devices 
    • all types of cartridges (including blanks) used in firearms.

    Schedule 7 of the Explosives Regulation 2017 defines small arms ammunition as :

    1. Ammunition for-
    • a shotgun; or
    • another firearm with a calibre of not more than 25.4mm; or 
    1. Primers (cap type) used for reloading the ammunition.

    You will comply with Section 48(1)(g) of the Explosives Regulation 2017  to possess small arms ammunition, if you are licensed under the Weapons Act 1990.

    Military ordnance is defined in the Military Dictionary as explosives, chemicals, pyrotechnics and similar stores. (e.g. bombs, guns and ammunition, flares, smoke or napalm). 

    The licensing of explosives and ammunition and their components including military ordnance is administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

    For more information see here, or call 13 25 23 during business hours. 

    The list of ammunition availability identifies a table containing ammunition that has been assessed and/or approved by the authorised officer as not commercially available.​

     

    Transporting Weapons and Ammunition on Aircraft

    Specific regulations apply to travelling by air with weapons and ammunition. ​​​Persons in possession of weapons and travelling between Queensland and other states/territories will be required to comply with Commonwealth legislation for the carriage of weapons and ammunition on aircraft.

    You will be required to obtain the permission of the owner or operator of the aircraft as provided for in section 23 of the Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991. Further, section 22D of the Air Navigation Act 1920 provides that competitors must ensure the weapon is not carried on board the aircraft. Generally, this means the weapon will be required to be stored in the hold of the aircraft, unloaded and in an appropriate storage container.

    Persons intending to carry ammunition on an aircraft can do so as long as they:

    • only carry up to 5kg of ammunition
    • obtain the permission of the airline company, and
    • the ammunition is boxed in the manufacturer’s packaging.

    If you intend to carry more than 5kg of ammunition per person, section 23 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 provides that the permission of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is also required

    For further information go to www.casa.gov.au.

     

    Public Display of Weapons

    ​The appropriate public display of historically significant and military weapons by RSL Sub Branches, historical societies, private museums and other organisations has strong and legitimate support across the community, within government and by legislation.

    Organisations wishing to lawfully possess and display firearms are required to satisfy specific licensing, registration and storage provisions under the Weapons Act 1990 and the Weapon Regulations 2016.

     

    Equivalent safe storage measures

    ​The authorised officer is able to approve safe storage measures equivalent to or of a higher standard than those required under this regulation in some circumstances.  If your storage differs from those set in the regulation, written approval is required from the authorised officer. 

    An application can be made in writing to an authorised officer to take a particular safety measure for the safe storage of weapons other than those listed above.  Your application should outline the measures being replaced with those proposed, indicating how these measures meet or exceed the safe storage requirements of those being replaced.

    The authorised officer must be satisfied that the proposed safety measures give at least the same level of safety and security as the replaced measures.  You should include all information about security at premises (i.e. alarms and locks), photos if available, contact telephone numbers and email addresses.

    This also applies to organisations wishing to apply for approval to take particular alternative safety measures to allow for the display of collectable firearms instead of measures required under the legislation.

    Refer to ​Section 98 of the Weapons Regulations 2016  for more information. 

     

    Third Party Storage & Safekeeping of Weapons in Queensland

     

    Can I Place my Firearms in Safekeeping?

    Your weapon/s can be held in safekeeping by a licensed weapons dealer or armourer for an indefinite period.

    Section 36 of the Weapons Act 1990 allows a person to possess a weapon on a temporary basis for a period not exceeding three months.  After the three month period, the licence holder safekeeping the weapons will be required to appropriately dispose of the weapon/s with the consent of the owner.

    The licence holder must ensure that they hold a licence for the category of weapon they are intending to safekeep. 

    An unregistered weapon cannot be held in safekeeping by a licence holder.  The weapon must first be registered.

    A dealer/armourer can safekeep both a registered weapon, and accept an unregistered weapon for registration.  The dealer will advise Weapons Licensing that the weapon is held at their premises for safekeeping.   

     

    What do I do after the 3 months Safekeeping Period Ends?

    The person safekeeping the weapons must with the consent of the owner:

    • Deliver the weapon to a licensed dealer for consignment sale or safekeeping, or

    • Surrender the weapon to your local police station, or

    • Return the weapon to the registered owner, if they hold a current licence, or

    • If the weapon is to be acquired by another licensed person, a permit to acquire (PTA) must be obtained for the weapon. The weapon cannot be put into safekeeping with another licence holder and must be disposed by one of the above methods until the PTA has been approved.

     

    Buying a Firearm that is in Safekeeping

    (i.e. the weapon is stored with a disposer who is not the registered owner)

     

    Buying a Firearm from a Licensed Individual

    If the person you are buying the weapon from is not the registered owner of the weapon a letter of authority is not required as the owner is required to sign the permit to acquire once it is issued. The registered owner's details will print on the PTA and they authorise the sale when they sign the PTA.

    If the registered owner will not be able to sign the permit to acquire, a letter of authority may be required, please contact Weapons Licensing.

    Should you require a letter of authorisation, it must confirm details of the weapon, permit the sale and disposal of the nominated weapon.

     

    Buying a Firearm from a Firearms Weapons Dealer

    If you are purchasing a weapon through a licensed weapons dealer check whether the weapon is being held by them in safekeeping or whether the registered owner has authorised them to sell it.

    If the weapon is being held in safekeeping then a letter of authority is required. The letter must be from the registered owner and must include details of the weapon and authorising the sale and disposal of the weapon by the licensed dealer.

    If the registered owner has given the licensed dealer authority to sell the weapon then a letter of authority is not required.

     

     

    Buying a Firearm that is in Safekeeping at a Police Station

    If you are acquiring a registered firearm from a police station then a letter of authority must be supplied. The letter must be from the registered owner and must include details of the weapon and authorising the sale and disposal of the weapon.

     

    This information is NOT legal advice, and is only provided as a guide. If you require case specific information please contact Police Firearms Licensing Branch directly on 1300 171 011.

    Next Article

     

     
  • The Definitive Guide to Gun Safe Specifications for WA

     

    Gun Safe Specifications (Schedule 4 of the Firearms Regulations 1974.)

     

     

    1. Construction

    Specifications for storage cabinets or containersgun safe

      1. The cabinet or container is to be constructed of mild steel that is 2 mm thick.
      2. A joint between 2 faces that is butt welded is to have a continuous weld along the full length of the joint.
      3. A joint where the edge of one face is folded over the edge of another face is to be stitch welded, with welds of at least 20 mm in length at intervals of not more than 100 mm between welds.
      4. Spot welding is not to be used on the joints between faces.
      5. The cabinet or container is to be so designed that no firearm or ammunition within it can be removed from it while it is locked.
      6. In this clause - 'face' means a side, the top, or the bottom, of the cabinet or container.

     

    2. Doors

      1. Doors are to be recessed into the surrounding frame with margins of not more than 4 mm.
      2. Each edge of the door and door frame is to be internally supported and have a return of at least 10 mm.
      3. The cabinet or container is to have an internal stop of at least 10 mm against which each edge of the door, other than the hinged edge, closes.
      4. The supports and stops required by subclauses (2) and (3) are to be welded at the corners.

     

    3. Hinging Mechanisms

      1. Hinge protection is to be provided in such a way that, if the hinges are removed, the door of the cabinet or container remains in place and locked.
      2. If the hinged edge of the door is not longer than 1 metre, 2 hinges are required on it, and if it is longer than 1 metre, an additional hinge is required for each additional 500 mm or part thereof.
      3. If 2 hinges are required, the distance between them is to be not less than one-third of the length of the hinged edge.
      4. If more than 2 hinges are required the distance between adjacent hinges is to be the same and that is also to be the distance from each of the outermost hinges to the nearest end of the hinged edge.
      5. If a spindle is used instead of hinges, it is to extend the full length of the hinged edge of the door and is to be attached to the door by welds the number and placement of which comply with the requirements of subclauses (2), (3), and (4) for the number and placement of hinges.
      6. If, instead of using hinges, the door swings on a spindle or on pivots not extending the full length of the hinged edge of the door, the cabinet or container is to incorporate a return protecting the hinged edge, along its full length, against the use of a jemmy.

     

    4. Locks and Locking Points

      1. If the swinging edge of the door is not longer than 500 mm, one lock is required with a locking point half way along that edge.
      2. If the swinging edge is longer than 500 mm but not longer than 1.5 metres —

    a) 2 locks are required each with a separate locking point along the swinging edge; and
    b) the distance between the 2 locking points is to be not less than one-third of the length of the swinging edge.

    If the swinging edge is longer than 1.5 metres —

    a) for each additional 500 mm or part thereof there is to be an additional lock with a separate locking point along the swinging edge; and
    b) the distance between adjacent locking points is to be the same and that is also to be the distance from each of the outermost locking points to the nearest end of the swinging edge.

      1. It is sufficient compliance with subclause (2) if, when the swinging edge is longer than 500 mm but not longer than 1.5 metres, there is one lock with at least 3 separate locking points.
      2. Each lock is to have a 5 pin mechanism that deadlocks the bolt in the locked position until it is properly unlocked.
      3. If the locking bolt is designed to be released by a handle or lever, the design is to be such that, if the handle or lever is forcibly removed while the door is locked, the bolt remains in the locked position.
      4. The cabinet or container is to be fitted with a protective structure to guard against the forcible removal of any lock.
      5. In this clause —

    "locking point" means the point at which the bolt locks the door to the cabinet or container, preventing the door from opening;
    "swinging edge" means the edge of the door opposite the hinged edge.

     

    5. Anchoring

      1. The cabinet or container is to be securely anchored from the inside at 2 points on each of 2 separate surfaces to 2 immovable structural surfaces by means of 8 mm x 75 mm masonry fixing bolts or coach screws, as is appropriate.
      2. At each anchor point the cabinet or container is to be reinforced with a 40 mm x 40 mm x 2 mm metal plate, or a 40 mm x 2 mm metal washer, fitted between the surface of the cabinet or container and the head of the bolt or coach screw.

     

    6. Statutory Declaration

    Under the Firearms Regulations 1974 11A (1),

    "a person entitled to possess firearms or ammunition of any kind is to ensure that the firearms or ammunition are stored in accordance with this regulation".

    In compliance with this regulation, a Firearms Licence applicant is required to submit a statement detailing their proposed storage facilities to the WA Police Force.

    This statement, (Statutory Declaration Form 22) will form as part of the Firearms Licence application process and the declaration is to be provided on request prior to finalisation of the licence assessment. (See 11A and 11C of the Firearms Regulations 1974).

    Failure to comply would result in refusal and/or revocation of Firearms Licences.

    It should be noted that the declaration is to include supporting evidence that adequate and safe storage had been installed i.e. receipt from installer and/or photograph of the cabinet in situ with anchoring and/or fixing points.

     

    Tips to remember when considering storage facilities:

      1. Be mindful of the location for firearm/ammunition cabinets! Do not place them at obvious locations where it is easily identified. A garage IS NOT a recommended location!
      2. Be mindful of anchoring and fixing bolts when installing firearm storages or containers.
      3. Consider installing a security alarm to cover the cabinet/storage/container location.

     

    Download - The Statutory Declaration Form 22

     

     

    Using Commercial Gun Safes for Firearms Storeage

     

    Can I apply to use a commercial safe as a gun safe?commercial safe

    Yes you can!  Commercial safes can offer excellent protection for your handguns and are far better protection against theft, but not all safes are constructed the same on the inside. Most safes look strong and secure, but many safes offer very little protection to determined thieves. We suggest purchasing a secondhand TDR & E safe for your pistol gun safe. (T - Torch Resistant, D R - Drill Resistant, E - Explosive Resistant.) You can purchase a good quality secondhand commercial safe for about $1000 to $1500.

     

    What are the advantages of using a commercial safe as a gun safe?

    1) Commercial Safes offer far superior protection against theft.

    2) Most quality commercial TDR safes weigh well over 250kg empty. When a gun safe weighs over 250kg (Empty) you do not need to bolt the safe to the floor or walls of your dwelling. This can save the cost of repairing walls and floors after the safe is removed.

    3) TDR safes usually have a key & combination lock security. If the thieves find the key, they still can't gain access to your handguns.

     

    What are the disadvantages of using a commercial safe as a gun safe?

    1) The weight of commercial safes can make handling and moving difficult, requiring special equipment or trucks.

    2) Commercial safes (even secondhand) are more expensive than thin walled gun safes.

    3) You will need to provide manufacturers documentation as evidence describing the construction of your safe. Accessing this type of information shouldn't be a problem with Chubb or CMI safes. Get the supporting documentation before you  buy!

     

    This information is NOT legal advice, and is only provided as a guide. If you require case specific information please contact Police Firearms Licensing Branch directly on 1300 171 011.

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