What Is a Firearms Licence
A firearms licence is first broken up into classes (A, B, C, D & H). Each class represents different types of firearms.
- Class A: Air rifles, air guns, and paintball firearms; 22 rimfire rifles (not self-loading); single or double barrel shotguns (not self-loading or pump action) and include receivers.
- Class B: Muzzle loading firearms (not being handguns); revolving chamber rifles; centrefire (not self-loading); break action shotgun/rifle combinations. All other firearms not class A firearms (not being prescribed firearms, handguns, self-loading or pump action shotguns), including receivers.
- Class C: Self loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds; self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 round; pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds, and includes receivers.
- Class D: Self loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds; self loading centrefire rifles; self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds and a pump action shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds, and including receivers.
- Class H: All handguns (including Air pistols)
Each class is then broken up into purpose of use (POU):
- POU 1. Club Use (Competition / Practice at a club)
- POU 2. Target Shooting (General sighting in)
- POU 3. Hunting
- POU 4. Paintball
- POU 5. Primary Production
- POU 6. Security Industry
- POU 7. Other as Provided by Registrar (For example dealer / trainer)
For further information about firearms classes or purposes of use please contact SAPOL Firearms Branch
Obtaining a firearms licence – South Australia
Step One – How to understand the licensing System
The first step is to understand the types of licensing. That way deepening on the type of firearm and use you have for it, it will then determine what training you will require. Read the first FAQ above for this information
Step Two: Police Background Check
The Police station will then forward the application to Firearms Branch through the internal mail system. Firearms Branch will then undertake a background check to consider if you are a suitable person to hold a firearms licence.
If you are considered a suitable person, Firearms Branch will send you a ‘training letter’ advising you of the training you will be required to undertake. The training locations will differ depending on the POU. For Example:
- For POU 1 – The applicant is to join a shooting club to undertake the training requirements within the club. The club’s training officer will provide you with the relevant information for what is required at that club.
- For POU 2, 3 & 4 – A T.A.F.E. course is required, information of venues of courses is supplied with the ‘training letter’.
- For POU 6 – a list of authorised security training instructors will be supplied with the ‘training letter’. Justification will also include proof of employment with a licensed security company.
Step Three – Training
The next step for the applicant is to undertake the training. The training varies depending on the class of firearm involved and its purpose of use.
POU 1 – Club Use
Training for POU 1 (Club use) is done through your local club. Each SSAA club has a training instructor, which can assist you in obtaining a POU1 licence.
Please note, A club can only train for the classes of firearm it shoots. For example,
- A Rimfire and or air rifle club can only train for A1;
- A pistol club can only train for H1;
Please make sure that the club shoots the types of matches you are interested in prior to undertaking the training. Most SSAA clubs shoot A, B and H so it should not be a problem.
Training consists of both practical and theory sessions. These requirements will vary depending on the class of firearm and local club by-laws. Please check with your club for details.
Once the applicant has completed the training, the club will sign off the licence application for the appropriate classes (A, B and or H).
POU 2, 3 & 4 – Target Use, Hunting and Paintball
Training for POU 2, 3 and or 4 is done through TAFE SA. These courses are one full day and have a theory and practical component. The courses are held at Regency plus a number of country areas across the state.
For further information about TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or TAFE SA Courses
A couple of items to note prior to starting any training for POU 2, 3 & 4.
Applicants wishing to apply for hunting on their licence will also need to apply for a hunting permit with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). Information and permit applications can be found at Information:DEWNR
Applicants wishing to start shooting in club competitions will need to updated their licence to include POU1.
Step Four – Competition of Training
When justifications and training certificates are received from either the Club, TAFE, employer ect, Firearms Branch will send you a ‘data card’, with which you attend at a photo point, again provide your 100 points of identification and pay the prescribed licence fee. Upon payment, an ‘interim licence’ will be issued.
Current Licence Fees from SAPOL
You should receive your photographic licence within 28 days.
Graduated Access section 15A (4b) – Class H
Please note for handguns.
Legislation now prohibits the purchase handguns within the first 6 months from the granting of a Class H firearms licence for club use.
For the second 6 months of a new Class H licence for club use, purchase is restricted to the following;
1 air or gas operated pistol or a .22 calibre pistol or 1 centre-fire pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 .22 calibre pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 centre-fire pistol
This restriction does not apply to muzzle loading or percussion cap and ball handguns. Refer section 15A (4e).
The club secretary may keep the graduated access provisions in mind when issuing purchase chits however the Adjudication staff within Firearms Branch will monitor this aspect.
How to Renew Your Licence for Purpose of Use 1 – Club Use
Classes are the types of firearms you own (A, B, C, D, H) and the purposes of having that firearm are the numbers next to the letters, (1,2,3,4,5,6,7). The definitions can be found on the back of your firearms licence, or in the firearms act and regulations by clicking here (Link to other page).
If you have a 1 next to any of the categories (A,B,C,D,H), it means you have a licence to use a firearm within a shooting club. To renew the licence for Purposes of Use 1 (POU1) you will need to show that you are an active member of a club.
The instructions below go through the process for renewing your licence or purpose of use 1 for A, B and H at for a SSAA Club.
LONG ARMS (A,B)
Long arms licences are either 1, 2 or 5 years. If you have A1 and /or B1 on your licence, you are required to obtain a chit from the club stating you are an active member.
Chits are written out by the club signatories for the club you are a member of. Usually the club signatory is the clubs secretary; however some of the larger clubs may have multiple signatories for you to access. It is preferably to contact the signatory to organise your chit a couple of weeks before your licence expires instead of leaving it for the day of expiry.
When you ask for a chit, you will need to show your current firearms licence, your club membership and your SSAA membership card, All documents need to be still in date.
The secretary is required by Law to inform SAPOL of those members who are no longer active members of a SSAA Club within 28 Days.
Once you receive you chit, you can then go to renew your firearms licence. Make sure that the chit is attached to your licence renewal as they can separate by accident through the post.
Renewing your handgun licence (Class H POU 1)?Renewing your licence for handguns is similar to long arms however a person also needs to do a required number of shoots to show they are an active member. Pistol licences are broken up into 4 categories.
Category 1 – Air or gas operated handguns,
Category 2 – .22 Rim-fire handguns,
Category 3 – Centre-fire handguns not more than .38 calibre, and
Category 4 – handguns over .38 calibre.
Over the 12 months before your licence expires, a member must participate in 6 organised competitive shooting matches. Competitive shooting matches are ones that have been programmed by the club. ?Additionally, a member must for each other category of handgun registered in his or her name, complete 4 club organised shoots.
Member A does not own any Handguns but has H1 on their licence.
They are required to do 6 shoots in any category over a 12 month period…
Member B owns a .22 Handgun
They are required to do 6 x category 2 shoots over a 12 month period…
Member C owns two .22 calibre handguns and a .45 calibre handgun
They are required to do 6 x category 2 shoots and 4 x category 4 shoots every 12 months.
They can do 6 x category 4 shoots and 4 x category 2 shoots every 12 months…
When your licence is up for renewal you will be required to provide evidence of the shoots you have attended.
You will also need to show your current Firearms licence, you club membership card and your SSAA membership card. Once you receive you chit, you can then go to renew your firearms licence. Make sure that the chit is attached to your licence renewal as they can separate by accident through the post.
For POU 2, 3 & 4 A club cit is not required.