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Proposed re-categorisation of lever action shotguns

Lever action shotguns categorisation is being reviewed. Lever action shotguns are presently a category A firearm, irrespective of any magazine capacity. Under proposed re-categorisation, those with a magazine capacity of 5 rounds or less will become a category B firearm. Those with a magazine capacity exceeding 5 rounds will become a category D firearm. Read more

These changes follow an agreement made in December 2016 by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and was ratified in the publication of the National Firearms Agreement 2017 (NFA) to which all States and Territories are a signatory.

How will this effect you?

Lever action shotgun with a magazine containing 5 rounds or less

At the time of commencement it will be administratively re-categorised from a category A firearm to a category B. If your licence is not approved for category B at the time, it will be varied to include that category without cost to yourself.

Any further applications for a category B firearm will require you to show a genuine need to possess the firearm.

Lever action shotgun with a magazine containing more than 5 rounds

At the time of commencement it will be administratively re-categorised from a category A firearm to a category D. If your licence is not approved for category D at the time, it will be varied to include that category without cost to yourself.

This variation will remain valid only for the period you possess the lever action shotgun. Any further applications for a category D firearm will require you to show a genuine need to possess the firearm. The newly re-registered lever action shotgun will remain a category D firearm in perpetuity and can only be disposed of to an appropriately licensed person or firearms dealer

The restriction of lever action shotguns aligns with the Firearms Act 2015 and the NFA principle that firearm possession and use is a privilege that is conditional on the overriding need to ensure public safety.

You will be advised in due course by Firearms Branch of any changes that occur.

Frequently asked questions

When will this occur?

Once the legislative changes to the Firearms Act (2015) are passed.

Can I buy another category B firearm?

If your licence category was changed to accommodate a category B lever action shotgun, then that category relates to that firearm only. To acquire additional category B firearms you will be required to demonstrate a need for that category in accordance with the Firearms Act.

Can I buy another category D firearm?

If your licence category was changed to accommodate a category D lever action shotgun, then that category relates to that firearm only. To acquire additional category D firearms you be required to demonstrate a need for that category in accordance with the Firearms Act.

Can I sell my category B or D lever action shotguns?

Yes you can sell them to a person or dealer who holds the appropriate category to either possess or deal in those categories of firearms.

Will you send me an updated licence straight away?

Firearms Branch will process the changes to your licence as soon as possible.

Should I hold off renewing my licence until this occurs?

No, renew your licence as normal.

What if I sell, dispose of or lose my category B or D shotgun, do I keep my licence category?

The categories relating to the lever action shotgun only apply while you possess that shotgun. If you dispose of your lever action shotgun then you will lose those categories. If however you already had prior to this change either a category B or D licence then you will maintain those categories.

If I own a 7 shot lever action shotgun & convert it to a 5 shot what licence type will I be granted?

If the lever action has been converted to a 5 shot lever action shotgun then subject to the following conditions they may be granted a category B licence. A certificate detailing the modifications and work undertaken must be produced along with the firearm for inspection by police.

Will this affect the term of my licence?

If you are granted a category B, then the term of your licence will not change. However, if you are granted a category D, under section 17(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 2015, your licence term can only be for 1 or 3 years. If your current licence term is 5 years, you will be refunded pro rata for the extra time paid.