Australian has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Despite this, you can still buy and sell firearms, including buying and selling guns online, in Australia. However, there are a number of specific and restrictive regulations that must be adhered to to legally sell a firearm in Australia. These regulations differ on a state by state basis. So, let’s have a look at some of the rules in place for acquiring, transferring and selling a firearm in Victoria.
Advertising a Firearm
If you’re looking to sell a firearm, first of all you will need a buyer and that may mean placing an advertisement. In Australia, firearms can be legally advertised for sale anywhere, including online. However, the advertisement must include:
- The serial number of the firearm for sale
- The dealer’s or owner’s details including current firearm licence number
To place or host an advertisement you do not need to be a licensed firearms dealer or licensed to own a firearm. However, if someone other than the owner is placing or hosting the advertisement, this person may not have possession of the firearm unless they have the same category licence as the firearm for sale and the appropriate storage facilities to store the gun.
In the case of auction or trading websites, such as Gumtree and eBay, advertisements need to comply with the company’s terms and conditions of use, which may restrict or prohibit the advertising of firearms.
In the case of online third-party gun trading places, their role beyond listing the advertisement largely consists of bringing together the buyer and seller. Although, in some cases, these sites may be operated by licensed firearms dealers who can also facilitate the transfer of the firearm.
Before you can sell a firearm, you must be legally licensed to own that firearm. Therefore, the person selling the firearm must be licensed to own that particular category of firearm and its registered owner. While the advertising and transfer can be carried out on behalf of the seller, ultimately it is the seller who is responsible for the safe ownership, storage and transport of the firearm until the transfer is completed
To buy a firearm, you must be able to satisfy the following three requirements:
- The buyer must be correctly licenced to possess, use and carry category of firearm being sold
- Be able to demonstrate genuine need to acquire the firearm
- And have a valid Permit to Acquire
In Victoria, a Permit to Acquire is issued by the Licensing and Regulation Division and is valid for 28 days from the day it is issued. Even if you are already a licensed firearm owner, you may still be required to provide additional information to substantiate a genuine need when submitting a Permit to Acquire.
Once you receive your permit, you will need to pay the permit fee. A Permit to Acquire can take around four weeks to process and receive.
Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the terms of sale, there are a number of steps that need to take place before the ownership can be legally transferred.
The transfer of ownership must take place in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer who acts as an agent to broker the transfer of the firearm. During the transfer, the licensed dealer will require:
- The valid Permit to Acquire
- Proof that the permit fee has been paid
- The actual firearm to be transferred
Once the legal transfer has taken place, the firearm dealer must lodge the transfer with the Licensing and Regulation Division. This ensures that the legal ownership of the firearm has now transferred to the buyer.