Firearms Bulletin

LRD Message

Welcome to our second edition of the Firearms Bulletin for 2022! 

The Licensing and Regulation Division is constantly striving to improve our services.

To ensure that we continue to achieve a high level of service delivery, this quarterly newsletter will be used to raise issues with you and assist you in resolution.  To stay up-to-date with current information, please refer to the Victoria Police website

Current Status of Applications

The Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) processing times for new firearm licence and renewal applications are as follows: 

New firearm licence applications submitted: 15 February 2022

Firearm licence renewals submitted: 11 February 2022* 

Timeframes will reflect the process involved in LRD reassessing an applicant’s continued eligibility for a firearms licence.

To stay up to date regarding your applications status please visit the Victoria Police websiteLRD encourages you to visit the website prior to contacting LRD to check your application status. Please do not contact LRD unless the application was lodged before the processing date published on our website.

LRD continues to work diligently to process applications but please note that timeframes may exceed 28 days due to an applications complexity or suitability concerns.

Please refer to the below content item: Valid Licences, for further information.

Licence Number

In response to LRD system requirements, licence numbers for new applicants are changing. 

This change is reflected in the introduction of an alpha character now being the first character of a licence number. To avoid any confusion with our licence categories, the new licence number format will commence with a ‘Z’. The licence number for new applicants will appear as follows, Licence Number: Z99999. Please note that this change has no impact on already existing licence holder numbers.

Change of Address

Recent analysis has shown that the leading cause of licenses expiring inadvertently is a result of licence holders not notifying LRD of their change of address. 

It is a requirement under s139 of the Firearms Act 1996, that holders of a licence or permit notify LRD of a change of address. Addresses that are required to be updated include, the holders permanent place of residence, postal address, ordinary place of residence and addresses where any firearms are being stored. LRD must be notified of the updated address within 14 days of the change occurring. In addition, licence holders who are also licenced firearm dealers must update any change of address where they carry on business, within 14 days of the change occurring. Please note that a failure to notify LRD may result in penalties. 

A firearm licence holder who fails to notify LRD of a change of address will be required to dispose of all firearms in their possession to a Licenced Firearm Dealer for safe storage. The licence holder may then submit a new application (28 day waiting period applies) and Permits to Acquire to take back possession of their firearms. 

LRD therefore encourages all licence holders to keep their address details up to date. Information on how to change your details and update your address can be found here

Internet Explorer 11 and OLDs

In response to LFDs enquires regarding the use of Internet Explorer 11 for the Online Dealer System (OLDs), the LRD provides the following response. 

Victoria Police acknowledges that Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will no longer be supported for certain operating systems starting from Wednesday 15 June 2022. This means that users of Internet Explorer 11 are encouraged to move to Microsoft Edge, which will provide support for modern websites, apps and operating systems. For further information on Microsoft’s announcement regarding Internet Explorer 11 please visit the following:

Microsoft Announcement
Lifecycle Policy for Internet Explorer 11 desktop application
What is Internet Explorer (IE) mode 

While Victoria Police intends to move to a new system/platform in the future, LFDs should continue using Internet Explorer 11 on their current operating system or use Microsoft Edge in Internet Explorer compatibility mode to access OLDs. 

If you have any questions in relation this IT concern, please contact the Victoria Police IT Service Desk on 1300 307 082.

Valid Licences

LRD is currently experiencing a high volume of applications. As a result, approvals for licence renewals maybe delayed.

Licence holders are therefore reminded that under s41A of the Firearms Act 1996, if a licence renew application has been submitted prior to their licence expiry date, their licence will remain in force until LRD has made a determination on their renewal. Please note that if approval on your renewal licence application is denied then you are no longer a licenced firearm holder.

Renewal Application Timeframes

LRD has increased renewal application lead times from eight weeks to 12 weeks for firearm licence holders. This timeframe enables licence holders to submit their renewal application and have it successfully assessed by LRD within the three to four-week processing time, from the date of receipt before the licence expires.

Although, s41A allows for a licence to remain in force beyond the expiry date while waiting for LRD renewal approval, LRD encourages all licence holder to lodge their renewal applications as early as possible. This will increase the likelihood of the new licence being issued prior to the current licence expiry date.

Licence Conditions

To remove any ambiguity, LRD has introduced a licence condition indicator to all plastic firearm licenses:

“Special Condition: No” – indicates the licence holder is subject to standard licence conditions only

“Special Condition: Yes” – Indicates that a special condition has been put in place on the licence. 

The licence carrier (the letter that the plastic licence is attached to) lists all standard and special conditions that are in place on the licence. LRD encourages the licence holder to keep the licence carrier in their possession, to ensure quick reference to their special conditions.

Quick Guide: Information for the Role of Health Professional

LRD has reviewed its process around assessing applications when a firearm licence holder/applicant states that they have a medical history. While the process has always been that health professionals should complete a report, the review aimed to make it easier for health professionals to complete a report notice that would express their support for LRD to undertake an additional assessment of the application.

To make the process easier for health professionals, LRD has split the original ‘Quick Guide to Role of Health Professional in the Firearm Licensing Process’ into two documents: 

Quick Guide (Firearms): Information for the Role of the Health Professional
Reporting Notice 

The quick guide outlines the reporting requirements that health professionals must adhere to when providing medical information to LRD under the Firearms Act 1996. While the Reporting Notice is an online form, which will be used by health professionals when undertaking their assessment and providing medical information in good faith to LRD. LRD has reviewed this process with the intention of encouraging more health professionals to submit report notices. 

The above documents can be found at the Firearm forms and reference information page, on the Victoria Police website.

Upcoming Storage Changes

Remember

We are always open to feedback and encourage you to contact lrd@police.vic.gov.au