Firearms Licensing Requirements
The New South Wales Firearms Act 1996 sets out a comprehensive table detailing the "Genuine reasons for having a license". Included are the following:

  • Sport/target shooting
  • Recreational hunting/vermin control
  • Primary production
  • Vertebrate pest animal control
  • Business or employment
  • Occupational requirements relating to rural purposes
  • Animal welfare
  • Firearms collection
Firearms Safety Awareness Booklet (PDF)

Under the conditions laid down in the table, a licence applicant whose genuine reason is sport or target shooting must be a current member of an approved target shooting club. Each of these clubs must be affiliated with one of the shooting associations (such as the NSWRA Inc) listed under the Regulations. All NSWRA affiliated clubs are approved as Target Clubs, including those participating in service rifle.

Anyone seeking to register a firearm for recreational hunting or vermin control, must be a member of an approved hunting club, or provide proof that they have the permission of an owner or occupier of land (or the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Land and Water Conservation, the Forestry Commission or other authority prescribed in the Regulations). Many NSWRA affiliated clubs are also approved as Hunting Clubs.

Anyone seeking a Collectors licence must be a member of collectors club or society. Many NSWRA affiliated clubs are also approved as Collectors Clubs.

A 28 day waiting period applies to the issuing of all licenses/permits.

The NSWRA does not represent pistol or shotgun sports, although individual Clubs may participate in such activities through dual affiliation to other approved shooting associations.

Members of target shooting clubs are required to participate a minimum of four times per year. Hunting club members must participate at least twice per year. Collectors must attend at least one meeting every 12 months.

Relevant Firearms Licence Categories
Our members are encouraged to apply for a licence in both Category 'A' and Category 'B' in order to permit participation in all target sports represented by the NSWRA.

Under the Regulations and also under our Standard Shooting Rules for Australian Rifle Clubs, participation is permitted for holders of a licence in the following categories:

Category A

  • Air rifles

  • Rimfire rifles (other than self loading)

  • [also covers Shotguns (other than pump action or self loading)]

  • [also covers Shotgun / rim fire rifle combinations]

Category B

  • Muzzle loading firearms (other than pistols)

  • Centre fire rifles (other than self loading)

  • [also covers Shotgun / centre fire rifle combinations]

Category C and D relate to self loading rifles and shotguns that are not allowed by the NSWRA in our competitions or practices.

Category H relates to pistols and revolvers that are also not allowed by the NSWRA in our competitions or practices.

Moving From Interstate
The Act provides for temporary recognition of interstate licences for the purposes of participating - "in a shooting competition approved by the Commissioner (or for such other purposes as may be prescribed by the regulations. This includes hunting where one has written permission)." The licensee must hold a corresponding licence in their home state for the particular category of firearm - A,B or H. Licence holders who move to NSW permanently must notify the Commissioner in writing of their intention. In which case their out-of-state licence for category A and B firearms is valid for a period of three months.


There are many junior shooters who are members of the NSWRA. A 'Minor's firearm training permit' may be applied for by an applicant who is at least 12 years of age and demonstrate that they have the written permission of a parent or guardian. They must have also received safety instruction and obtained a Firearms Safety Awareness Certificate. A 'Minor's firearm training permit' authorises the holder to use a firearm of a specific category when receiving safety training under the supervision of a licensee who holds a permit for a similar category. Minor's permits expire three months after the holder's 18th birthday, at which time they must apply for a full firearms licence.