Firearms prohibition order

A firearm prohibition order is an order prohibiting a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm or related item, which is made by the Chief Commissioner of Police or their delegate.’

The order will be served on the person who is to be subject to the order by a police officer & will state the date that it takes effect and the date that the order expires.

The term “related item” is addressed below.

Key Facts

  • Orders can be issued against individuals who are over 14 years old, without the requirement of having previously carried, possessed, used, or purchased a firearm.
  • The purpose of these orders is to address an alleged gap in situations where the person is not classified as a prohibited person due to the absence of any requisite offenses or involvement in family violence but the Police hold concerns about their activities or the people they associate.

A firearm related item is defined to be:

  • part of a firearm
  • cartridge ammunition
  • a silencer
  • a firearm attachment
  • a firearm accessory
  • any other prescribed item relating to a firearm.

When are orders made?

The Police commissioner (or their delegate) may make a firearms prohibition order if satisfied that it is in the public interest for them to do so, because of:

  • the person’s criminal history
  • the person’s behaviour
  • the people that the person associates with. or
  • information known to the individual that indicates that they may pose a threat to public safety.

If an order is made all firearm permits and licences are cancelled.

How long do the orders last?

  • Over 18 years of age – 10 years.
  • Aged between 14 and 18 – 5 years.

Restricted access places

A person who is prohibited under the firearm prohibition orders must not enter or remain on any of the following places:

  • a firearms dealer
  • a shooting range
  • a handgun target shooting club
  • a shooting club
  • a venue where a target shooting match is happening
  • a paintball range or paintball activity centre
  • anywhere that firearms are stored
  • any other premises prescribed.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for contravening these restrictions is 50 penalty units or 12 months jail.

Police broad power to search the individual premises, vehicles, vessels or aircraft without a warrant to see if a firearm prohibited person has contravened the order. Police are not empowered to conduct a strip search. Police may also conduct a personal search of any person in the company of a firearm prohibited person.

How to challenge an order?

A challenge to order is made by making an applcation to the Victorian Civil & Administrative tribunal (VCAT).

If this application is unsuccessful, a second application can be made to VCAT but until more than half of the period of the order has been served. If the person is unsuccessful in this second review, they will not be permitted to make another application for review.

An order cannot be stayed (put on hold) pending the outcome of the tribunal review.

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