Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Questions about New South Wales gun and ammunition laws. NSW Firearms Act 1996.

Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Patblyth » 16 Jan 2019, 5:16 pm

Hi all,

Pardon my ignorance if this is a foolish question but is there any way to bring a pistol to Australia (NSW specifically) from the United States ? I am originally Australian, been living in the US for many years now, about to likely purchase my first pistol but it's looking like I will be returning to Australia within the year. Is there any way to legally bring in a semi-auto pistol for ownership when making the move back ? I have briefly read about the process of getting the correct license to own a pistol whilst living in Australia to begin with but was unsure of the ability to bring in an already-owned weapon from the US ?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by JWD40 » 16 Jan 2019, 8:47 pm

With pistol, you need Cat H licence with a genuine reason of target/sport. You could do a collection licence, but the pistol needs to be permanently disabled.

We have a .38 cal limit, and a 10 round mag limit. This can be overcome with a prohibited weapons permit, but you'll need support from a shooters club to say that you are an active participant of a sport that requires the prohibited firearm (such as service weapon matches).

I could be wrong, but to my knowledge, there is no option of international gun licence transfer. You'd have to get your licence here like everyone else. With category H, it will be at least 7-8 months before you're even allowed to own a pistol.

I believe the process is that the firearm needs to be imported via a gun shop, and they'll be able to hold onto it for you for the 6-10 months that it takes you to get your licence. It's a long and slow process, if the gun isn't special to you, might be worth just selling it in the US and buying another here.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by bladeracer » 16 Jan 2019, 9:15 pm

Patblyth wrote:Hi all,

Pardon my ignorance if this is a foolish question but is there any way to bring a pistol to Australia (NSW specifically) from the United States ? I am originally Australian, been living in the US for many years now, about to likely purchase my first pistol but it's looking like I will be returning to Australia within the year. Is there any way to legally bring in a semi-auto pistol for ownership when making the move back ? I have briefly read about the process of getting the correct license to own a pistol whilst living in Australia to begin with but was unsure of the ability to bring in an already-owned weapon from the US ?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


You understand that we can only use handguns at approved ranges? No practicing at the farm or keeping it loaded at home.
I would suggest you email the NSW Firearms Registry and ask them. As it takes about nine-months to get a pistol licence it's probably just easier to buy one here when your licence eventually comes through.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Baronvonrort » 16 Jan 2019, 10:13 pm

There is also a minimum barrel length of 120 mm for semi auto pistols here in addition to what others have posted.

Yes it's possible to bring it back you will need Cat H license, permit to acquire and a B709 for customs. You will have to declare it to customs they will seize it and a licensed gun dealer will have to pick it up from customs then register it before he can give it to you. Safari Firearms are near Sydney airport last time they charged me $100 to pick up a rifle from customs that came from the USA, same rate for 1 or 2 rifles.

Probably best to leave gun with a friend in the US until you get Cat H license sorted along with PTA and B709 then go for a visit and bring it back.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by MrMickyD » 17 Jan 2019, 11:12 pm

Handguns on a collectors lic in NSW only need to be temporarily disabled, with a trigger lock for example, permanently disabled only applies to cat D weapons.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by brett1868 » 18 Jan 2019, 6:22 am

Depending on the pistol and it's value it may be a more economical option to leave in in the US and buy something when you're settled and properly licensed in Aus. Assuming it's something special then you will need to engage a FFL exporter in the US to prepare the paperwork and ship it to a licensed Australian dealer in the state you intend living in. Expect to pay $300-$500 USD for this service then add approximately another $200 AUD in local dealer fees. Before you can take possession you will need to join an approved club, complete their safe handling course, apply for a license, then wait out a 6 month probation, install approved storage, and then you can submit your first 2 PTA's which will take a minimum of 28 days to process + 5 days to arrive via mail. If the pistol is >.38 the add another 6 months to the process in order to obtain a Large Caliber Pistol Permit and obtain a PTA. If it's not "Club" legal then you'll need a "Cat G - Collectors" license which has it's own set of rules around obtaining, storage and long timelines.

In order to best help you can you let me know what pistol/s are you seeking to import and what city are you moving to? I'm also assuming you're an Australian citizen
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by zhuk » 18 Jan 2019, 7:40 am

brett1868 wrote:Depending on the pistol and it's value it may be a more economical option to leave in in the US and buy something when you're settled and properly licensed in Aus. Assuming it's something special then you will need to engage a FFL exporter in the US to prepare the paperwork and ship it to a licensed Australian dealer in the state you intend living in. Expect to pay $300-$500 USD for this service then add approximately another $200 AUD in local dealer fees. Before you can take possession you will need to join an approved club, complete their safe handling course, apply for a license, then wait out a 6 month probation, install approved storage, and then you can submit your first 2 PTA's which will take a minimum of 28 days to process + 5 days to arrive via mail. If the pistol is >.38 the add another 6 months to the process in order to obtain a Large Caliber Pistol Permit and obtain a PTA. If it's not "Club" legal then you'll need a "Cat G - Collectors" license which has it's own set of rules around obtaining, storage and long timelines.

In order to best help you can you let me know what pistol/s are you seeking to import and what city are you moving to? I'm also assuming you're an Australian citizen



Regular handgun PTAs are running at about 6wks ATM even with the online system, so add that to the 28 day waiting period...they're not like longarm PTAs
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by brett1868 » 18 Jan 2019, 8:20 am

Regular handgun PTAs are running at about 6wks ATM even with the online system, so add that to the 28 day waiting period...they're not like longarm PTAs


I just got 2 back in 35 days including the 28 Day wait so it's not too bad at the moment. Regular pistol is taking 2 weeks and High Cal around 3 weeks with the new online system. These 2 are H3 and as they are the first in that category I had to wait the 28 days which is a bit retarded as I have multiple pistols in other categories. The B2 & A2 PTA's were 5 days from application till arrival in the mailbox which is a vast improvement on several months ago when they were taking 4-6 weeks.

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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Nigel » 19 Jan 2019, 12:13 am

bladeracer wrote:You understand that we can only use handguns at approved ranges?

I keep hearing this all the time but can't find any NSW laws that say this.

Can someone tell me what NSW legislative provisions make it an offence for a cat H licence holder to use a pistol on private land? On my reading of the Firearms Regulation 2017 (NSW), regulation 33 specifically permits a cat H licence holder to use a pistol on any land, where it would not otherwise be illegal, for the purpose of sighting in, tuning or familiarisation with or testing of ammunition.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Ziad » 19 Jan 2019, 12:17 am

Rotfl
Blame it on the phone auto correct
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Chinballs » 19 Jan 2019, 6:52 am

Nigel wrote:
bladeracer wrote:You understand that we can only use handguns at approved ranges?

regulation 33 specifically permits a cat H licence holder to use a pistol on any land, where it would not otherwise be illegal, for the purpose of sighting in, tuning or familiarisation with or testing of ammunition.


For starters it doesn't specifically permit anything of the sort in regards to Cat H. The bit where it says would not otherwise be illegal
is also a bit of a problem for you because it is illegal. I can't remember the section of the Act or Regulations but if you email Firearms Registry I'm sure they can give it to you.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by brett1868 » 19 Jan 2019, 8:42 am

Chinballs wrote:
Nigel wrote:
bladeracer wrote:You understand that we can only use handguns at approved ranges?

regulation 33 specifically permits a cat H licence holder to use a pistol on any land, where it would not otherwise be illegal, for the purpose of sighting in, tuning or familiarisation with or testing of ammunition.


For starters it doesn't specifically permit anything of the sort in regards to Cat H. The bit where it says would not otherwise be illegal
is also a bit of a problem for you because it is illegal. I can't remember the section of the Act or Regulations but if you email Firearms Registry I'm sure they can give it to you.


It comes under the "Genuine Reason" field and the only approved genuine reason for Cat H is target shooting on an approved range. It also goes onto state that the competitions must also be of a type approved by the commissioner. If you get caught firing a pistol on private property in NSW then expect to have your firearms forfeited to the crown and your license revoked. If it looks like fun, smells like fun or sounds like fun then it's probably against some law in this country :(
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Nigel » 19 Jan 2019, 12:00 pm

Chinballs wrote:For starters it doesn't specifically permit anything of the sort in regards to Cat H.

Have you read the provision?

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2017/442/whole

It authorises licence and permit holders to engage in a specific list of activities. A category H licence is a licence for the purposes of this provision.

33 Licences and permits extend to authorise sighting in, patterning and related activities

(1) The authority conferred by a licence or permit that authorises the use of a firearm by a person extends to include the use of a firearm by the person for the purposes of any of the following activities:

(a) sighting in the firearm (including sight alignment and including patterning of a shotgun),

(b) tuning of the firearm (including the adjusting or aligning of a shotgun),

(c) familiarisation with or testing of ammunition,

(d) practising on stationary targets (or moving targets in the case of a shotgun) but only for the purposes of an activity referred to in paragraphs (a)–(c).

(2) This clause authorises the use of a firearm on any land on which use of the firearm is not otherwise unlawful and is not limited to use at an approved shooting range.

(3) This clause does not authorise:

(a) the use of a firearm to participate in shooting activities conducted by a shooting club at an approved shooting range except the specific activities referred to in subclause (1), or

(b) the use of a shooting range otherwise than in accordance with the approval of the shooting range, including any conditions subject to which the approval was granted.

(4) For the removal of doubt, this clause does not prevent a person who is the holder of a licence or permit from using a firearm at an approved shooting range pursuant to the exemption conferred by section 6B of the Act.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by dpskipper » 19 Jan 2019, 12:12 pm

Nigel wrote:
Chinballs wrote:For starters it doesn't specifically permit anything of the sort in regards to Cat H.

Have you read the provision?

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2017/442/whole

It authorises licence and permit holders to engage in a specific list of activities. A category H licence is a licence for the purposes of this provision.

33 Licences and permits extend to authorise sighting in, patterning and related activities

(1) The authority conferred by a licence or permit that authorises the use of a firearm by a person extends to include the use of a firearm by the person for the purposes of any of the following activities:

(a) sighting in the firearm (including sight alignment and including patterning of a shotgun),

(b) tuning of the firearm (including the adjusting or aligning of a shotgun),

(c) familiarisation with or testing of ammunition,

(d) practising on stationary targets (or moving targets in the case of a shotgun) but only for the purposes of an activity referred to in paragraphs (a)–(c).

(2) This clause authorises the use of a firearm on any land on which use of the firearm is not otherwise unlawful and is not limited to use at an approved shooting range.

(3) This clause does not authorise:

(a) the use of a firearm to participate in shooting activities conducted by a shooting club at an approved shooting range except the specific activities referred to in subclause (1), or

(b) the use of a shooting range otherwise than in accordance with the approval of the shooting range, including any conditions subject to which the approval was granted.

(4) For the removal of doubt, this clause does not prevent a person who is the holder of a licence or permit from using a firearm at an approved shooting range pursuant to the exemption conferred by section 6B of the Act.


Quote: This clause authorises the use of a firearm on any land on which use of the firearm is not otherwise unlawful and is not limited to use at an approved shooting range.. Pistols can only be used at ranges, so these clauses are irreverent for pistols.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by pomemax » 19 Jan 2019, 12:26 pm

Not worth the agro buy one here when you have a licence unless its sentimental. You may even find when you factor in the AUD / USD conversion they may be cheaper here
in NSW the correct name of you licence is Category H Sport/Target Shooting licence,
Part 3 Licences—additional provisions
29 Sport/target shooting
A licence that is issued for the genuine reason of sport/target shooting is subject to the following conditions (in addition to any other conditions to which the licence is subject):
(a) the licensee must comply with any applicable requirements of Part 10 (Participation requirements for club members),
(b) the licence does not authorise the use of a firearm except at a shooting range approved under Part 8 or under the authority conferred by clause 33 (Licences and permits extend to authorise sighting in, patterning and related activities).
AT AN APPROVED RANGE ONLY And anyone with a Cat H should know that
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Nigel » 19 Jan 2019, 1:02 pm

Chinballs wrote:The bit where it says would not otherwise be illegal is also a bit of a problem for you because it is illegal. I can't remember the section of the Act or Regulations but if you email Firearms Registry I'm sure they can give it to you.

I've reviewed the Act and Regulation extensively and can't find any provisions that make it an offence to use a handgun in any specific area.

In my view, the purpose of the "would not otherwise be illegal" wording, is to highlight that the provision does not authorise the use of firearms in places where it would be an offence to do so as the result of provisions in other legislation.

The key examples that I'm aware of are provisions of the of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) including section 93G which, amongst other things, makes it an offence to fire a firearm in or near a public place. This means it would be an offence to discharge a firearm in a suburban backyard, for example, and Regulation 33 therefore does authorise suburbanites to sight in handguns in their back yards.

If the holder of a category H (sport/target) licence undertakes any of the activities listed in Regulation 33 on land that is not near a public place (e.g. remote rural land) I do not think they are committing any offence.
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by pomemax » 19 Jan 2019, 1:37 pm

You are reading the act like a keen shooter read it like an ANTI magistrate cause that is who will review it when the cops /courts get through with you and gives you a 10 year ban. Just my opinion Im not going to risk it are you .
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Re: Bringing a pistol from the US to Aus ??

Post by Nigel » 19 Jan 2019, 1:53 pm

brett1868 wrote:the only approved genuine reason for Cat H is target shooting on an approved range


dpskipper wrote:Pistols can only be used at ranges, so these clauses are irreverent for pistols.


pomemax wrote:...or under the authority conferred by clause 33 (Licences and permits extend to authorise sighting in, patterning and related activities).
AT AN APPROVED RANGE ONLY And anyone with a Cat H should know that


A lot of people insisting that the activities authorised by Regulation 33 are somehow restricted to an approved range where the regulation says in black and white that it "authorises the use of a firearm on any land on which use of the firearm is not otherwise unlawful and is not limited to use at an approved shooting range".

It seems that many people are happy to state definitively that the law is what they believe it to be. The law is what is written in the statutes. I've read them and I think I understand what they say. I'm happy to be proven wrong but please provide references to the relevant provisions and your arguments or interpretation.

Keep in mind that regulation 33 is new. It was introduced in September 2017 as part of the latest revision to the Firearms Regulation. There was no equivalent authority in the previous version of the regulations (https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2006/512). Maybe your understanding of the law just hasn't caught up.
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