If the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police cancels your firearms licence, refuses your application for a firearms licence, imposes licence conditions or refuses to issue a permit to acquire, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed by the Firearms Appeals Committee.

The Firearms Appeals Committee is an independent statutory appeals body established under the Firearms Act 1996. It is entirely independent of both the Victorian Government and Victoria Police. The Department of Justice and Regulation provides secretariat support to the Committee.

The Committee only deals with the review of certain firearms licensing decisions made by the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police. For all other queries relating to firearms and firearms licensing information, contact the Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division (External link)

How to make an appeal application

The Firearms Act 1996 must give you a right to apply to the Committee to review a decision made by the Chief Commissioner.

You may wish to seek legal advice about whether you are eligible to apply to the Committee.

You can't make an application before the Committee if:

  • you are a prohibited person
  • you are subject to a firearm prohibition order
  • your firearms licence was cancelled, not renewed or your application refused on the basis of your criminal activities.

Prohibited person

You are a prohibited person if any of the following apply to you:

  • within the last 12 months you have been found guilty of an offence anywhere in Australia involving the possession or use of firearms, and it was open to the court to impose a term of imprisonment
  • you have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment anywhere in Australia for an indictable offence, assault, drug offence or weapons offence; and
    • not more than 15 years have expired since you finished serving a term of imprisonment (if the term of imprisonment was 5 years or more); or
    • not more than 5 years have expired since you finished serving a term of imprisonment (if the term of imprisonment was less than 5 years)
  • anywhere in Australia you are subject to a final family violence order, final personal intervention order, community-based order or community correction order that has a supervision condition attached
  • you fall within a prescribed class of persons.

In some cases, you can apply to the court to be deemed a non-prohibited person. Check with the Magistrates' Court of Victoria (External link)

For further information see the Victoria Police website (External link)

Firearm prohibition order

The Chief Commissioner can make a firearm prohibition order against you if satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so for the following reasons:

  • your criminal history
  • your behaviour
  • the people you associate with, or
  • the Chief Commissioner has information that you may pose a threat or risk to public safety.

If a firearm prohibition order is made against you, you may be able apply for a review of the decision with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (External link)The Committee cannot review the decision. Information on your review rights is provided in the firearm prohibition order served on you by police. 

Licence cancelled or refused due to criminal activities

The Chief Commissioner may cancel your firearms licence, refuse to renew your licence or refuse your firearms licence application due to your criminal activities.

You may be able to apply for a review of this decision with VCAT (External link). The Committee cannot review the decision. Information on your review rights is provided in your decision letter from Victoria Police.

To commence a proceeding before the Committee:

  1. Complete and send the Firearms Appeals Application Form to the Committee within 28 days of receiving notification of the Chief Commissioner's decision (e.g. to cancel your firearms licence or refuse your application for a firearms licence).
  2. Attach a copy of the Firearms Licence Cancellation/Refusal Notice sent to you by Victoria Police, Licensing and Regulation.
  3. Obtain a money order or bank cheque made payable to 'The Firearms Appeals Committee' for $43.35 (this fee is non-refundable). The Committee cannot accept cash or personal cheques.
  4. Send the documents outlined in steps 1, 2 and 3 to:

The Secretary
Firearms Appeals Committee
GPO Box 4356QQ
Melbourne VIC 3001

When you apply to the Committee you must also give notice of your application to the Chief Commissioner, setting out the nature and grounds of the appeal application.

The Committee recommends that you send a copy of the Firearms Appeal Application Form and any supporting documents to:

The Chief Commissioner
Licensing and Regulation
GPO Box 2807
Melbourne VIC 3001