Getting a Firearms Licence


Prepared by John: 9 May 2021


For Biathlon we use .22 Target Rifles or Laser Rifles. Anyone can use a Laser rifle for Biathlon training and competition if supervised by a Biathlete. However, .22 Rifles are category A firearms and the usage of those in NSW requires a Licence or a Permit.


In NSW a person older than 18 needs a Firearms Licence to use and Possess a firearm.

Young people (from 12 to under 18) need a Minors Permit.

People under 12 cannot use a firearm in NSW.


For your application you thus need a Licence or Permit to shoot a category A firearm for the purpose of Target shooting.


Obtaining a Firearms Licence in NSW is a three step process.

  1. attend a Firearms Safety Training course and receive a certificate

  2. join a firearms club for rifle target shooting (as your genuine reason for having a firearms license)

  3. apply for a Firearms License


  1. Attend a Firearms Safety Training course


You can attend a Firearms Safety Training course at various locations. Two options are shown below:

SISC Sydney International Shooting Centre

Range Road (off Elizabeth Drive), Cecil Park  NSW  2178

Phone 13 13 02




St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre

30 Power Street

St Marys, Sydney NSW 1790

Phone: 02 8889 0406

2. Join a firearms club for rifle target shooting

This is required to demonstrate your Genuine Reason for having a firearms license.

There are a number of firearms clubs around Sydney. You need to join a rifle club that supports Target shooting.

Many Sydney members of Australian Biathlon are also members of SSAA.

You can join SSAA online via :


Explanation about the “Genuine Reason” from the NSW Firearms Registry is shown below.


Sport / Target Shooting Genuine Reason

This genuine reason applies to a person who wishes to participate in Sport/Target Shooting activities as a current member of an approved Target Shooting Club.

Note: The Club must be authorised for target shooting and approved for conducting competitions or activities for the type of firearm authorised by the category of licence for which you are making application. For example, if your club is approved for AB target shooting activities only, then membership of this club would support an application for a category A & B firearms licence application only.

For further information refer to:


3. Apply for a Firearms License


This is done via NSW Firearms Registry (

Spend some time on the website and read the relevant pages. The key ones are shown below.

Apply for Firearms Licence (Individual)

What do I need to apply online?

To apply online, you will need the following:

  • A MyServiceNSW Account

  • Proof of identity documents (e.g. Driver licence and Medicare card)

  • One of the following:

    • a firearms safety training certificate, or

    • your previously held firearms licence number, or

    • your current interstate firearms licence number

  • Supporting documentation for your Genuine Reason/s

  • If you are applying for a firearms licence over and above a category A firearms licence, you will need to provide evidence of a ‘special need’. Select a reason from the options provided which most closely describe your special need to possess or use the selected firearm category

  • A current credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for payment, if applicable (see Fee Information section)


Fee Information (note: current as at 9 May 2021)

Payment is made by credit card during the online application. Refer to the below firearm licence application fees:

  • Categories A, B, C, D or H:

    • $200 - 5-year licence

    • $100 - 2-year licence

  • Firearms collection licence only - $40 - 5-year licence

  • Probationary pistol licence - $100 - 1-year licence

  • Provisional Pistol (Business/Employment) Licence - $250 - 1-year licence

A fee exemption will be applied to:

  • Primary producers with the sole genuine reason of primary production

  • Holders of the following current concession cards who are applying for a Category A, B or H firearms licence:

    • Centrelink pension concession card only

    • Disability support pension card

    • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Health Care Card (including concession and health care card)

If you are the holder of one of the above concession cards, you will need to upload a copy of your concession card (Only front of card required, not back) during the online application.


When selecting the Pay and Submit Application icon, please click it once. You will receive a submission notification reference number and payment receipt number.

This will be instantaneous or may take a few minutes. Therefore whilst awaiting confirmation, do not re-click the pay and submit application icon.

What to expect


Please Note: Once your application has been submitted you will not be able to make any changes to the application. Please ensure your application is correct prior to submitting.

Once you submit your application, you will be provided with a transaction reference number and you will be sent an email confirming successful submission, with the transaction details.

Your application will be reviewed by the Firearms Registry to ensure all aspects of your application are complete. You will be sent an email if you are required to provide further information. Therefore, be sure to monitor your emails.

There is a 28-day waiting period from submission of your application before a new firearms licence can be issued. Be sure to attach all requested information in your online application, as incomplete applications will delay the application process.

In addition to the waiting period, the Firearms Registry thoroughly reviews new licence applicants to ensure they satisfy all licensing requirements and public safety considerations. As a result, processing times differ.

You can track your licence application in the NSW Firearms Registry Customer Portal. Use your Service NSW username and password to log into the portal.

For details on current new firearm licence application volumes and average processing days, please refer to the Firearms Registry Performance Dashboard.

What happens next?

If your application is approved, a Photograph Advice letter will be posted to you to attend a Service NSW Centre to have your photo taken. Ensure you take the Photograph Advice and proof of identity documents to a Service NSW Centre prior to the expiry date printed on the Photograph Advice.

The Photograph Advice is valid for 60 days. If the Photograph Advice expires before you attend a Service NSW Centre, you will need to submit another application.

Once your photo is taken, the licence card will be sent to you in the post.

If your application is not successful you will be notified by email or post.

Additional information regarding applying for a firearms licence can be located on the Firearms Registry website or refer to the links below.



You should notify the ABA when you receive your Firearms Licence. Having a Firearms Licence is a requirement of ABA membership. It also means you can train and compete with a .22 at Mount Hotham without one-on-one supervision.

Feel free to contact one of the ABA members if you have any questions about the process.

Practising your shooting at SISC and Other Ranges

When you have received your Firearms Licence you can train with us at SISC and of course other Licenced Ranges with or without us.

Every Range will have it's own "Standing Orders" which outline how the Range operates.

The person in charge of the Range shooting session is called a "Range Officer". You must always follow their instructions.


When you visit a Range for the first time, ask to speak with the Range Officer. Make yourself known to him or her. Tell them you want to practise your Target shooting and ask them to explain the process you need to follow.

Many ranges sell ammunition and rent out target rifles to people with a Firearms Licence. Note that the typical Target rifle is much heavier than a Biathlon rifle. The heavier weight and design makes it more difficult to use in the Standing position. They will be good for shooting in the prone position. You can always ask for a "rest" when shooting Prone. This is a Stand on which you put the rifle to steady it. The Range Officer will assist you if you need help.

Training at SISC

You always need to show your Firearms Licence at SISC at Reception if you want to shoot - **always**. Ask to shoot on the 50m range, with "Australian Biathlon" if you are training with us. Once you have registered, Reception will give you a sticker or coloured wristband indicating you are there to practise shooting. Make sure the stiocker or wristband is always visible.

SISC will have a Range Officer(s) on duty for the 50m Range.

You can practise your shooting at SISC under the supervision of their Range Officer at any time SISC is open for "Casual Shooting". Sometimes there are major competitions at SISC which mean "Casual Shooting" is not permitted. It is a good idea to call SISC before you go there to confirm it is open for Casual Shooting .  


If you are coming to join us, we may have our own Range Officer supervising our group. The ABA Range Officer or a senior ABA member at SISC may ask you to show your Firearms Licence, so be prepared for that. The ABA Range Officer will read out our instructions at the start of the session. Listen to what is said and ask for clarification if you do not understand some part of it.

We will sometimes have a Coach at the session. The coach is there to help our attendees improve their shooting performance.

The Coach will run the training session, and our Range Officer will monitor all participants to ensure they are acting in a safe manner.

Follow the instructions of the Range Officer and Coach, and act in a safe manner at all times.

If in doubt, ask!