How to get your firearm license in New South Wales (NSW)

To get a firearm license in New South Wales (NSW) you will need to visit the New South Wales Police website. But sometimes you just want the information in plan English right? Below we’ve outlined the main things you need to order to get a gun license in new South Wales. This article information about firearms and regulation and licence requirements including long arm (centrefire, rimfire and shotgun) as well as handgun application requirements.

To skip to a specific firearm type click on the links below.

Step 1: Get your 'genuine reason' sorted!

To get a firearm license you’ll need to a have what’s called a ‘genuine reason for owning a firearm‘. This is a legal requirement which you will need to state on your NSW firearm application and it’s best to sort it out before you do anything else.

If your intention is to use the firearm for ‘Recreational Hunting’ you’ll be looking for a Category A & B firearm licence and you need to be a member of an approved hunting club (AHO) like Hunting Trips Australia with it’s duel HSSA membership.

To get this genuine reason all you have to do is sign up here. Alternately you can learn more here.

Step 2: Book in your firearm safety course

Now that you’ve sorted out your genuine reason you can move forward with booking your NSW firearm safety course.

There are a number of different places you can do your firearm safety course.

Below is a short list (but there are more)

Once you’ve completed your firearm safety course you will then be issued a firearms safety training certificate which you will need for the next step, applying for your license online.

Step 3: Applying for your New South Wales firearm license online

You apply for your New South Wales firearm license via NSW Police Force Community Self Service Portal.

If you already have an account you can log in to the Self Service Portal here.

If you don’t have an account on the Self Service Portal you will first need to create one which you can do here

Once you are logged into your account you can begin the process of applying for your license.

Note to successfully complete the application you will need the following.

  • A NSW Police Force Community Self Service Portal Account
  • Proof of identity documents (e.g. Driver licence and Medicare card)
  • A firearms safety training certificate
  • Your supporting documentation for your Genuine Reason/s (hunting club membership certificate)
  • A current credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for payment

Step 4: Deliberation process

Due to a legislative requirement new firearm licence applications cannot be issued until 28 days has passed from the date of completion. Furthermore it can take up 14 days for your application to be assessed. Therefore it can take up to 42 days before you know whether or not your application has been successful.

You can track the process of your application through the NSW Firearms Registry Customer Portal.

Note – your application may be denied if you have a criminal history or intervention order against you or if you have a record of physical or mental illness which evidence suggests would exclude from owning or using firearms. It is possible to get a firearm license even under these conditions, however it might involve you to undergo additional application processes and investigation.

Step 5: Photo Advice letter

If your NSW firearm license application is approved by the NSW Firearms Registry, a ‘Photograph Advice letter‘ will be mailed to you to

This letter will provide you with instructions on where you are to attend a Service NSW Centre to have your photo taken. Don’t forget to bring in your the Photograph Advice and proof of identity documents to the Service NSW Centre prior to the expiry date printed on the Photograph Advice, otherwise it won’t be valid.

Once you get your Photograph Advice it 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 mail.

Step 6: Purchasing your first firearm

Once you receive your NSW gun license in the mail you can proceed in purchasing your first firearm. 

You can only purchase firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and firearm accessories if you have a current Victorian firearms licence. That licence must allow you to carry and use those items. That is to say you will only be able to purchase a firearm or ammo as it relates the type of license you obtained (category A, category B or both

Finally in order to purchase a firearm you must also have a Permit to Acquire issued by NSW Police.

If this is the first time you are purchasing a firearm there is a legal legislative requirement that enforces a 28 day waiting period from the date you buy the rifle. This means from the date you walk into a gun store and buy the rifle you will need to wait 28 days before you can pick it up.

If you landed here by mistake and you are actually wanting to get your firearm license in a different state check out the links below.