Firearm Offences in Victoria - Charges, Penalties and Setencing

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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Firearm Offences (Vic)


In Victoria, firearms offences are viewed as serious offences by law enforcement authorities. Firearms legislation, including the Firearms Act 1996, regulates the possession, use, purchase, manufacture and supply of firearms and associated components. The intent of the legislation is to limit firearm possession and promote public safety.

This section outlines what the police must prove to successfully prosecute you, as well as the maximum penalties for firearm offences. It also sets out what to do if you are deemed a prohibited person from holding a firearm licence.

Definition of Firearms

A firearm is defined as a device which is designed or adapted to “discharge a shot or a bullet or other missile by the expansion of gases produced in the device by the ignition of strongly combustible materials or by compressed air or other gases, whether stored in the device in pressurised containers or produced in the device by mechanical means”.

This definition may include:

  1. Shotguns;
  2. Rifles;
  3. Homemade weapons;
  4. Handguns; and
  5. Many other devises that fit the definition.

Handgun vs. Longarm

The legislation differentiates between a handgun and a longarm.

A handgun is a firearm that is:

  • Reasonably capable of being carried or concealed about the person; or
  • Is reasonably capable of being raised and fired by one hand; or
  • Does not exceed 65 cm in length parallel to the barrel.

A longarm is any firearm other than a handgun.

Imitation Firearm

An imitation firearm is a device whose appearance could reasonably be mistaken for that of an operable firearm.

It is an offence to display, possess, carry, use, import or sell any imitation firearms in Victoria without a Chief Commissioner of Police Prohibited Weapons Approval or a Governor in Council Exemption.

Please select the offence from the list below:

Offences arising out of the Firearms Act may occur by way of a penalty notice. Offences that occur in this manner may be dealt with by paying the fine. This is not an admission of guilt and if the full fine provided in the penalty notice is paid, the person is not liable to any further proceedings for that offence.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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