You do not require a Weapons Licence or a Permit to Acquire to take possession of an antique firearm. However, you should ensure that the firearm you intend to acquire fits the definition of an antique.
An antique firearm is defined under the Weapons Act 1990 as a firearm manufactured before 1 January 1901 that is either:
- a muzzle loading firearm;
- a cap and ball firearm; or
- a firearm in which an Authorised Officer decides that ammunition is not commercially available.
An antique handgun is defined as an antique firearm that is less than 75cm in length, other than pre-percussion handguns.
A pre-percussion handgun is an antique firearm less than 75 cm in length that is a muzzle loading firearm activated by fuse, matchlock, wheel lock, snaphaunce, flintlock or miquelet lock.
The diagram below provides a model for determining whether a firearm manufactured before 1901 requires a weapons licence or registration. Start by determining whether the firearm takes cartridge ammunition or is muzzle loading.
Year of Manufacture
(Prior to 1 January 1901)
If you are acquiring an antique handgun, other than a pre-percussion handgun, you are required to inform Weapons Licensing within 14 days of taking possession. There is no such requirement for other antique firearms. You should ensure that the firearm you intend to acquire fits the definition of an antique handgun.
More information about acquiring an antique handgun.
More information about acquiring an antique firearm other than a Category H firearm.
More information about public display of weapons.