​​​​​​​What is a collectable firearm?

For category A, B, C or H weapons to be classified as “Collectable Firearm” as provided for in section 77(2) of the Weapons Act 1990 (the Act) the weapon must be a firearm that is of obvious and significant, 1. Historic, 2. Commemorative, 3. Investment or 4. Thematic value (four relevant criteria).

  1. An application for Permit to Acquire (PTA) should include a summary of collecting interests in order to establish to which of these criteria the weapon is being related.
  2. Genuine reason for the possession of the weapon must also be addressed, including a description of the weapon and any other information that may assist the Authorised Officer Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing to determine if the weapon may be classified as a collectable firearm.
  3. Documentation to substantiate that the weapon may be classified as a collectable firearm must also be provided. This documentation may include copies from recognised reference materials such as Small Arms of the World(W.H.B Smith) (USA 1992) or information downloaded from various internet websites.  Hyperlinks to reference websites will not be accepted. Similarly, unsubstantiated opinion of the applicant for PTA will also not be accepted.

Acquiring a weapon to be registered to a Collector’s Licence (Weapons).

Permanently Inoperable firearms

Category D, H and R weapons must be registered to a collector's licence.

All category D and R weapons to be registered to a collector's licence (weapons) must be rendered permanently inoperable by a licensed Queensland armourer, who will issue a Form 31 (Certificate of Firearm/Weapon Being Made Permanently Inoperable).

Category H weapons may be rendered permanently inoperable and registered to a collector's licence (weapons). A licensed Queensland armourer must carry out the necessary work to render the category H weapon permanently inoperable. The armourer will issue a Form 31 for the weapon.

To lawfully acquire permanently inoperable category H, D or R weapons, licensees must obtain a PTA. Applications for a PTA must be made personally in the approved form from a Queensland police station, or in a way published on the Queensland Police Service website by submitting the application online.Applications for a PTA for a permanently inoperable category H, D or R weapons must be accompanied by a copy of the Form 31.

An application fee for the PTA will also apply.

There is no necessity to relate permanently inoperable category H, D or R weapons to the four relevant criteria for collectable firearms as provided for in section 77(2) of the Act.

Permanently inoperable category A, B or C weapon, under current legislation, do not require registration to a licence issued under the provisions of the Weapons Act 1990. (the Act) The rendering permanently inoperable of category A, B or C weapons must be carried out by a licensed Queensland armourer. The armourer will issue a Form 31 for each weapon.

The rendering permanently inoperable of any weapon will incur a cost for which the licensee is responsible.

Replica firearms

Under current legislation the only replica firearms that require registration to a licence issued under the Act are replica category R weapons.

To acquire a replica category R weapon the usual PTA requirements apply. The weapon must be inspected by a licensed Queensland armourer who will issue a Form 31 for the weapon. Normal fees will apply.

Temporarily Inoperable firearms

For temporarily inoperable firearms to be registered to a collector's licence (weapons) normal PTA requirements apply.

The Authorised Officer Weapons Licensing must be satisfied that any temporarily inoperable firearm to be registered to a collector's licence (weapons) may be classified as a "collectable firearm" as provided for in section 77(2) of the Act.

The firearm must be of obvious and significant, Historical, Thematic, Commemorative or Investment values.

Category A, B and C weapons 

Applicants for PTA as well as make, model, serial number and magazine capacity, must also provide substantiating documentation that will verify and clarify that the firearm subject to the application for the PTA may be classified as a "collectable firearm". The documentation must relate the firearm to the nominated criteria.

Category H weapons

For temporarily inoperable category H weapons, licensees must have appropriate endorsements upon the collector’s licence (weapons) to allow for the possession of temporarily inoperable category H weapons.

To collect temporarily inoperable handguns manufactured prior to the 01 January 1947 the licence must be endorsed with condition code CH4.

Collector’s who desire to collect handguns manufactured after the 01 January 1947 as well as those manufactured prior to that date, require the condition code CH5 to be endorsed on the collector’s licence.

The condition code CH5 may only be endorsed on a collector’s licence (weapons) after the licensee has satisfied the Authorised Officer Weapons Licensing of prolonged and genuine interest in the study, preservation or collection of firearms.

Collectors of category H weapons must also be a member of an approved historical society (AHS). Section 138 of Act provides conditions for collectors of category H weapons.

Applications for PTA for collectable handguns must be accompanied by proof of membership of the AHS and as required by section 40(4) of the Act. A declaration signed by the representative of the AHS stating that the representative is satisfied that the subject firearm is of obvious and significant, historical, thematic, commemorative or investment value.

For all applications for PTA for collectable handguns details of make, model, serial number, magazine capacity and year or manufacture must be provided.

Applications for PTA for collectable handguns must be accompanied by proof of membership of the AHS and for modern collectable handguns manufactured post 1947 as required by section 40(4) of the Act a declaration signed by the representative of the AHS stating that the representative is satisfied that the subject firearm is of obvious and significant, historical, thematic, commemorative or investment value.

Below is an extract from s. 40 of the Act.

(4) If the application is for a permit to acquire a temporarily inoperable modern (Manufactured post 1947)handgun that the applicant intends to possess under the authority of a collector’s licence (weapons), the application must include a declaration signed by an approved historical society’s representative stating that the representative is satisfied that the weapon is of obvious and significant commemorative, historic, thematic or investment value.

Collectors register

A licensed collector must keep at the premises stated in the licence a collection register.

A Collection Register - Form 16 Register of Transactions Involving a Weapon – Licensed Dealer/Armourer/Collector/Theatrical Ordnance. The Register may be purchased from Office Max.

Purchase Order Form.pdf 

Each transaction for the receipt, acquisition, sale or transfer of a weapon must be entered immediately in the Collection Register. 

A licensed collector must enter the following particulars in the Collection Register:

  1. The name, residential address and licence number of each party to the transaction
  2. The type, action, make, model, serial number and calibre of the weapon
  3. The magazine or chamber capacity of the weapon; and
  4. The date of receipt, acquisition, sale or transfer of the weapon.

A person is deemed to be in unlawful possession of a firearm, if the firearm particulars are not entered in the register without reasonable excuse.

A person must not remove a part of the Collection Register unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

To correct a Collection Register

An entry may be corrected by putting a line through the incorrect words, without making the words illegible, and writing the correct words in a suitable place in the register.

Safe storage provisions for collectors

All weapons registered to a collector's licence (weapons) must be safely stored

Collectors should be familiar with the provisions of Part 20 sections 88 through 92 of the

Weapons Regulations 2016

Relevant Legislation

Section 7 Weapons Act 1990, How a weapon is made permanently inoperable.
Section 159 Weapons Regulation 2016, Modifying firearm to make it permanently inoperable.
Schedule 4 Weapons Regulation 2016  how weapons are to be made permanently inoperable.  
Section 8  Weapons Act 1990, How a weapon is made temporarily inoperable.
Section 60 Weapons Act 1990, Secure storage of weapons.
Sections 88 through 92 Weapons Regulation 2016, Safe storage provisions for collector’s.
Section 75 Weapons Act 1990, Collector to be licensed.
Section 77 Weapons Act 1990, Collector’s licence (weapons).
Section 81 Weapons Act 1990, Collectors to keep register.
Section 138 Weapons Act 1990, Conditions for collector’s licence (weapons).
Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8. Weapons Categories Regulation 1997

Case Law

White v Woolcock [2006] QCA 148

Principle applied; each person who wishes to possess a firearm under a licence (not, it is to be noted, a category of firearms) “to demonstrate a genuine reason for possessing the firearm”. That seems clearly directed to requiring that a person demonstrate genuine reason not only at the time of acquiring a licence, but also when seeking to bring particular firearms under the licence.​