Australia’s Toughest Firearms Laws Pass WA Parliament

  • Firearm reform places public safety above all else
  • Western Australia becomes first jurisdiction in Australia to impose a limit on the number of firearms an individual can own
  • New laws disarm serious offenders and introduce a raft of new requirements to enhance monitoring and regulation of gun use
  • Mandatory training and regular health checks to be introduced as well as stricter storage and authorisation requirements for licence holders
  • Close to 14,000 firearms surrendered as part of Cook Government’s ongoing multimillion-dollar voluntary firearms buyback scheme

The strictest gun laws in the nation have passed the Parliament of Western Australia, ensuring thousands of firearms are removed from the community.

In a nation-leading move, the number of guns an individual can own will be restricted depending on their licence type. Primary producers and competition shooters can have up to 10 firearms while recreational hunters are restricted to five.

The complete rewrite of WA’s 50-year-old Firearms Act has also seen the introduction of Mandatory Disqualifying Offences and Orders (MDOs), which strip guns from the hands of serious offenders such as family and domestic violence perpetrators.

Under the changes, anyone who applies for a gun licence must complete mandatory firearms training. All owners will also be required to undergo a regular health assessment and comply with new storage requirements.

Supported by a multimillion-dollar digital licensing and management system, an overhaul of the corrupted ‘property letter’ system gives power back to landowners and lease holders so they can control who enters and shoots on their property.

In advance of the legislation passing, the State Government had already doubled the penalties for gun crime, outlawed very high-powered firearms and introduced Firearm Prohibition Orders to target underworld figures.

To date, close to 14,000 guns from more than 8,000 people have been sold to the State Government as part of the ongoing voluntary firearms buyback scheme.

The $64.3 million buyback offers licensed gun owners up to $1,000 to hand in their weapon and remains open until 31 August 2024.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“For the first time, Western Australia’s firearms laws elevate public safety above the privilege of owning a gun.

“I’m unapologetic for our safety-first approach which strengthens gun controls and enhances public safety.

“Sadly, in recent years, we’ve seen the devastating consequences resulting from the misuse of firearms in our community.

“Those tragedies highlight the need to remove guns from people who don’t have a legitimate reason for owning one.

“Passing this legislation is a momentous occasion, and I’m proud to lead a Government committed to improving safety for current and future generations of Western Australians.”

As stated by Police Minister Paul Papalia:

“Beginning with the 2016 Law Reform Commission Review, these laws have been years in the making.

“The consultation process for our historic rewrite of the State’s 50-year-old Firearms Act has been long and extensive. I want to thank everyone who’s been involved for their valuable contributions, particularly the Primary Producers Advisory Board, peak firearms bodies and community safety advocates.

“The reform removes thousands of unnecessary guns from our community while also enabling the legitimate and responsible use of firearms.

“Our new laws make WA a safer place for everyone and will benefit future generations for decades to come.”

As stated by Police Commissioner Col Blanch:

“The unlawful use of guns poses a significant risk to my officers and the community.

“These laws enable WA Police to better manage, monitor and catch people who do the wrong thing.

“The digital management system designed to support the new legislation will give responding officers real-time access to firearm licensing data, providing them with greater situational awareness during emergencies.

“The legislation makes Western Australia safer for the public and officers responding to dynamic situations on the frontline.”

/Public Release. View in full here.