28 November 2022


Firearms licensing progress update

The average time for applications for a second or subsequent firearms licence has gone down from a 9 month wait time in May 2022, to 7 months in October, and Police expect to see this downward trend continue.

We are processing more applications than we were this time last year. Application completion has increased by 35% compared to last year, reducing the number of applications awaiting processing each month. 

There’s some great new initiatives happening in firearms licensing. We are rolling out an enhanced triage process and strategically enhancing deployment of our resources. This, along with the positive trends we are seeing, is a reflection of the hard work the team have put in to ensure we are providing an improved service for our licence holder applicants.

How many firearms licences are there in the pipeline as at November 2022?

The following table outlines the number of applications with the Police as at 24 November 2022.

Total applications


First time applicants


Applying for a new 10 year licence


Expired licences where applicant applied for a new licence prior to the previous licence expiry date


Expired licences where applicant applied for a new licence after the previous licence expired



The applying for a new 10 year licence total is comprised of 2,393 applications for a brand new 10 year licence that applied period to 10 Feb 2022. It also includes an additional 938 renewals currently in process who are eligible for a 10-year licence. 

The total number of applications is expected to increase rapidly as Police anticipate an upcoming peak in demand.  The number of firearms licence applications are expected to peak in 2026. 

The recent legislative changes mean that some licence holders may have an expired licence card, but provided they applied for a new licence before their licence expired, their licence is still current. This can be checked at the online Licence Checker

What are the forecast licence application numbers? 

Police will continue to carry a backlog of 10,000 to 15,000 applications per year for the next five years, but this will comprise those who have been identified as presenting no known risk of unsafe or non-compliant use of firearms.

Figure: Forecast Licence Applications 2023 - 2062
Figure: Forecast Licence Applications 2023 - 2062




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