Safe Firearm Storage and Transport
Australia has some of the most stringent gun control regulations in the world. These regulations cover a range of factors including who can own a firearm, what type and the number of firearms you can own and requirements for firearm storage and transportation.
There are a number of legislative requirements for the storage and transportation of firearms. Ultimately, the legal owner of the firearm is responsible for ensuring that these requirements are met. However, responsible gun owners should look to exceed these minimum requirements to ensure the safe and secure storage of their firearms.
When storing firearms on your own property, they must be secured in an appropriate gun safe. When stored, the firearms must be unload and all ammunition must be stored in a separate locked container. Some purpose built gun safes will have two separate lockable compartments for firearms and ammunition.
Securing the firearms and ammunition in a gun safe is a start. However, there are other security considerations that should be factored in. It is important to consider the placement of the gun safe. The safe should be positioned in a place where it is not easily seen by prying eyes. Keep the safe away from windows, open backyard areas or garages that can be easily accessed from the street. In garages or sheds, consider the potential visibility when you open the roller door. Any visible gun safe will be an attractive target for thieves.
While the gun safe itself will secure the firearms, it always helps to have a few more layers of security between your firearms and potential thieves. Make sure you locate your safe in a secure area that’s behind lock and key and, ideally, has a monitored alarm system.
Finally, it’s essential that the safe itself is firmly secured in place. Your gun safe should be securely mounted to the floor or wall to prevent thieves from simply taking the safe and breaking into it at their leisure in another location. Most gun safes will have pre-drilled mounting holes and bolts so they can be secured. For best results you should try to mount the safe directly into concrete or metal.
You should also avoid giving any indication that there are firearms stored on your property. Don’t put any gun club or hunting club stickers on your car and don’t visibly carry firearms in and out of your home. Any hint that there are guns on your property will make you a target for thieves.
If you are storing the firearm at an address other than your own, there are a few requirements you must meet.
If you are storing the firearms at a residential address that is not your own, there must be another licence holder at that address with the appropriate category of firearm licence. That licence holder will be legally responsible for ensuring that the storage facilities are in compliance with legislation. You must also notify the Licensing and Regulation Division of the storage address and provide the details of the licence holder at that address.
Another off-site storage option is with a gun shop or licensed firearm dealer. Many of these businesses will offer storage services for a fee. The downside to this arrangement is that your firearms will only be accessible during normal business hours.
Some self-storage companies also offer licensed firearm storage. A reputable gun club or gun trading place will be able to recommend licensed storage options in your area.
When you first get your licence, a member of the police will carry out a safe storage inspection to ensure that you are complying with your storage obligations. It is a condition of all firearm licences that the licence holder allow a member of police to inspect their storage arrangements at any reasonable time. Random inspections may also be carried out from time to time, with or without notice.
The inspections will also check that the storage arrangements are appropriate for the type of firearms you have, as well as verifying the number of firearms and amount of ammunition at the location.
Transporting a firearm can leave it vulnerable to theft, as well as presenting a safety hazard. If you need to transport a gun, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the safety of the firearm and the safety of yourself and others.
- Firearms should be unloaded whenever they are transported
- Firearms should be stored in a appropriate lockable case
- Firearms should be fitted with a trigger lock during transport
- Ammunition should be stored in a separate lockable case
- Firearms and ammunition should always be stored out of sight
- Firearms and ammunition should never be left unattended in a vehicle
- Firearms must be transported by the licence holder
When it comes to firearms, you can’t be too careful. Following all the appropriate storage and transport guidelines will help to protect your guns, prevent theft and keep the community safe.