The Firearm Safety Code is produced by the Firearm Safety Foundation and is
a guide to all hunters about the fundamental principles of firearms safety.
The Firearm Safety Code does not absolve any firearm owner from obeying
firearm laws, including those relating to using a firearm in a dangerous manner
or discharging a shot across or onto private property without consent.
Hunting is a dispersed activity, involving isolated or intermittent
shooting that typically occurs in remote areas well away from other people and
dwellings. Hunters and primary producers may shoot on their own land or with
the permission of the property owner in accordance with the conditions of their
licence. They are expected to conduct their shooting activities in a lawful
manner, having assessed all risk, demonstrating awareness of surroundings and
The Game Management Authority (GMA) regulates
hunting on public land and provides extensive advice to hunters for the
carriage and use of firearms in designated hunting zones, hunting practices and
guidelines. Further, in order to obtain a game licence (an additional
requirement to a firearm licence) the applicant must successfully complete a
knowledge test. Maps and guides are readily available from the GMA website and
authorised officers monitor hunting activities throughout the state.
Sport target shooters may conduct target shooting on private property
only in accordance with Regulation 8 under Part 3 of the Firearms Regulations
2018. They must also be appropriately licensed, and their licence must be
endorsed for sport/target shooting which requires the holder to hold a
membership to an approved sport/target shooting club.
of the Firearms Act 1996 outlines the special conditions for licences issued
under Part 2 of the Act. Category C longarms may only be used for the
suppression of pest animals by those who hold a valid licence endorsed for the
genuine need of Primary Production. In order to be authorised to conduct
pest animal suppression on their own primary production property or the
property of another primary producer, licence holders must be able to do so in
accordance with Regulation 9. The Licensing and Regulation Division of
Victoria Police regulates shooting ranges. Ranges are approved according to the
location, municipal zoning and approvals, the type of shooting intended to be
conducted and firearms to be used. Approved range officers monitor shoots and
competitions and ranges are established according to a vastly different set of
considerations. It is appropriate that hunting zones on public land are managed
by DELWP and the GMA.
It would be impractical to establish similar
provisions for hunting zones. Hunters on public land not only must adhere to
the conditions of their licence and the Firearms Act 1996, they must also be
able to adhere to the requirements under the Wildlife Act 1975. Further, the
GMA has its own powers under the GMA Act 2014 to perform regulatory,
investigative and disciplinary functions. The establishment of hunting zones
must take into consideration a vastly different set of circumstances, including
understanding the environmental and ecological factors that would allow or
disallow hunting in that area.
Victoria's firearms laws are
designed to protect the community from dangerous and unsafe use of firearms.
Significant penalties and possible jail terms apply for anyone who fails to use
firearms in a safe and lawful manner, including the possession, carriage and
use of firearms on private property. The Government is committed to the safe
use of firearms and Victoria Police actively prosecute breaches of firearms