Anyone who possesses a firearm (including an imitation firearm) must take all precautions to ensure that the firearm is stored safely, is not stolen or lost and does not come into the possession of a person who is not authorised to possess it. Keys to storage cabinets must be secure to prevent unauthorised access to firearms and ammunition.
Storage of Category A & B Firearms:
To comply with the Firearms Act 1996, when not in use, both Category A and Category B firearms must be stored in a locked receptacle, which meets the minimum construction guidelines outlined below.
All firearms receptacles weighing less than 150kg when empty must be fixed to a floor or a wall, in a manner which prevents easy removal. Note that due to this weight requirement, the majority of receptacles used, including those commercially available, will need to be fixed to the wall or floor. The addition of a fixed permanent weight to a receptacle, is acceptable to bring it up to 150kg, the weight is to be incapable of being removed.
Storage of Category C, D & H Firearms:
Category C, D and H firearms can be stored in any of the previously described receptacles except wooden. All receptacles containing Category C, D or H firearms must be securely fixed to the floor or a wall. The receptacle must be constructed of at least 3mm steel sheeting, be fitted with concealed hinges and a commercial quality flush mounted lock.
Ammunition must be stored in a locked container separate from the receptacle containing the firearms. A separate container within the main storage unit is acceptable however, the locks must be different to those used to secure the main cabinet.
Minimum standards for construction of storage receptacles:
- Wooden receptacles should be constructed of hard wood (not chip board or pine) of at least 12mm (½ inch) thickness with the door hinges fixed internally. The door to the receptacle should be flush mounted with a minimal gap between the door edges and the receptacle to reduce leverage points.
- A receptacle made from concrete should be strengthened with steel reinforced mesh as part of the manufacturing process. The door to the receptacle should be of sufficient strength, with a minimal gap between the door edges and the receptacle to reduce leverage points.
- The minimum standard for steel or metal receptacles would be a locker room style locker with a solid metal lock. The receptacle must be fixed to the floor or wall with at least two suitable bolts to prevent easy removal. Please note that Brownbuilt (school) lockers do not meet minimum standard for steel or metal receptacles unless they have been reinforced to prevent the door or any panel from being peeled open.
- The receptacle should be fitted with an effective flush mounted metal lock or if padlocks are used they must be of good quality and have a substantial shackle of hardened steel. The fixture securing the door must be able to resist attempts to be broken without unlocking the padlock, e.g. hammer strikes, twisting and hacksaw. A method of securing the padlock shackle against bolt cutters and cutting should be considered, such as a housing over the lock or a closed shackle padlock.
If a licensee has made alternative storage arrangements for their firearms, they must be able to satisfy the Commissioner of Police that the firearms storage is suitable and must meet or exceed the legislative requirements. Commercially available gun safes are normally acceptable given that they comply with the above guidelines. If unsure of the suitability of a commercially available product, please contact Firearms Services, Tasmania Police for advice.
For further information, contact Firearms Services, Tasmania Police.