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Victoria — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

For national statistics, federal law, inter-country comparisons, gun trade and international agreements, see the Australia country page

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 36,6551 handguns in civilian possession in Victoria

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Victoria is reported to be 183,3702

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Victoria is 3.822

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Victoria is reported to be 485,7272

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Victoria is 10.112

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Victoria, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 343
2010: 54
2009: 583 4
2008: 473 4 5
2007: 34
2006: 523 5
2005: 45
2004: 33
2003: 57
2002: 66
2000/01: 555
1999/00: 63
1998/99: 56
1997/98: 44
1996/97: 56
1995/96: 55
1994/95: 79
1993/94: 51
1992/93: 62
1991/92: 59
1990/91: 77
1989/90: 79

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Victoria, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2009: 3.74
2008: 3.44
2007: 3.24
2005/06: 1.426
2004/05: 1.10
2003/04: 1.47
2002/03: 1.41
2001/02: 1.77
2000/01: 1.14
1999/00: 1.33
1998/99: 1.19
1997/98: 0.95
1996/97: 1.22
1995/96: 1.21
1994/95: 1.75
1993/94: 1.14
1992/93: 1.39
1991/92: 1.32
1990/91: 1.74
1989/90: 1.80

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Victoria, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 73
2010: 16
2009: 6
2008: 113 7
2007: 43 8
2006: 63 9
2005: 83 10
2004: 33 11
2003: 93 12
2002: 63 13

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Victoria, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2007/08: 0.136
2006/07: 0.17
2005/06: 0.08
2004/05: 0.18
2003/04: 0.32
2002/03: 0.18
2001/02: 0.35

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Victoria, annual handgun homicides total

2011: 33
2010: 4
2009: 2
2008: 2
2007: 0
2006: 1
2005: 4
2004: 2
2003: 1
2002: 1

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Victoria, annual long gun homicides total

2011: 13
2010: 6
2009: 4
2008: 4
2007: 2
2006: 0
2003: 6
2002: 2

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Victoria, annual gun homicides (other) total

2011: 33
2010: 6
2009: 0
2008: 5
2007: 2
2006: 5
2005: 4
2004: 1
2003: 2
2002: 3

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Victoria, annual suicides by any means total

2011: 48314
2010: 536
2009: 576
2008: 54414 15
2007: 473
2006: 485
2005: 505
2004: 521
2003: 540
2002: 528
2001: 54115
2000: 512
1999: 552

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Victoria, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 9.5116
2007: 8.52
2006: 8.65
2005: 10.08
2004: 10.50
2003: 11.00
2002: 10.87
2001: 11.26
2000: 10.80
1999: 11.78

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Victoria, annual firearm suicides total

2011: 2614
2010: 32
2009: 38
2008: 2614 17
2007: 37
2006: 34
2005: 30
2004: 42
2003: 34
2002: 36
2001: 4617
2000: 50
1999: 62

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Victoria, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.4718
2007: 0.73
2006: 0.64
2005: 0.60
2004: 0.85
2003: 0.69
2002: 0.74
2001: 0.96
2000: 1.05
1999: 1.32

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Victoria, annual handgun suicides total

2011: 414
2010: 4
2009: 2
2008: 2
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 3
2004: 4
2003: 4
2002: 2

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Victoria, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 2114
2010: 27
2009: 33
2008: 21
2007: 33
2006: 31
2005: 25
2004: 26
2003: 30
2002: 31

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Victoria, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 114
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 3
2007: 3
2006: 2
2005: 2
2004: 12
2002: 3

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Victoria, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2011: 219
2010: 3
2009: 4
2008: 019 17
2007: 0
2006: 3
2005: 517
2004: 12
2003: 8
2002: 3
2001: 5
2000: 11
1999: 6

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Victoria, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.0820
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.18
2005: 0.10
2004: 0.24
2003: 0.16
2002: 0.06
2001: 0.10
2000: 0.23
1999: 0.13

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Victoria, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2011: 019
2010: 1
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2003: 2

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Victoria, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 219
2010: 2
2009: 4
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 3
2004: 4
2003: 3
2002: 2

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Victoria, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2011: 019
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 5
2004: 8
2003: 3
2002: 1

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Victoria, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 321
2010: 3
2009: 3
2008: 5
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 7
2004: 1
2003: 1

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Victoria, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 021
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 4

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Victoria, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 321
2010: 2
2009: 0
2008: 2
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 3

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Victoria, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 021
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 3
2007: 0
2006: 0
2004: 1
2003: 1

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Victoria, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence22

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Victoria, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law23

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Victoria, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law23

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Victoria, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law24

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Victoria include25 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Victoria is categorised as restrictive26

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Victoria includes the Firearms Act 1996,27 and the Firearms Regulations 200828

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Victoria are regulated by the Chief Commissioner of the Police29 30 31

Right to Possess Firearms

In Victoria, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law32 33

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Victoria, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, self-loading rifles and shotguns (including pump action shotguns), military style firearms, and most handguns34 35 36 37 38 39

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Victoria, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, with only narrow exceptions for permanently inoperable display, museum or bona fide collector's guns34 35 38

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Victoria, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited, lookalikes included, in all but exceptional circumstances34 35 38

Regulation of Handguns

In Victoria, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is only permitted subject to stringent conditions40 36 37 41 42

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Victoria, only licensed gun owners43 40 38 29 44 45 46 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Victoria are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, sport or target shooting, hunting, primary production, narrow business, employment, and occupational requirements, official or commercial purposes, and bona fide gun collections.47 48 49 50 36 51 52 53 34 35 54 55 In law, personal protection is not a genuine reason56 57 58 59

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Victoria is 18 years,60 or as young as 12 years while under the immediate supervision of an appropriately qualified adult licence holder61

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Victoria must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, addiction, domestic violence and other62 63 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Victoria, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required for some licence categories64 65

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Victoria stipulates62 63 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Victoria, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required60 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Victoria gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three or five years, depending on the licence category66

Licensing Records

In Victoria, authorities maintain a record30 31 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Victoria are permitted to possess 1 firearm per acquisition permit,44 45 and if approved, not more than 1 registered category C or D firearm, being a rifle, and not more than 1 registered category C or D firearm, being a shotgun29 46

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Victoria are permitted to possess ammunition only for those firearms for which the purchaser is licensed, with a limit on the quantity of ammunition that may be purchased in a given period67

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Victoria, the law requires30 31 68 69 70 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Victoria, licensed firearm dealers are required71 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Victoria, licensed gun makers are required72 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Victoria, State agencies are required73 74 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Victoria, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited unless conducted and registered by a licensed firearm dealer, or in remote locations by police75

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Victoria, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful76 77

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Victoria, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to 1 firearm per acquisition permit44 45

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Victoria, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is 28 days78 44

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Victoria, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated79 80 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Victoria include81 82 83 84 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Victoria include85 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Victoria include74 73 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Victoria do not include79 80 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Victoria, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law86 72

Firearm Tracing

In Victoria, state authorities carry out72 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Victoria, state authorities do not employ72 79 80 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Victoria, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited without genuine reason. In law, personal protection is not a genuine reason.56 57 58 59

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Victoria, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited without genuine reason. In law, personal protection is not a genuine reason.56 57 58 59

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Victoria, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm87 is 2 to 7 years prison43 40

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Victoria are known to have88 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Victoria, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 207,40988 (1996-2001)

Exchanged in Gun Buyback

In Victoria, the total number of firearms exchanged for monetary or in-kind compensation during recent gun buyback and disposal programmes is reported to be 207,40988 (1996-2001)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Victoria, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 207,40988 (1996-2001)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Victoria, it is not state policy89 90 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market


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50.

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Victoria.1998.‘General Discretion of Chief Commissioner to Refuse a Longarm or Handgun Licence.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2618)Full Citation

61.

Victoria.1998.‘Issue of Junior Licences.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2619)Full Citation

62.

Victoria.1998.‘Definitions.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2608)Full Citation

63.

Victoria.1998.‘Surrender of Firearms and Licence Document.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2667)Full Citation

64.

Victoria.1998.‘Approved Firearms Collectors Clubs – Requirements as to Members and Former Members.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2668)Full Citation

65.

Victoria.1998.‘Approved Handgun Target Shooting Clubs – Requirements as to Members.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2669)Full Citation

66.

Victoria.1998.‘Duration of Licence.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2622)Full Citation

67.

Victoria.1998.‘Possession of Cartridge Ammunition.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q3055)Full Citation

68.

Victoria.1998.‘Offence to Possess, Carry or Use an Unregistered Longarm.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2653)Full Citation

69.

Victoria.1998.‘Offence to Possess, Carry or Use an Unregistered Handgun.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2655)Full Citation

70.

Victoria.1998.‘Possession of a Traffickable Quantity of Unregistered Firearms.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2656)Full Citation

71.

Victoria.1998.‘Requirement to Keep Register of Transactions.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2640)Full Citation

72.

Australia.2008.‘Small Arms and Light Weapons UN Report.’ National Report of Australia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1736)Full Citation

73.

Australia.2008.‘Accounting for Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ National Report of Australia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1739)Full Citation

74.

Australia.2008.‘Accounting for Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ National Report of Australia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1738)Full Citation

75.

Victoria.1998.‘Prohibition on Acquisition of Firearm Except from Licensed Firearms Dealer.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2663)Full Citation

76.

Victoria.1998.‘Issue of Dealers Licences.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2638)Full Citation

77.

Victoria.1998.‘General Discretion of Chief Commissioner to Refuse a Dealers Licence.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2639)Full Citation

78.

Victoria.1998.‘28 Day Waiting Period.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2659)Full Citation

79.

Victoria.1998.‘Purpose.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q4047)Full Citation

80.

Victoria.2008.‘Preliminary.’ Firearms Regulations 2008 (S.R. No. 22/2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice,8 April. (Q4048)Full Citation

81.

Victoria.1998.‘Storage of Firearms Under Longarm and Handgun Licences.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2644)Full Citation

82.

Victoria.1998.‘General Conditions for Licences Under Part 2.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2648)Full Citation

83.

Victoria.1998.‘Longarm Licences for Category A and B Longarms.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2651)Full Citation

84.

Victoria.1998.‘Longarm Licences for Category C and D Longarms and Handgun Licences for General Category Handguns.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2652)Full Citation

85.

Victoria.1998.‘Storage of Firearms Under Dealers Licences.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2645)Full Citation

86.

Victoria.1998.‘Power of Chief Commissioner to Require Firearm to Have a Serial Number.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2643)Full Citation

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88.

Reuter, Peter and Jenny Mouzos, in: Cook, Philip and Jens Ludwig (Eds).2002.‘Australia: A Massive Buyback of Low-Risk Guns.’ In: Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence.Washington, DC:Brookings Institution Press,1 December. (Q3050)Full Citation

89.

Victoria.1998.‘Disposal of Forfeited Firearms.’ Firearms Act 1996 No. 66 of 1996 (Version No. 053, as of 8 December 2008).Melbourne:Department of Justice, Victoria,31 January. (Q2647)Full Citation

90.

Australia.2008.‘Destruction of Surplus Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ National Report of Australia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1719)Full Citation