Firearms regulation

There are gaps in how the Firearms Registry administers the firearms licencing and registration scheme for existing licence holders, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General of NSW, Margaret Crawford. These gaps reduce the Registry’s effectiveness in regulating firearms use and ownership. 

While the Firearms Registry has systems to promptly update details in the firearms register for changes in firearm ownership and for criminal or anti-social behaviour of licence holders, some key information, including addresses, is not accurate or up-to date. “This exposes a critical gap in the Registry’s data on the location of licence holders and their firearms” Ms Crawford said. 

The Firearms Registry may also be making unsound or inconsistent administrative decisions due to a lack of clear internal policies and guidance. These decisions include licence suspensions or revocations, assessing reasons for the acquisition of firearms, and initiating enforcement actions for breaches by licence holders. Ms Crawford noted that “these gaps mean the Registry cannot be confident it conducts aspects of its licencing activities effectively.”

The report’s recommendations aim to improve the integrity of the data in the register and ensure that the Firearms Registry is making sound and consistent decisions in regulating firearms use and ownership.

Further information

Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General, on 9275 7107 and email