Firearms law expert Simon Munslow discusses the legality of displaying your firearms on the wall in Queensland.

Can I display my firearms on the wall in Queensland?

You haven’t set out the class of licence that you hold, so I shall assume that your licence is a sporting one. That is to say, it is for target shooting and/or recreational hunting.

Display storage is a vexing issue, particularly for those of us for whom the firearm is more than a tool.   

As a teenager I used to keep my firearms on a gun rack on my bedroom wall, but later moved them into a safe when I found myself in a relationship with someone who was not keen on firearms. From that point of view, safe requirements in the 1996 and post 1996 legislation did not affect me, other than to make me remove ammunition from my gun safe.

I was recently thinking about installing a lockable gun rack myself, although I think I shall leave it a few more years until we move into a house that we intend to retire into, before I start to make any further mess of the walls.

S60 of the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) imposes an obligation to keep a weapon that is not in use in secure storage facilities at the location named in the register as being the place where the weapon is generally kept.

The Act itself is otherwise silent about the nature of secure storage, and one must turn to the regulations for further guidance.

Regulations 30-38 deal with storage by dealers and 39 to 44 with storage by collectors.

Reg 60A deals with storage of weapons that are not possessed under an armourer’s, collector’s, dealer’s, theatrical or security licence.  In other words the type of licence possessed by most sporting shooters and primary producers.  All sportspeople should by now be familiar with the usual storage requirements in their state, and I will not therefore digress by repeating the Queensland ones here.

Regulation 38 & 42 of the Firearms Regulations prescribes that requirements for gun racks to be used by gun dealers and collectors. The terms are identical.

(1)  A gun rack required under this part must have sturdy metal bars, grilles or chains to secure the weapons, locked in place by a sturdy keyed lock or keyed padlock.

(2)  The gun rack must be fixed to the premises by welding or hardened steel bolts at least 10mm in diameter.

(3)  Not more than ten guns may be kept in a gun rack.

You have not asked specifically whether the gun rack that you are contemplating using meets the requirements set out in Reg 38 and 42.  I assume that it does, as I do not envisage Queensland Police would adopt a lesser standard for private display.

While S60 does not refer to gun racks, S63 of the Regulations enables an authorised officer, on written application, to approve a measure for safe storage of weapons instead of a measure required in the regulations.

In order to do so, the officer must be satisfied that the proposed measure gives at least the same level of security as the measure replaced.

I would therefore suggest that you prepare a written proposal for Police and send it to the Registry.  In preparing the proposal I would suggest that you not only have regard to the definition of gun rack in Reg 38 and 42, but that you also consider where the gun rack is being placed in your home.

It would be unlikely that approval would be given in a situation where the gun rack and firearms would be in full view of a street or drive way.

I hope this assists.






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