More guns, more shooters in NSW but fortunately the Registry isn’t saying where

The latest data from NSW’s Firearms Registry (FAR) has been published, with more positive news as the number of firearms licence holders in the state climbs to more than 251,000.

The data, which covers the period to 3 December 2023, shows there are 251,001 licence holders of all types in NSW, with a total of 1,110,875 registered firearms in the state. This is an increase on both counts – in July 2023, there were 250,046 licence holders and 1,098,917 registered firearms. 

It’s worth noting some licensees have multiple licenses (eg, the majority of Cat H licence holders also have a Cat A/B licence), but this doesn’t change the broader picture the numbers paint.

Almost half of NSW’s registered firearms are Category A guns (550,900), with Category B guns totalling 383,435 and handguns in third place with 46,434 guns registered. 

Guns registered to dealers accounted for 99,020 firearms, with collectors licences having 14,594 firearms, while there were 11,656 Category C firearms registered and 823 Category D firearms.

A total of 36,838 PTAs were applied for between July and November 2023, at an average of 7,368 per month with an average processing time of 10.2 days each.

Previous data released by the NSW FAR used to include a map showing how many firearms were registered by postcode, a practice long condemned by shooting representatives and gun owners alike as a major security risk.

Shooters Union NSW President Tony Gavan said he was very glad to see the compromising data removed from the reports.

“That information should never have been publicly available in the first place,” he said. 

“It was just asking for trouble, and everyone in the shooting community has been calling for an end to the practice for years.

“Not only does it make it harder for criminals to track down potential places to rob for guns, it also makes it harder for anti-gun journalists to write scare-mongering stories about ‘someone’ with a gun licence in a Sydney suburb who legally owns lots of guns.

“It’s also pleasing to see licensee numbers increasing as more people discover how enjoyable and safe shooting is. I’m keen to see how the numbers look in the next report.”




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Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.