Position Statements

Firearms Categorisation


The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), recognises that:

  • The underlying policy objective of firearms regulation in Australia is to ensure public safety and to facilitate the safe and responsible possession, carriage, use, registration, storage, and transfer of firearms.
  • The National Firearms Agreement (the NFA) sets out the basis of how the Commonwealth, States and Territories approach firearms management.

Key messages:

  • The primary control mechanism relied upon to achieve the policy objectives summarised above is licensing.
  • The placement of firearms into categories simply confirms which license class is required to legally possess and use a particular type of firearm.
  • Categorisation decisions are increasingly being politicised and are no longer the objective rules-based regulatory decisions intended in the National Firearms Agreement.
  • Categorisation decisions are increasingly being used by regulators to frustrate policy objectives.
  • Inconsistent and unpredictable classifications undermine our much-acclaimed uniform national gun laws and result in unacceptable regulatory uncertainty for industry.

SIFA position:

  • That the decision-making authority for categorisation decisions must not be delegated and must always remain with the responsible Minister following best practice industry consultation.
  • That all categorisation decisions be informed by an objective technical assessment of fundamental engineering principles (e.g., actuation and ammunition type) as per the NFA.
  • That the category assigned in the ACIC National Firearms Information Database (NFID) at the point of importation or manufacture be the default category adopted by all states and territories.
  • That the Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group be held accountable for ensuring that all Ministerial advice regarding categorisation policy options is consistent across all jurisdictions.


  1. Commonwealth Firearms Information Booklet
  2. National Firearms Agreement 2017
  3. PM&C Best Practice Consultation Guidance Note

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