Qld Weapons Storage Inspection.
Have a weapons storage inspection (Qld) and don’t know what to expect? The HSSA team are here to help.
This blog will let you know what you can expect from a routine weapons storage inspection.
It is important to note that the law is multi layered and that There are different circumstances that a police officer may direct you to inspect or seize your firearms or weapons licence. There are even some circumstances that police may lawfully enter your house and seize property under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act without a warrant. If one of these scenarios happens to you it is important to stay calm and levelheaded, comply with the police at the time, record the event or at least make really good notes and contact a lawyer as soon as you can.
In the event of a routine weapons storage inspection a police officer should contact you prior to the inspection and make an appointment to attend and inspect your storage facility and your firearms. At the agreed time and date of the inspection the officer should attend and carry out the inspection.
The officer will generally ask to view your weapons licence. Remember it is an offence if you do not report a lost, stolen or destroyed weapons licence to the police within 14 days.
The officer will then ask to inspect your weapons storage facility. They will be looking to see that it meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for the category and number of weapons stored.
Remember that category A and B need to be a solid metal or timber ridged container capable of preventing unauthorized access with a secure lock which can’t be disassembled from the outside. If the lock is a padlock it must be keyed and not combination. If the storage container weighs less than 150Kg then it must be bolted to the floor or structural part of a wall in a permanent structure.
For category C, D and H the container must be solid metal (this means no air vents like on old high school lockers) and no matter the weight it must be bolted to the floor or structural part of a wall in a permanent structure.
Once your total number of firearms reaches over 30 you need to meet different storage requirements such as a vault or a strong room. I will save the requirements for such storage requirements for another blog.
While the officer is checking your storage facility, they will be looking to see that your ammunition and firearms are also stored correctly.
In the case of your ammunition they will be looking for any loose ammunition that is not locked away, that you don’t have any mixed calibers such as 20 gauge and 12 gauge shot shells stored together in the same container, box or bag, That the ammunition is stored in such a way as per the explosives act that friction, dropping, etc would not cause the ammunition to go off and that if there is more than 10000 rounds of ammunition or certain amounts of black powders or other propellants it is stored as per the requirements of the explosives act ie a locked cupboard with an explosives sticker on it.
In the case of firearms they will be looking to see that all firearms are stored unloaded, with the action broken or bolt removed. Remember that if you remove the bolt of a firearm it a major part of the firearm and thus considered a firearm itself. This means it must still be stored in a safe and separate to ammunition.
Next the officer will ask to see each of your firearms and they will check the make, model and serial number of each firearm against your weapons list for your licence. If you have too many firearms you will need to be able to show how you obtained that firearm. Ie borrowed it from Jon Smith licence number 1234 on 01/01/2021. You can legally borrow firearms for a period no longer than 3 months if you have the appropriate licence for that firearm. (Please note you can not do this for a firearm that you are applying for a PTA for.)
If you don’t have enough firearms you will need to be able to show where those firearms are. Ie at the gunsmith, in safe storage or lent to a friend etc. In each case you will need to provide documentation to prove such.
Some other questionsthe officer may ask you is where you normally store the keys to your safe or who else knows the combination to your safe. Remeber that only authorised people (Weapons Licence holders) may have access to your firearms so they should no be able to easily know or guess where your keys are stored or the combination of your safe.
This will conclude your weapons inspection and the officer will return to the station and furnish a report to weapons licensing recommending no further action, a follow up inspection or suspension of your weapons licence depending on their observations and interactions with you on the day.
I hope this blog has given you a better understanding of what to expect in case of a weapons storage inspection.