THE NSW POLICE FIREARMS REGISTRY continues as Australia’s worst registry, after telling a licence applicant to wait ‘several months’ for an internal review process that should take only three weeks.

The registry’s ranking comes after it:

The NSC already has legal actions in NCAT on the first two matters, and has now helped a shooter who was denied a fair internal review, a third one.

Right of internal review by NSW Police

NSW Police must provide a right of internal review for people who might be adversely affected by a decision of the registry. 

It’s called ‘fair process’ and there is an expectation within our legal system that they will apply this properly.

Normally the registry will take at least 28 days to finish an internal review, although they are required to finish it within 21 days. 

If they fail to provide an internal review within 21 days then the applicant has the right to appeal the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

21 days? Try several months...

On 27 August, the NSC helped  “ J “ lodge a request for an internal review of a decision to deny him a firearms licence for old and incorrectly reported reasons we felt were worth objecting to.

40 days later, we followed this up with an email enquiry.

That’s when we got this extraordinary reply which said nothing had been done – several footy grand finals and a new NSW Premier later.

That’s extraordinary. 

In the same period of time, several states held footy grand finals and NSW found itself a new NSW Premier.  Yet NSW Police couldn’t start an internal review.

Tardiness will force more appeals to NCAT

J would have been able to wait a bit longer if the NCAT need a bit more time.  However, being told to stay in the queue for several months before the registry will even begin to look at this is far from good enough.

It’s far from fair.  This response puts anyone seeking a licence or some other outcome who can seek an internal review, in limbo until well into next year. 

It leaves people like J with no real option other than to launch a new action with NCAT, which will most likely deal with the matter a lot sooner.

We feel for shooters in NSW – it looks like your registry is struggling to do its job. 

For the NSC, it means filing another action in NSW, which we’ve done. 

In fact, we’re hoping that NCAT will have something to say about this atrocious way of managing internal reviews processes and force some kind of re-think about how NSW Police priorities its responsibilities under the NSW Firearms Act.

This is another example of why being an NSC member is a must. The NSC supports its members and our sport all day, every day, day in day out.

12 thoughts on “GO SLOW: NSW Police’s registry appeal process blows out ‘several months’

  1. Mark Jackaman says:

    Twenty years late! NSC is the ONLY ORGANISATION that is taking this rubbish on, head on. Years of pocket piddling in the “corridors of power” have produced nothing put puddles of used public service tea and coffee. At least something is being done now and for that I thank the NSC and its staff and the members of the community supporting it!

  2. Keith O says:

    A time frame of “several months” tells me that a lot of people are appealing dodgy decisions made by NSW police.
    If they were doing the right thing, then there would be a lot less appeals.

  3. Philip Walter says:

    The NSC is a great group and can only do so much with their time it is up to shooters to get behind them financially and make ut possible for the. To work

  4. John cox says:

    I had a AB license application rejected because of several reasons.Went through ncat and was successful with the appeal.

    • Tony says:

      The firearms Legislation in N.S.W is Joke!
      A minimum 28 days just to approve or dissaprove a firearm licence?
      Then, another minimum 28 days just to be granted a “permit to acquire” a firearm?
      Any politician or Beaurocrat who thinks this is some sort of necessary due process is living in a fools paradise!
      This type of deliberate, and typical goverment department delaying tactics only encourages unlicenced and unregistered firearms, And as often mentioned in the media, there are plenty of the above!
      Wake up Politicians, we are living in 2022, not the 1970s. With today’s technology, this entire process, licence and permit should be granted or denied in a matter of a few minutes..Not Months, which in 2022 is totally unacceptable.

  5. Jai Normosone says:

    There are other states that are facing similar issues as people are all wondering why the sudden “go-slow” is happening.
    Talking to gun shops around the place and one of the larger, well-known ones states that they are being slammed by customer all the time and have difficulty keeping up with orders.
    Couple that with good information that the Weapons Licensing branch in the very same state has recently gone from 1-2 weeks for a PTA to 3-4-5 weeks and up to 7 months for a licence with the reason being that staff are leaving the area and they’re not being replaced. The increased workload is being pushed onto less people to do it.
    Sounds pretty typical to me….

  6. Brett says:

    I lodged a internal review 16th October 2021 i got a email acknowledgement they received it and that was it i still have not heard back from them.
    They refused my application to get my gun license back as they canceled it about 15years ago .
    They would not renew it making false accusations against me about my mental health which i have proof that the mental health accusations are false the only correct thing was i had 2 small 4 seedlings marijuana plants on my property which really has nothing to do with my firearms i always obeyed the firearms regulations and i was never in trouble with the law except for that one time which honestly has taken something that meant so much to meany free time i had would be hunting,shooting range,clay target,reloading my own ammunition etc all my friends are into all this so not only i miss out on my once favorite hobby i also lost a lot of friends which in there spare time they are doing things that are firearm related.
    It makes me sick on the way nsw police make there decision if they have there way no one will own a firearm except for police officers lets face it that will never happen and it would only put more unregistered firearms out on the streets.

    • Will says:

      If you’re confident in your case, hire a lawyer and go to NCAT, If the Firearms Registry doesn’t provide an outcome within 28 days of receiving your written application for an internal appeal you can go to NCAT. You don’t have to wait for them to reply once the internal appeal has been in for 28 days.

  7. Will says:

    Several months? Ha! Mine took just under 2 years to resolve ( I have No Criminal history, No traffic infringements, No criminal links or associates.). Suspended 22 March 2020, No communications until they Revoked the licence in October 2020, I applied for an internal review within 21 days. early November 2020. The internal review came back in early February 2022 to set aside the Revocation. Let that one sink in, no laws were broken, no charges were laid. It took 15 months after the internal appeal was lodged. I’ve had my licence returned, I’m now day 30, waiting for my PTA’s to be approved. The registry missed every single timeline they wrote in their communications and on their website.

  8. Billy says:

    Yes the time the firearm registry takes is a joke. PTA lodged in January and now well into June……nothing except that they will get to it when they get to it.

  9. James says:

    Even now in September 2022, PTA’s for long time cat H shooters, in particular, are taking a few more weeks than they should. As has been stated before, with technology etc available today, this should not happen. And I daresay that if we get a labor state government next year, it may well be even more difficult to sort out this mess.

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