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Sporting Shooters Association Australia,  South Australia.. 

Obtaining a firearms licence - South Australia

How to Obtain your Firearms Licence in South Australia


Step One – How to understand the licensing System:

The first step is to understand the types of licensing. That way deepening on the type of firearm and use you have for it, it will then determine what training you will require.

A firearms licence is first broken up into classes (A, B, C, D & H). Each class represents different types of firearm.

  • Class A:     Air rifles, air guns, and paintball firearms; 22 rimfire rifles (not self-loading); single or double barrel shotguns (not self-loading or pump action) and include receivers.
  • Class B:    Muzzle loading firearms (not being handguns); revolving chamber rifles; centrefire (not self-loading); break action shotgun/rifle combinations. All other firearms not class A firearms (not being prescribed firearms, handguns, self-loading or pump action shotguns), including receivers.
  • Class C:    Self loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds; self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 round; pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds, and includes receivers.
  • Class D: Self loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds; self loading centrefire rifles; self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds and a pump action shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds, and including receivers.
  • Class H:    All handguns (including Air pistols) 

Each class is then broken up into purpose of use (POU):

  • POU 1.    Club Use (Competition / Practice at a club)
  • POU 2.    Target Shooting (General sighting in)
  • POU 3.    Hunting
  • POU 4.    Paintball
  • POU 5.    Primary Production
  • POU 6.    Security Industry
  • POU 7.    Other as Provided by Registrar (For example Safety/Licence Trainer)

For further information about firearms classes or purposes of use please contact
SAPOL Firearms Branch: HYPERLINK

SAPOL - 100 point identification system: HYPERLINK


Note: When filling out the PD 303 form, it is important to tick the correct firearms classes and the Purpose of use you. Ticking the wrong boxes may result in further training requirements or further trips back to the Police Station to apply for a licence variation. Please refer back to Step 1 for the different classes and Purposes of uses available. Or contact the State secretary here if you need any assistance.


Step Two: Police Background Check

The Police station will then forward the application to Firearms Branch through the internal mail system. Firearms Branch will then undertake a background check to consider if you are a suitable person to hold a firearms licence.

If you are considered a suitable person, Firearms Branch will send you a 'training letter' advising you of the training you will be required to undertake. The training locations will differ depending on the POU. For Example:

  • For POU 1 – The applicant is to join a shooting club to undertake the training requirements within the club. The club's training officer will provide you with the relevant information for what is required at that club.
  • For POU 2, 3 & 4 - A T.A.F.E. course is required, information of venues of courses is supplied with the 'training letter'.
  • For POU 6 - a list of authorised security training instructors will be supplied with the 'training letter'. Justification will also include proof of employment with a licensed security company.


Step Three – Training

The next step for the applicant is to undertake the training. The training varies depending on the class of firearm involved and its purpose of use.

POU 1 – Club Use
Training for POU 1 (Club use) is done through your local club. Each SSAA club has a training instructor, which can assist you in obtaining a POU1 licence.

Please note, A club can only train for the classes of firearm it shoots. For example,

  • A Rimfire and or air rifle club can only train for A1;
  • A pistol club can only train for H1;

Please make sure that the club shoots the types of matches you are interested in prior to undertaking the training. Most SSAA clubs shoot A, B and H so it should not be a problem.

Training consists of both practical and theory sessions. These requirements will vary depending on the class of firearm and local club by-laws. Please check with your club for details.

Once the applicant has completed the training, the club will sign off the licence application for the appropriate classes (A, B and or H).


POU 2, 3 & 4 – Target Use, Hunting and Paintball
Training for POU 2, 3 and or 4 is done through TAFE SA. These courses are one full day and have a theory and practical component. The courses are held at Regency plus a number of country areas across the state.

For further information about TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or  TAFE SA Courses: HYPERLINK


A couple of items to note prior to starting any training for POU 2, 3 & 4.

Applicants wishing to apply for hunting on their licence will also need to apply for a hunting permit with the Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH). Information and permit applications can be found at Information:  DEH HYPERLINK

Applicants wishing to start shooting in club competitions will need to updated their licence to include POU1.


Step Four – Competition of Training

When justifications and training certificates are received from either the Club, TAFE, employer ect, Firearms Branch will send you a 'data card', with which you attend at a photo point, again provide your 100 points of identification and pay the prescribed licence fee. Upon payment, an 'interim licence' will be issued.

Current Licence Fees-  SAPOL HYPERLINK

You should receive your photographic licence within 28 days.

Graduated Access section 15A (4b) – Class H
Please note for handguns.

Legislation now prohibits the purchase handguns within the first 6 months from the granting of a Class H firearms licence for club use.
For the second 6 months of a new Class H licence for club use, purchase is restricted to the following;
1 air or gas operated pistol or a .22 calibre pistol or 1 centre-fire pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 .22 calibre pistol or,
1 air or gas operated pistol and 1 centre-fire pistol
This restriction does not apply to muzzle loading or percussion cap and ball handguns. Refer section 15A (4e).
The club secretary may keep the graduated access provisions in mind when issuing purchase chits however the Adjudication staff within Firearms Branch will monitor this aspect.

Last Updated on Dec102011