Firearms in Australia are used for hunting & target shooting. Farmers & landholders have a responsibility to eradicate feral animals on their land. Feral animals include: goats, wild boar, rabbits, foxes, feral cats & feral dogs. The wild boar here can grow to the size of a small family sedan & can be extremely dangerous. Feral dogs usually exist in packs & can also be very dangerous.
Hand guns can not legally be used for a back-up in hunting, you have to belong to a pistol club in order to own a handgun, & this gun can only be used on a registered pistol club range. Membership is usually expensive.
Semi-auto firearms & pump actions are banned.Legal reasons for owning any other firearm are: Membership to a gun club, permission to hunt on private land, or a collector. Without proof of these you can not get a licence.
Muzzle-loading guns are treated the same as breach-loading firearms & are subject to licensing, permit to purchase, & registration. If you intend to use a muzzle-loading arm for re-enactment, then you need a special permit on top of your licence.
Antique muzzle-loading guns including pistols can be purchased & owned without a licence, permit to purchase, or registration, but you are NOT allowed to shoot them.
All firearms are subject to safe keeping, i.e. must be kept in an approved type of gun safe at all times when not in use. Hand guns must be secured in a pistol safe. This also applies to antique guns.
Legal gun owners are subject to regular checks in their homes by police officers. Many if not most of these officers know very little about any firearms other than their own service weapons. This can & does cause problems as I have experienced myself. Even after explaining & demonstrating to a police sergeant the difference between a muzzle-loader & a breach-loader, & showing the difference between antiques & reproductions, I was still required to spend time & money getting a registered gunsmith to identify my firearms.
Basically here in Australia the legal licensed firearms owner is penalised through firearms registration. We are seen as being the problem where gun crime & violence is concerned. Black market firearms from overseas are payed little attention compared to the lengths they will go to make it hard for honest citizens to acquire & keep their guns.
Firearms legislation is not uniform Australia wide, each state having it’s own regulations. This makes it very difficult for legal gun owners to interact with interstate group shoots & difficult for interstate hunters. What is legal in one state, may not be legal in another state.
In Australia we have two factions whose agenda is to remove all firearms from law abiding citizens; the Australian police service & the anti-gun lobby. The latter are very strong in Australia & include, but are not restricted to, animal rights groups, & the Greens political party.
We have only one major firearms association in Australia, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (S.S.A.A.). This association could do a lot more for it’s members, but it is too deep in self-interest & hand kissing the government. Basically the S.S.A.A is, in my opinion, in it for itself.