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What are firearms and weapons?

Information about firearms and weapons.


Weapons are graded according to their potential danger to the public. They are classified into three distinct categories:

  • prohibited weapons
  • controlled weapons
  • dangerous articles.

See Controlled and prohibited weapons.


Firearms, which are also categorised according to their potential danger, are controlled under a different law. Firearms include antique guns, replicas, paintballs, cannons and machine guns.

Imitation firearms

Imitation firearms are classified as prohibited weapons. From 1 July 2011 the regulation of imitation firearms was transferred from the Firearms Act 1996 to Control of Weapons Regulations 2011 (Vic).

See Imitation, replica or toy?


The use of body armour (such as bullet proof vests) is strictly regulated.

Regulation of weapons

The regulation of weapons and firearms is managed by the Licensing & Regulation Division of Victoria Police.

More information


Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic)

See Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Firearms Act 1996 (Vic)

  • s. 34—review of a decision not to issue a licence
  • Part 9—Firearms review committee
  • s. 182—Appeals from decisions of the committee may be made to VCAT

See Firearms Act 1996 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Control of Weapons Regulations 2021 (Vic)

  • Schedule 1—controlled weapons
  • Schedule 2—prohibited weapons

See Control of Weapons Regulations 2021 (Vic)(opens in a new window).


The Victoria Police website has more detailed information about the classification of weapons and firearms.

See Victoria Police—Weapons(opens in a new window).