Arms Collectors Branch

Shooters Union Queensland has an active and constantly growing Collector’s Branch (Approved Historical Society No. 49001015), with hundreds of members all sharing an interest in the research, study, preservation and understanding of older firearms.

Firearms collecting is an incredibly rewarding field, with countless fields of study covering everything from military and police firearms to hunting shotguns, sporting rifles, and even famous guns from movies, TV and video games.

Right now we are only operating a Collector’s Branch in Queensland. Membership is $20 per year, in addition to your regular Shooters Union Membership fee.

The basic information regarding applying for a Collector’s Licence is available on the Weapons Licensing Branch Page here. Please read this before applying.

What Guns Can I collect?

A collector’s licence allows you to collect functional Category A, B, C, and H firearms, along with Category M weapons (however they must all be rendered temporarily inoperable, e.g. by fitting a trigger lock), and permanently deactivated Category D and R firearms. Firearms held on a Collector’s Licence can only be live-fired at Approved Collector’s Events, and only by people who hold a Collector’s Licence. We are able to apply for authorisation to hold two of these events each year, but whether we do so is dependent on a number of factors including range availability and member commitment.

What is a Theme?

All collectors are requested to nominate a theme with Weapons Licensing when they apply for their collectors licence. Themes can be broad and encompass a wide range of firearms, but unfortunately cannot just be “I like old guns”. Examples of popular collecting themes include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Military firearms of WWI and WWII
  • Firearm designs of John Moses Browning
  • 20th Century sporting firearms
  • Australian military and hunting firearms


Can I collect handguns?

Yes! If you want functional handguns, you must be a member of an Approved Historical Society (our Collectors Branch is one of them). Handguns held on a Collector’s Licence are not subject to the calibre, barrel length, or magazine capacity restrictions of handguns held on a club shooting licence, but they must be rendered temporarily inoperable – typically by installing a trigger lock or removing the firing pin.

Handguns made after January 1, 1947 are classified as “Modern Handguns” under the Weapons Regulations 2016 and require a special endorsement, which requires WLB to be satisfied you have a “prolonged and genuine” interest in the study of firearms.
Currently they have decided this means you must hold a Collector’s Licence for at least two years, or have held a Category H licence (competition use, primary producer, dealer/armourer, etc) for at least two years. There are additional requirements when applying for a PTA for “Modern” collectible handgun; please contact our Collector’s Branch representatives for more information.

These are NOT reasons for obtaining a Collector’s Licence

  • Keeping firearms solely because they belonged to a family member (unless the firearm otherwise meets the Historic, Commemorative, Thematic, or Investment criteria)
  • Being able to own a pump action shotgun or semi-auto .22 rifle like the one you or a family member had to surrender in 1996 (unless the firearm also otherwise meets the Historic, Commemorative, Thematic, or Investment criteria)
  • Being able to obtain magazines over 10 rounds for handguns to use in competition/sporting guns
  • Obtaining a Pump/Semi-auto shotgun or semi-auto .22 (or any other firearm) to take out hunting/recreational shooting
  • Obtaining a pocket pistol (or any other firearm) for self-defence purposes
  • Other reasons not related to the genuine collection, study and preservation of weapons

Do I have to weld up guns on a Collector’s Licence?

You do NOT have to weld up Category A, B, C, or H firearms held on a Collector’s Licence if you are a member of an Approved Historical Society (like ours). These guns must be “temporarily inoperable”, which means they need to have their firing pins removed or a trigger lock installed.

Category D and R firearms do need to be welded up. The Shooters Union Collector’s Branch does not support the destruction of historical or collectible firearms and encourages members to obtain non-firing replica or gel blaster examples of Category D/R firearms instead, where possible. Replica and gel blaster guns do not require licensing or registration in Queensland.

How do I join the Collector’s Branch?

Once you have joined the Branch, it is vital you send an e-mail to the Collector’s Branch President introducing yourself and providing the following information:

  • Your collecting interests
  • Your proposed collecting theme
  • How long you’ve been interested in collecting firearms
  • If you currently hold a Collector’s Licence

From there, a Branch representative can provide you with more information and the supporting paperwork you need to apply for your licence!

Got more questions?

Please contact us via the contact form on our website for a personal response to your queries.

Ready to join? Complete this form.