DVOs, Weapons Licences, & Work

Domestic Violence Orders, Weapons Licences, & Use of Weapons for Work



Will My Licence Be Suspended or Revoked If I Am the Respondent to A DVO?

The relationship between Domestic Violence Orders and weapons is generally clear. It becomes more complex, however, when a person requires a weapon for their employment.

If this is the case for you, you should seek legal advice before going to Court or consenting to an Order. We can advise you on what impact the Order will have so you can decide the best way forward.

Temporary Orders & Immediate Suspensions

When Might a Temporary Order Apply?

Police can apply for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) on behalf of an Aggrieved.

Before the matter is in Court, they can issue the Respondent with a Police Protection Notice (PPN). This is a form of temporary Order to stay in place until the Court decides the application.

The Court can also make a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) to serve until a hearing.

Will A Temporary Order Impact My Weapons Licence?

If you are the holder of a Weapons Licence, this Licence will be automatically suspended if:

  • a Police Officer issues you with a Police Protection Notice; or
  • the Court makes a Temporary Protection Order against you (Weapons Act, s 27A).

You cannot appeal or challenge this suspension while the PPN or TPO is in force.

If the Court dismisses or sets aside the TPO or PPN, the suspension ends automatically (Weapons Act, s 27A(5)).

Final Orders & Revocations

The Court will consider the application and whether to make a final Order.

If the Court makes a final Order, this is permanent for the period of the Order and replaces any temporary Order. If the Respondent holds a Weapons Licence, their Licence will be automatically revoked.

You cannot appeal or challenge the revocation while the Permanent Order is in force.

If this will cause you to lose your employment, you should contact us as soon as you are served with an application. Our Brisbane lawyers can assist you:

  • to contest the application; or
  • negotiate an alternative resolution, such as an undertaking.

We also have successful appeal experience in the District Court, if an Order is already in place.

Persons Who Use Weapons for Their Employment

Some occupations exempt a person from the requirement to hold a Weapons Licence:

  • to possess a weapon for their employment; or
  • to use a weapon for their employment.

The Weapons Act lists several categories of exempt persons, including:

  • Members of the Commonwealth Armed Forces;
  • Members of Armed Forces of other governments associated with the Commonwealth Armed Forces;
  • Cadets;
  • Federal or State Police Officers; and
  • Customs Officers.

The Domestic and Family Violence Act removes this exemption for some, but not all, of these roles.

For example, a Queensland Police Officer against who a TPO is made will be unable to possess or use a weapon. A member of the Armed Forces in the same position, however, can continue to possess and use a weapon.

The Court can still make specific conditions on the DVO about the use of weapons.

For example, the Court may prohibit a Respondent in the Armed Forces from possessing a weapon. This would then be the case even though the exemption under the Weapons Act still applies.

The Court Will Consider Weapons When Hearing an application

When hearing an application for a DVO, the Court is required to ask questions about:

The Court must state any information about weapons in the Order. This is to enable Police Officers who may consider the Order to see this information.

Things As Weapons

On hearing an application for a DVO, the Court can make Orders about treating a wide variety of things as a weapon (Domestic and Family Violence Act s.81).

The Court can make it a condition of the DVO that the Respondent cannot possess a thing or a thing of the same type. The Court can include this condition if they are satisfied that the Respondent has:

  • used or threatened to use a thing to commit Domestic Violence; and
  • is likely to use that thing again.

If the Court makes such an Order, that thing is taken to be a weapon. It may be dealt with under the DV Act and the Weapons Act as a weapon that the Respondent does not have a Licence for.

Some examples of “things” are:

  • animals, such as pets;
  • antique firearms;
  • crossbows;
  • a spear gun; or
  • a cricket or baseball bat.

Section 81 is very broad so can cover any number of “things” used to commit Domestic Violence.

When To Seek Legal Advice from A Domestic Violence Lawyer

It is important to know your options before an Order is made against you in Court if:

  • you are the Respondent to an application for a Domestic Violence Order; and
  • holding a Weapons Licence is important to you.

This is even more important if you require a weapon for your job.

You have options available when deciding how to respond to an application for a DVO. Our lawyers will set out your options, including the impact an Order will have.

Often, Respondents consent to an Order without understanding the potential repercussions.

Obtaining quality legal advice will:

  • ensure you are informed and make the right decision for your situation;
  • have legal representation if you decide to contest the application; and
  • give you the best chance of success in Court or negotiations with the Police or the Aggrieved.

You may also need help to ensure the Court makes Orders appropriate to your situation if:

  • you are a person experiencing Domestic Violence; and
  • you are concerned that the perpetrator has access to weapons or has used things like a weapon in the past.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane are experts in Domestic Violence matters. Our Domestic Violence lawyers can assist you through any of these issues.

Contact us on 07 3229 4459 to discuss your options and how we can assist if:

  • an application for a Domestic Violence Order has been brought against you; or
  • you wish to bring an application in the Brisbane or another SEQ Magistrates Court.

Further Information

Our Brisbane lawyers have answered some common questions below:

What Is Domestic Violence in Australia?

Who Can Apply for A Domestic Violence Order?

Who Is the Aggrieved and Who Is the Respondent? Who Else Can the Order Include?

When Will the Court Grant an Application for A Domestic Violence Order?

What Conditions Does A Domestic Violence Order Impose?

What Options Does A Respondent to An Application for A Domestic Violence Order Have?

What Is A Temporary Protection Order (TPO)?

How Long Does A Domestic Violence Order Last?

Can You Apply to Vary A Domestic Violence Order?

What Happens If You Breach A Domestic Violence Order?

What If You Have Family Court Orders or Proceedings Before the Family Law Courts?

Should You Consider Written Parenting Arrangements?

What Is the Offence of Choking, Suffocation, Or Strangulation in A Domestic Setting?

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311
E: enquiries@awbrisbanelawyers.com.au