Western Australia's Firearm Timeline. 

Until 1931 Western Australia had very little by way of gun control. After the introduction of the Firearms and Guns Act however, there was a major shift towards tighter regulation.

1871 – Export of Arms and Munitions of War Prohibition Act.

The export of firearms from WA was banned without government approval.

1874 – Game Act.

The shooting of certain bird species at specific times of the year was prohibited.

1885 – Gun License Act.

Anyone carrying or using a firearm in a town (other than on their own property) was required to pay a five shilling fee and the age limit for a permit was set at 16.

1905 – Gun License Act (Amendment).

Aboriginal people were required to have a special license in all circumstances.

1906 – Gun License Act (Amendment).

Provisions were introduced covering shooting galleries.

1925 – Gun License Act (Amendment).

The licensing of "any Asiatic or African alien" was prohibited and responsibility for the issuing of permits was given over to the Treasury.

1931 – Firearms and Guns Act.

Pistols had to be licensed in all circumstances with the age limit for a permit set at 21. Shotguns and rifles in country districts were not required to be registered outside of municipalities or five miles thereabouts. The concept of a "fit and proper person" was introduced and the discretion to refuse a license was placed in the hands of the police, along with extensive powers to detain and search without a warrant. 

1973 – Firearms Act.

Police discretionary powers were entrenched and extended. Comprehensive registration became fixed. Membership of a police-approved shooting club was recognised as a "genuine reason" for licensing and detailed regulations were introduced to supplement the Act

1997 – Firearms Act (Amendment).

The Act and regulations were altered to the reflect the provisions of the 1996 National Firearms Agreement.

1997 – To The Present.

Western Australia’s Firearms Act and regulations have undergone several changes since 1997. The most notable being regular club attendance requirements for people with licensed handguns following a national standard agreed to in 2002.

Into The Future –

The following is a link to the 2008 ministerial report regarding the review of WA's Firearms Act.

Shooters Union WA has been assured it'll form the basis of the forthcoming overhaul of the legislation - together with several other changes which are yet to be made public.

While the thing is littered with distinctly non-shooter friendly stuff, including a call for magazine limits on longarms, of particular concern is 'Recommendation 14' which proposes a five year re-justification system.

Shooters should be under no illusions - what's intended is that every five years you’ll have demonstrate that you still have a 'genuine reason' (read: new property letters) in order to keep your license.