A Category H licence applies to any pistol or air pistol. A pistol is defined under the Act as a firearm that has an overall length not exceeding 65cm and is reasonably capable of being raised and fired by one hand.
A Category H firearms licence for use in the security industry allows for the possession of a pistol that does not exceed .38 inch calibre or 9 millimetre calibre.
A Category H licence holder endorsed for sport or target shooting (H1) must have held their licence for a period of at least 6 months and have been a member of an approved pistol shooting club for that same period before applying for their first pistol. After this initial 6 months, they may apply to acquire no more than 2 of the following:
- one .22 inch calibre pistol;
- one .177 inch calibre air pistol;
- one centre-fire pistol;
- one black-powder muzzle loader
After 12 months they can apply to acquire other pistols (refer to section 18(3) of the Act).
The holder of a Category H licence endorsed for sport or target shooting must also comply with minimum annual participation rates and provide evidence to the Commissioner of compliance with those annual participation rates. The minimum number is 6 shoots per sport or target shooting discipline. If you are involved in more than one discipline, the requirement is 4 shoots per additional discipline. See: Participation Rate Record.
A prohibited pistol is defined under the legislation as a:
- pistol that has a calibre exceeding .38 inches;
- semi-automatic pistol that has a barrel length of less than 120 millimetres;
- revolver that has a barrel length of less than 100 millimetres;
- single-shot pistol that has a barrel length of less than 100 millimetres;
- pistol that has a magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
The holder of a Category H firearms licence endorsed for sport or target shooting may seek approval from the Commissioner to obtain a prohibited pistol (not exceeding .46 inch calibre) for training and participating in or training for the following prescribed pistol shooting events:
- Metallic Silhouette Event
- Western (Single) Action Event.
Due to the different requirements relating to pistols for sport or target shooting, there is a separate application form. See: Application for Permit to Acquire a Pistol for Sport/Target Shooting