Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

No. 4 of 2002 Directions/Other as made
These Directions relate to the use of approved firearms and other approved items of personal defence equipment.
Administered by: Attorney-General's
Registered 25 Jan 2007
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR04-Feb-2003
Tabled Senate05-Feb-2003
Gazetted 18 Dec 2002
Date of repeal 19 Jul 2013
Repealed by Customs and Border Protection (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2013




I, LIONEL BARRIE WOODWARD, Chief Executive Officer of Customs, under subsection 189A(2) of the Customs Act 1901, give the following directions relating to the deployment of approved firearms and other approved items of personal defence equipment.

These directions only apply to authorised arms issuing officers and officers authorised to carry arms who are so authorised under section 189A of the Customs Act 1901 and who are not performing duties in the National Marine Unit. 

These directions will come into effect on and from 19 December 2002.

1.             An authorised arms issuing officer (“the issuing officer”) shall only issue approved firearms to officers authorised to carry arms (“authorised officers”) who have been duly certified by an authorised Regional Firearms Instructor to be competent in the safe handling and proficient in the use of the firearms in accordance with the Operational Firearms Safety and Proficiency Handling Course unit competencies.  Successful completion of this course enables an officer to handle and fire approved firearms in a remote area patrol scenario.

Note: The term 'use' includes drawing, aiming or discharging a firearm. 

2.             An issuing officer shall only issue approved firearms to authorised officers who are in the same District or Regional Office, and only when directed to do so by the District Manager, the Director of Regional Queensland or the Manager (Border Compliance and Enforcement).

3.             All issuing officers are to maintain a permanent firearms and ammunition issue/receipt log that is to be completed at the time of issue and receipt of firearms and ammunition.  Details in the log are to include the date of issue/receipt of the firearm and ammunitions, serial number and type of the firearm/s issued, amounts and type of ammunition issued and received, the name of the authorised officer to whom the firearm/s and ammunition was issued, and comments on the cleanliness and serviceability of the firearm and ammunition on their issue and return.

4.             An issuing officer shall only issue approved firearms to authorised officers for the purpose of enabling the safe exercise, by such officers, of powers conferred on them under the Customs Act 1901 or any other Act, where the exercise of these powers requires or involves the officer travelling, whether by land, sea or air, in a Commonwealth or other motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft employed in the service of the Australian Customs Service to and/or in areas –

(a)   outside of a city, town or other urban area; or

(b)  in the coastal sea of Australia and/or the contiguous zone of Australia and/or the high seas adjacent to the coast of Australia.

5.             When issuing and carrying firearms, the issuing officer and authorised officer(s) shall at all times observe and comply with the guidelines and instructions on the use and care of firearms set out in the Guidelines for Safe Handling and Storage of Firearms in the Customs Workplace 2002.

6.             The use of a firearm against other persons must be reported to the line manager/supervisor at the earliest opportunity.  Where possible, this should be done verbally and followed up with a detailed written report.

7.             The discharge of a firearm in operational circumstances must be reported to the appropriate line manager/supervisor at the earliest opportunity.

8.             Employees authorised to carry approved firearms for use on remote area patrols must undertake re-accreditation assessment annually.  It is recommended that firearm safe handling and marksmanship proficiency training be undertaken every 4 months.



Dated: 19 December 2002





Chief Executive Officer of Customs