Lockdown challenges for workplaces firearms users.

While most of us are currently in lockdown, there there are a few who are still needing the use of firearms for workplace duties. This may be pest control on the farm, animal management on airport runways, or simply having procedures in pace ‘just in case’ for dangerous animal magement.

Is it work or recreation?

It was also made clear that ‘hunting’ as a recreation activity has been banned in the interim – alongside paddleboarding, tramping, windsurfing and really, any activity that could require emergency services call-outs.


So – hunting out of the back of the farm is prohibited, but pest control isn’t. However – again – risk management needs to be put in place – this has nothing to do with isolation but potentially drawing on services that are better placed elsewhere at this time. Even if the likelihood is low, but the potential hazard or outcome is significant, we need to evaluate if it is essential work, or could be better deferred until a time where more manageable. It’s a classic risk matrix conundrum.

Callouts are actually down – but again – this isn’t an excuse to relax. Instead, it allows some breathing space for emergency services. Fewer people called out, fewer people potentially exposed.

Emergency services callouts in the southern region have decreased by up to a third since the Covid-19 lockdown began more than two weeks ago.


Licencing Issues

There is one potential issue for firearms users at the moment – and that is licencing renewal.

New licences are currently on hold. Which in the greater sceme of things, isn’t so much of an issue right now – as the applicants won’t been in the possession of firearms.

For hunters, they won’t be using the firearms either.

However, for those who are actively using firearms in their work duties – we may have a situation where they will suddenly find themselves in the illegal possession of firearms.

However, I would suggest, in reality, this is actually a rather small number of people – who – while having a legitimate use for firearms during the lockdown period – need to renew a licence.

If this is the case – I would simply suggest getting in touch with your local arms office, explaining the situation and asking how to proceed – I would imagine there is a bit of wiggle room for legitimate cases at the moment.

Details as per the police site:

Once an alternative face to face vetting option is identified, firearms licence renewals will be able to be considered on a case by case basis with priority given to:

  • Employment related firearms licence or endorsement renewal applications.
  • Dealer licence renewal applications.