Antique Firearms Regulations


Regulations are extremely important to the antique pistol collector, who needs to clearly understand the parameters within which they can acquire, collect and dispose of their antique pistols. Rules usually fall between Federal and State legislation and differ from one country to another. In general, antique pistols – as defined by government legislation – usually means in the US, UK, European  Union, Australia and New Zealand, that the rules  defining antiques – particularly flintlock and percussion pistols –  generally treat then as “second hand goods” which are exempted from police permits to acquire or sell and do not require a licence to possess.

In some jurisdictions, notably in most Australian states, defined antique revolvers are NOT exempt if their calibre is for metallic cartridges still commercially available. A collector’s licence may be required but not neccessarily registration of the firearm itself.

In the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, licencing and registration is not generally required for acquiring, possessing or selling defined antique pistols.

The Wikipedia link below gives an excellent overview of most countries’ antique firearms rules.  More detail can be found in the various national links below.

United States

United Kingdom


New South Wales



Western Australia



Northern territory

New Zealand