DEFENCE PERSONNEL AND WEAPONS PROHIBITION ORDERS

Protection orders are official documents made by a court or police service for the protection of one person (the aggrieved) against another (the respondent). They include domestic violence orders – visit our Domestic Violence page for more information.  Other examples of protection orders include:

  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders
  • Apprehended Personnel Violence Orders
  • Intervention Orders
  • Family Violence Intervention Orders
  • Personnel Safety Intervention Orders
  • Violence Restraining Orders
  • Misconduct Restraining Orders
  • Personnel Protection Orders
  • Family Violence Orders
  • Police Family Violence Orders

Protection orders can be for a temporary period pending a court hearing. They may also involve voluntary undertakings given by the person that has a similar restraining effect as a formally-imposed protection order. For information regarding the kinds of conditions that may be imposed in a protection order, visit our Domestic Violence page.

Weapons prohibition orders (WPOs) are protection orders that limit or restrain access, possession or use of a weapon, often in relation to a protection order.

Weapons licences will be affected by protection orders. Temporary protection orders suspend weapon licences and final protection orders cancel weapons licences.[1]  Within one day of the court making an order, the respondent must surrender their weapons and licences to a police officer. The respondent will also be prevented from applying for a weapons licence for five years from the date of the final protection order.

DEFENCE MEMBERS AS THE AGGRIEVED

Where a Defence member becomes the aggrieved person in a protection order, they should notify their commanding officer where the circumstances are likely to influence their performance, duty or daily work routine. They should also notify their commanding officer where the respondent to the protection order is another Defence member or employee or where the order is likely to affect Defence business or reputation. Commanding officers are then to take all reasonable steps to support and assist the aggrieved person.

DEFENCE MEMBERS AS RESPONDENTS

Where a Defence member becomes the respondent to a protection order, they must immediately report it to their commanding officer, who is to manage the Defence member as appropriate to the situation.

Notification must be in writing and provided within 24 hours of becoming aware of the protection order. For Reserve members not on duty, it must be provided within first period of duty after becoming aware of the protection order. Along with a copy of the protection order, the written advice must contain:

  • Details regarding the circumstances of the issue of the protection order;
  • Duration and conditions of the protection order; and
  • Any impact it may have on the effectiveness of the member in carrying out their assigned duties.

Where a WPO is issued, the member must also include whether information regarding any services weapons in their possession and any personal firearms and/or ammunition stored in any ADF armoury.

If the Defence member’s ability to perform their duties is restricted by the WPO, the commanding officer must consult with the member’s career management agency to consider if the member can continue serving in the ADF. The Military Personnel Policy Manual also outlines that any privately-owned weapons stored in an ADF armoury must not be released to the Defence member. If the WPO requires the weapons be surrendered, this must be carried out by the officer-in-charge of the armoury direct to the police, in the presence of the Defence member.

Where the Defence member is permitted to continue serving in the ADF, they are not permitted to gain unsupervised access to armoury or magazines.

ADF Recruitment are responsible for seeking declarations regarding any WPOs to which applicants are subject at the time of their application and any time after before their enlistment/appointment. Depending on the circumstances, WPOs may be sufficient for an applicant to be declined or deferred entry into the ADF. Failure to advise of a WPO prior to enlistment/appointment may result in termination at a later date.

[1] Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) ss 27A, 28A.