Firearms storage

You are required by law to have a safe and secure place to store your firearms at your home. All firearms and ammunition should be stored separately, out of the reach of children, out of view and in a secure room, rack or cabinet approved by your Arms Officer.

Security specifications

This section outlines the required standards for the security of pistols, military style semi-automatic firearms and restricted weapons. The security precautions are to be in place, inspected, and approved by a member of police before you take possession of any pistol, MSSA firearm, or restricted weapon. You cannot make an application for any permit to acquire or import a firearm until you hold the required general endorsement, and police has inspected your security.

The licence holder is responsible for demonstrating that their secure storage complies with the official New Zealand or British Standard used by Police. This relates to material and construction of the cabinet/receptacle/safe, and to locking mechanisms. Where materials, method of construction or locks do not comply with the Standard, police will require certification of the receptacles's performance as equal to the Standard. Certification is to be by a police recognised professional. Obtain detailed information from your local Police Arms Officer before purchasing or installing your secure storage.

Certificate of Compliance

A Certificate of compliance supplied by an accredited person are to meet or exceed the following minimum standard. The certificate:

  • sighted by Police must be the original thereof – not a copy or facsimile. Note: Suppliers may establish the validity of a certificate with police Arms Officers and subsequently supply customers with a copy for presentation at the time of the police inspection of their security;
  • must establish the credentials of the accredited person or persons who are supplying the certification;
  • must be under the hand of the accredited person or persons, and contain reference to the examiner’s trade, guild or professional qualifications and the currency of their practising certificate;
  • is to be dated and valid for no more than 24 months from the date of examination, and in any case will become void if the specifications or method of manufacture of the receptacle change, or it is established by police that the receptacle has failed to perform as required;
  • is to describe the materials used in the receptacle, including the type and thickness of the steel used, and the type of locks installed (including the published national standard to which the locks are manufactured);
  • is to provide sufficient detail for police to assess how the receptacle complies with the standards set out in Police Form POL67N (PDF 208KB) (Conditions and Requirements for firearms licences and endorsements)
  • is to detail the variations from the POL67N requirements and explain how these variations are the same as or superior to the standards in Form POL67N (PDF 208KB).

Importer/Supplier Responsibility

The importer or supplier must advise police (nearest Arms Officer) if the specifications, method of manufacture or manufacturer of the receptacle change in any way.

The locks are, in all cases, to be certified by an accredited locksmith or an accredited safesmith.

The accredited assessor(s) are in all cases required to physically examine an example of every receptacle type and model which they are certifying. This is to be stated in the certificate, together with the manufacturer’s name, the model name, and the purpose for which the receptacle is certified.

Guide for Applicants for Licence Endorsements

Strongrooms (Regulation 28(1) (a))

A strongroom shall be constructed in its entirety of no less than 100 mm concrete with a minimum strength of 20 MPa complying with New Zealand Standard 3104:1991 or New Zealand Standard 3108:1983. The concrete shall incorporate 10 mm reinforcing steel rods set at 200 mm centres in two directions, or other equivalent reinforcing, such steel to be lapped and tied with steel in the walls, floor and roof. Where concrete masonry blocks are used they should be of a minimum of 140 mm thick reinforced with 10 mm steel in both directions at 400 mm centres. Reinforcing steel is to be lapped and tied at joints of the walls, floor and roof. All block cavities shall be fully grouted.

The strongroom door shall be constructed of no less than 6 mm mild plate steel and of a comparable security performance to the walls, hung with heavy duty hinges, where practicable, on the inside. Hinge security bolts shall be fitted. Where doors are required to be hinged on the outside, componentry shall be fitted or adapted to prevent the removal of hinge pins or component parts.

Door framing shall include a rebate and be of a substantial construction to resist splitting or forcing and fitted to prevent prising or stretching. Locking mechanisms of no less strength and security performance of a five lever mortise dead lock complying with BS3621:2004 or subsequent amendment shall be fitted to the door. Fitting two locks in order to reduce vulnerability is required – such locks may be keyed alike, though they must differ from other locks within the premises, and be fitted toward the top and bottom of the door with steel strapping behind each lock.

Where mechanisms other than mortise locks are used, internally operated drop bars or shooting bolt mechanisms retained by a lock to the same standard must be fitted. If padlocks are used they should be of a key retaining variety of a high security rating with hardened steel closed shackles. Pad bars or hasp and staples with a similar high security rating to the padlock must be used with the padlock. Where closed shackle padlocks are not used, the mechanism must be completely shielded by being enclosed within a tunnel welded to the body of the door.

Room Construction (Regulation 28(1) (b))

A room of stout and secure construction shall be constructed or adapted with the following:

Doors

Doors must be constructed of material equal in security rating of 6 mm mild steel strength, for example, solid wood construction no less than 40 mm thick covered on the outside with a sheet of steel no less than 16 gauge (applied to fully cover the door and bent to afford fixing to all edge surfaces), or armour coated or laminated glass protected by substantial grilles or other shutter covering. The doors where practicable should be hung on the inside with three heavy duty hinges. Hinge security bolts must be fitted. Where doors are required to be hinged on the outside, componentry shall be fitted or adapted to prevent the removal of hinge pins or component parts. Door framing should include a rebate and be of a substantial construction to resist splitting or forcing and fitted to prevent prising or stretching.

Locks

A locking mechanism of no less strength and security performance of a five lever mortise dead lock or complying with BS3621:2004 or subsequent amendment shall be fitted to entry doors of the premises. Where mechanisms other than mortise locks are used, internally operated drop bars or shooting bolt mechanisms retained by a lock to the same standard are required. If padlocks are used they should be of a key retaining variety of a high security rating with hardened steel closed shackles. Pad bars or hasp and staples with a similar high security rating to the padlock must be used with the padlock. Where closed shackle padlocks are not used, the mechanism must be completely shielded by being enclosed within a tunnel welded to the body of the door. In the case of double opening doors, penetrating bolts similar to the orbway design should be used on the top and bottom of the first leaf, or flush bolts fixed in the edge of the first leaf. The second leaf shall be securely locked, as described above.

Walls, Ceilings and Floor Structure

The existing walls, ceiling and floor structure should be strengthened by internally fixing substantial gauge steel mesh to the framing, or the addition of 16 mm construction ply or a panel product of similar security rating securely fixed through the existing lining to the frame. New structures should have a similar construction if framed, or of a similar resistance to attack if constructed of other materials.

Windows

Installation of Louvre windows is not recommended. All windows and skylights should be affixed with substantial steel grilles with a performance rating equalling 19 mm mild steel rod erected at 127 mm centres incorporating welded cross ties, 305 mm apart to prevent spreading. The grille should be secured with coach bolts, burred or counter sunk to prevent removal, or substantial gauge one way screws, commensurate with the gauge of the bars. Where other security measures of a high standard, such as an intruder alarm with a suitable response, and laminated or armour coated window glass, are used, substantial steel grilles, as described above, may be dispensed with or substituted with lesser grilles.

Alarms

The installation of an intruder alarm system is required. All intruder alarm systems and subsequent installation procedures shall comply with New Zealand Standard 4301:1983 or subsequent amendment. Such intruder warning devices should be monitored and audible, but other arrangements may be suitable depending on the particular circumstances. (E.g. Security guard in attendance).

Steel safes (Regulation 28(1) (c))

Commercial safes constructed of steel or steel and concrete material and intended to provide storage for firearms must only be approved after consultation and certification by a registered engineer and/or an accredited locksmith/safe smith (who has qualifications and experience relevant to assessing tensile strength of metals and other materials), to ensure they meet the minimum security criteria relating to firearm cabinets/boxes as detailed below.

If a safe is used it must be affixed to the building in the same manner as outlined for steel boxes or steel cabinets,as detailed below.

Steel boxes and cabinets (Regulation 28 (1) (c))

Steel boxes or steel cabinets shall be capable of withstanding reasonable physical attack with hand held tools and weapons, and equivalent to 6 mm mild steel strength. The box or cabinet should be built and finished in a workmanlike manner with negligible gaps between all fixed parts. Where it is proposed to construct cabinets or boxes of a single plate dimension measuring less than 6 mm mild steel or a variety of steel other than mild, consultation must take place with a registered engineer to confirm compliance with the performance based criteria. A certificate of compliance from the registered engineer must be provided in these circumstances.

Two locking mechanisms of no less strength and security performance than a five lever mortise dead lock complying with BS3621:2004 or subsequent amendment shall be fitted to the cabinet door. Owing to reduced size of a steel box designed solely for pistol storage together with the capability for concealment, only one locking mechanism is required. Any door handle fitted shall be designed to break off under leverage.

Drawings (reference C2191) can be obtained from an Arms Office. These give design and fixing recommendations.

A cabinet should be bolted to a minimum of two surfaces, one of which shall be the floor. Bolt shafts shall be a minimum of 10 mm in diameter and when bolted into concrete, expanding or chemical setting bolts may be used. Where the cabinet is bolted to a wooden floor it shall be through bolted to a steel plate which exceeds the floor area of the cabinet and is retained on at least two floor joists. All nuts must be on the inside of the cabinet, and bolts welded or burred to resist removal. It is recommended that the cabinet or box be bolted in a confined space, such as a wardrobe or cupboard.

General security of building

The place in which a safe, box or cabinet is fixed shall be a building, part of a building, or a room which is secured in a reasonable and prudent manner against unauthorised entry. Normally it will be in the licence holder's dwelling. Outbuildings, detached garages, or structures remote from occupied premises will not in general be acceptable. A steel cabinet, steel box or safe should ideally be located within a confined space, such as a cupboard or wardrobe.

Doors

Doors must be of structurally sound condition capable of being firmly locked. Where practicable doors should be hung on the inside with three sturdy hinges. Where doors are required to be externally hinged, two hinge security bolts shall be fitted. Sliding doors shall be fixed so as to resist removal from the outside when locked. External sliding doors shall be secured by double cylindered deadlocks, or from the inside with locking patio bolts. Double leading doors (French doors) shall have a locking patio bolt at the top and bottom of the first leaf (inner door) or flush bolts in edge of the first leaf.

Door framing and the lock striking box shall be securely fixed to the wall so as to resist splitting or forcing open.

A locking mechanism of no less strength and security performance of a five lever mortise deadlock or five pin double cylinder deadlocks or dead bolts shall be fitted to entry doors.

Where a steel cabinet box or safe is located in a room or garage within a dwelling the internal door should be of solid construction with a locking mechanism as described above, secured at all times when the premises are unoccupied.

Windows

All windows should be capable of being firmly closed by hinges, locks, catches or other fastenings maintained in good condition. Louvre windows shall not be used unless grilles and bars that resist cutting or prising by hand held tools are fitted. Window locks or locking window catches should be fitted to all opening windows that are not in the immediate view of occupied premises or public places.

Alarms

The installation of an intruder alarm system is recommended. All intruder alarm systems and subsequent installation procedures shall comply with New Zealand Standard 4301:1983 or subsequent amendment. Such intruder warning devices should be monitored and audible, but other arrangements may be suitable depending on the particular circumstances.