News and updates

Additional guidance on permits to import MSSA firearms and parts

[5 December 2018] The Firearms Community Advisory Forum asked Police to provide greater clarity for people making applications for a permit to import MSSA firearms and parts. The below guide provides that clarity. It is not a policy document, nor does it present a change in policy. Its objective is to assist importers in understanding Police considerations when reviewing these applications.

Engagement sessions with firearms community

[6 November 2018] In October, the Arms Act Service Delivery Group met with over 300 firearms community members in six locations across the country to test an envisioned future state of a person using firearms processes, such as applying for a firearms licence. This showed the intended business process and technology improvements.

The session presented a non-exhaustive list of potential improvements that align with the current challenges across the licensing process that were identified during the June roadshow. Attendees were then asked to vote on each improvement (like it/not sure/don’t like it) and a discussion followed for comments, questions and suggestions.

The image below is a snapshot of the future journey presented at the general community sessions.

Attendee data for each location:

 

Firearms Dealers

General Community

Christchurch

6

130

Palmerston North

17

10

Wellington

4

3

Auckland

18

21

Hamilton

13

30

Invercargill

13

38

 

71

232

     

Total

303

 

 

Overall themes that emerged from these meetings included:

  • The firearms community sees the intended improvements as positive and are in agreement on the general direction of the Firearms Administration Modernisation Programme. 
  • Encouraged by what they saw, the community is eager to see the changes take effect. The community members also understood that the firearms modernisation journey is an iterative one and the intention is to focus on the fundamental and high value aspects first and then broaden the scope to the next set of priorities.
  • We heard several times how the ongoing engagement has been reassuring for the firearms community. However, communication for these sessions still needs to be wider, using suitable channels and community networks.

In our sessions with dealers, we discussed specific improvements such as:

  • In the future, a dealer should have the ability to scan the barcode on a firearms licence to verify status/validity, reducing the scope for any errors in licence number verification.
  • To improve the applicant experience pre-application, some suggestions were to provide examples of permits upfront, to state common reasons for refusal for an application, and provide information on licences needed by gunsmiths.
  • A suggestion offered was for Police to organise an annual conference or forum for firearms dealers and Police to engage on firearms processes and policies.
  • While the rationale for the suggested improvements were clearly understood, areas that require further analysis and discussion include the ability for firearms dealers to have electronic audits of their dealer books and simplifying the Permit to Procure processes by electronic submission at a dealer site. 

With our general firearms community, we talked about key areas of an improved experience:

  • The firearms community is keen on seeing data security and user-friendliness as key elements for a good experience across all intended improvements.
  • Most attendees were in favour of a multi-channel, tiered support model that gives an opportunity to speak to a local contact (Arms Officer) who is knowledgeable in firearms legislation and the process for non-routine or complex issues.
  • Guidance on the Firearms Safety Programme for first time applicants should be multi-lingual and accessible via multiple channels (online and offline).
  • There was some divergence of views on the possibility of bringing in some flexibility in completing referee interviews (face-to-face and/or phone/web form) for subsequent applications based on an assessment criteria. The key message was to ensure that we do not lose the benefits of a face-to-face verification during the referee interview stage.

These sessions have been immensely helpful for us and we’d like to thank our community members for taking the time to attend the sessions and contribute to the discussion.

Support to prevent poaching

[5 Nov 2018] We know poaching can be a problem in our rural communities and we want to support farmers and landowners prevent poaching on their land.

There are several ways we try to do this. You can visit our rural crime prevention page for advice, tips, and resources. There is also an A4 poachers beware poster you can download off our website and take to your local printer. For durability in outdoor weather we suggest you ask your printer to use paylite or corflute.

Confirmed venues for community sessions

[1 October 2018] Further to our message of 6 September, Police have now confirmed venues for the six community sessions and look forward to meeting firearms community members that can attend.

Please note that the 4pm session is for those holding a dealer licence, while the 7pm session is for A category licence holders.

Dealer licence

District Date Venue Session Focus Session Time

Christchurch

Monday 8 October

The Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park Racecourse,
Racecourse Road, Riccarton, Christchurch

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Palmerston North

Tuesday 9 October

The Carlton Room, Distinction Palmerston North,
175 Cuba Street, Palmerston North  

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Wellington

Wednesday 10 October

SPCA, 140 Alexandra Road,
Newtown, Wellington

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Auckland

Tuesday 16 October

Ponsonby Rugby Club, 1 Stadium Road,
Western Springs, Auckland

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Hamilton

Wednesday 17 October

Distinction Hamilton, 100 Garnett Ave,
Te Rapa, Hamilton

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Invercargill

Thursday 18 October

Invercargill Workingmen’s Club,
154 Esk Street, Invercargill

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

A category licence

District Date Venue Session Focus Session Time

Christchurch

Monday 8 October

The Balmerino Room, Riccarton Park Racecourse,
Racecourse Road, Riccarton, Christchurch

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

Palmerston North

Tuesday 9 October

The Carlton Room, Distinction Palmerston North,
175 Cuba Street, Palmerston North  

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

Wellington

Wednesday 10 October

SPCA, 140 Alexandra Road,
Newtown, Wellington

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

Auckland

Tuesday 16 October

Ponsonby Rugby Club, 1 Stadium Road,
Western Springs, Auckland

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

Hamilton

Wednesday 17 October

Distinction Hamilton, 100 Garnett Ave,
Te Rapa, Hamilton

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

Invercargill

Thursday 18 October

Invercargill Workingmen’s Club,
154 Esk Street, Invercargill

A category licence

7.00-8.00pm

 

Firearms Secure Storage Guidance

[17 September 2018]

Over the past 12 months Police have worked with the Firearms Community Advisory Forum (FCAF) to develop guidance for firearms storage. Police are grateful to FCAF members for their commitment to this process and to members of the public that contributed to the two public consultation periods; the report on submissions for the second consultation is attached.

The Firearms Secure Storage Guidance document (PDF, 336KB) can be found in the Firearms storage section of our website and have been distributed across Police Districts for use by Arms Officers and Vetters.

Firearms Project update - see what we’ve been up to, and give your feedback

[6 September 2018]

In Police’s effort to review and improve the administration of the Arms Act, the Arms Act Service Delivery Group is looking closely at how Police can best deliver firearms related services to the public in a timely, consistent, and cost effective manner.

In June, the team met with staff, the firearms community and iwi members across the country to identify the opportunities and challenges in the current processes used by Police in the administration of the Arms Act. You can read more about the key themes that came out of those sessions on this page. 

Since then, the team’s focuses have been on initiating discussions with solution providers to assess and identify a technical solution that will best facilitate the streamlined, automated future of firearms administration. The team have also facilitated workshops with Police subject matter experts from across the 12 Districts to redesign and simplify the key processes for firearms applications, permitting, endorsements, dealers and more.

In October, the team are keen to meet again with the firearms user community to test and gather feedback on some of the redesigned processes, and share a demo of how technology could streamline and automate these in the future.

The sessions will be held in six locations across the country in order to balance our commitments to careful management of travel costs as well as engaging widely with the firearms community. We appreciate that timing and travel distance may be prohibitive for some, but continue to look into how we can share these types of sessions in other flexible and cost effective ways.

There will be two community sessions in each location – one session focussing on the redesigned Category A licence application process which all firearms community members are welcome to attend.

Dates and times of the sessions are as follows and we will advise venues as these are confirmed:

District

Date

Session Focus

Session Time

Christchurch

Monday 8 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

Palmerston North

Tuesday 9 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

Wellington

Wednesday 10 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

Auckland

Tuesday 16 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

Hamilton

Wednesday 17 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

Invercargill

Thursday 18 October

Cat A

7.00-8.00pm

The second session in each location is for dealers only, in recognition of the frequency and volume of their interactions with Police for Arms Act related services.

Both sessions will feature the system demonstration, and will provide the opportunity to ask questions, have open and genuine discussion, and provide feedback to help shape the way forward.  

Dates and times of the sessions for Dealers only are provided below. We will advise venues as these are confirmed.

District

Date

Session Focus

Session Time

Christchurch

Monday 8 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Palmerston North

Tuesday 9 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Wellington

Wednesday 10 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Auckland

Tuesday 16 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Hamilton

Wednesday 17 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

Invercargill

Thursday 18 October

Dealers

4.00-5.00pm

We encourage you to share these session details via other firearms community channels and forums to help us provide all interested with an opportunity to attend.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you and hearing your thoughts.

Official Information Act responses for public reading

[5 September 2018]

Police have developed a specific section within the our website for interested members of the public to view Official Information Act responses that relate to firearms and Arms Act matters. Firearms OIA responses link takes you to the correct section.

Response to Kiwi Gun Blog post on 27 August 2018

Dear Mike Loder,

You emailed at 7:42pm on Monday 27 August a link to your blog posting in which you asserted that Police refused to attend a burglary. From the photographs we are assuming that you were referring to a burglary that occurred in the Hauraki area and which was reported to Police at 4:36pm on Monday 27 August 2018.

Contact with the victim was achieved later in the evening of Monday 27 August. An earlier attempt to contact the victim by phone had not been returned. Arrangements were made for Scene of Crime Officer to visit the site on the morning of Tuesday 28 August. Site visit occurred as arranged on the morning of 28 August 2018.

The posting on your blog is not correct.

Yours sincerely
New Zealand Police
29 August 2018

First experiences with the new firearms safety programme

[7 August 2018]

Background
On 1 July Police implemented a new firearms safety programme that requires first time firearms licence applicants to undergo a theory test and practical training. This differs from the past system that only required attendance at a lecture and passing of a theory test. Firearms theory tests are administered using the NZTA driver licensing testing system and can be undertaken at most AA and VTNZ branches across the country.

First experiences
In the first four weeks of July 119 theory tests were undertaken with 90 people passing (75.7 percent) and 24.3 percent failing the test. Those who failed are able to attempt the test again after a 30 day period, while those who pass are able to progress to the practical training. Practical training sessions are progressively becoming available across the country during August and September, with the first courses in Christchurch, Te Puke, and Whangarei last weekend (Saturday 4 August). For the last weekend’s course 22 people were booked to attend, 21 attended and 20 completed the course; the one who didn’t complete the course left part way through due to a family emergency.

Summary
Numbers of theory tests undertaken during July are very low compared to the approximately 800 that would normally be expected. This low number is most likely attributable to the high numbers of theory tests completed under the old system during June. An example of this is a Hawke’s Bay course in late June that normally has 20 in the session had 140 attend. In the coming months, Police will continue to embed the new programme. This will include developing a rural community comprehensive course option for some areas that will see the theory test and practical training being delivered in the one session.

NZ Post locations for payment of firearms licence application fee

[2 August 2018] Police have been asked for clarification as to where firearms licence application fees can be paid. Please see below for a link that will take you through NZ Post store locations that offer firearms licence payments.

PostShop/Kiwibank Locator

Filter using the ‘Pay a Bill’ option after indicating your location.

Updated: Firearms approved for use in New Zealand

[27 July 2018] Police are pleased to advise that we have updated the ‘Firearms approved for use in New Zealand’ section of this website.

Firearms project community meetings update

[04 July 2018] The Arms Act Service Delivery Group has completed visits to Greymouth, Christchurch, Timaru, Hamilton, Nelson, Blenheim, Invercargill, and Dunedin over the past two weeks, meeting with Police staff and the firearms community. The project team met with around 200 staff and over 500 firearms community members during the roadshow. They gathered feedback and insights from across the country on the current processes, helping identify key areas that offer opportunities for improvement.

The top three themes for the firearms community are:

  • The need for consistency in how the Arms Act and associated processes are administered across districts.
  • Better and more frequent communication and engagement between Police and firearms community.
  • The introduction of online services including licence application and payment to meet the changing needs of the community while retaining paper-based application options.

We also discussed some specific ways to improve current processes. The following key points were discussed:

  • The need to bring in simplicity in the process while also maintaining rigour across it. The intention would be to make the process easier for low risk, responsible firearms licence holders.
  • Building in some proactive measures in the process to improve the overall service experience for applicants – examples include mobile-based alerts, and track and trace options for applications.
  • Clarity and consistency in the interpretation of the Arms Act across districts to make it easy for the licence holders to comply.
  • Supporting a wide variety of information needs of the community – via multiple channels and mediums (e.g. a Frequently Asked Questions document).
  • Utilising Police staff time in the best way possible to provide and maintain face-to-face interaction in the right parts of the process.
  • Building nationwide awareness and knowledge on the safe use and storage of firearms and supporting the firearms community to be seen as responsible sport and recreational members.

Other out of scope subjects raised by the firearms community were penalties for firearms offending and the public potentially not being clear when statements are made about the firearms environment whether it is a position from the New Zealand Police, or an individual, or organisation.

The project team will now work internally to prioritise and focus on addressing the areas for improvement and in-scope opportunities that will deliver the most value and benefit.

Lastly, a big thanks to the firearms community for attending and contributing to the discussions. We will continue to keep the firearms community informed and involved as we develop our thinking further.

Briefing on the Firearms Act

[26 June 2018] Police's Brief to the Incoming Minister in December 2017 stated: "There’s more we can do to keep New Zealanders safe and ensure public trust and confidence in the firearms regime. This includes: modernising our legislation to ensure it reflects firearms manufacturing developments; and improving the way we administer the regime. We’ll brief you on a range of firearm portfolio issues and seek your direction on next steps in November 2017."

The follow-up briefing has since been released under the OIA to parties who requested it. People who have been attending the roadshows being held at the moment on Police’s administration of the Arms Act have expressed an interest in seeing this briefing. The document (with appropriate redactions) is below.

Update on new firearms safety training

[20 June 2018] Police is implementing a new firearms safety programme. From 1 July first time firearms licence applicants will be required to complete a theory test and attend a firearms safety practical training session as part of their licensing process. Below is a document which tell you more about how the process will work and what you’ll need to do.

Theory tests will be available at AA and VTNZ branches that currently offer driver licence test facilities. A list of branches is shown in the document below. Practical training bookings will be available from mid-July with the first sessions commencing in early August. A list of areas where people will be able to undertake practical training is in the document below. The Whakatupato programme will continue to deliver the firearms safety programme to selected rural and isolated communities.

All firearms licence applicants that are preparing for the theory test should study the 2013 Arms Code which is currently available on our website.

Update from the road on Community Discussion Sessions

[15 June 2018] The Arms Act Service Delivery Group has been out on the road over the past two weeks meeting with staff, the firearms community and iwi members in Wellington, New Plymouth, Taupō, Napier, Palmerston North, Whangaui, Rotorua, Tauranga, Auckland, Whangarei, and Gisborne.

The sessions involved identifying the opportunities and challenges in the current processes used by Police in the administration of the Arms Act. Among other things, there was quite a lot of conversation around the need for consistency in how processes are delivered across districts, or in other words; one way of doing things. There was also much discussion around making it easy for applicants to engage with the processes, and ways to enhance our existing internal support structures to provide more flexibility to the different needs of our community members.

We asked community members what they would expect from modernised process and some of the key focus areas included:

  • A consistent approach to delivering processes across districts; one way of doing things
  • Active engagement and more frequent communication with the community
  • Introduction of online options for licence application and payment, similar to the passport application process and using RealMe
  • Retaining a paper application process to run alongside any future online services developed
  • Training and guidance for firearms staff across districts
  • Providing more visibility of the process to applicants, such as mobile/email alerts and a track and trace facility for online applications
  • Use of plain and simple language in the application forms
  • More guidance and consistency in the permitting process.

Feedback from these sessions has helped identify some of the biggest challenges across the current processes. The team is on the road for another two weeks and a further update will provided at the end of June. For more detail on the schedule, please view this section of the website.

Modernised Arms Code

[14 June 2018] Police has been developing a modernised version of the Arms Code and e-learning modules designed to support key information in the Arms Code. While the development of the modernised Arms Code and e-learning modules are well advanced, Police will not be releasing these on 1 July. An update on timing will be provided when available. First time firearms licence applicants will still be able to use the 2013 version of the Arms Code to prepare for the new firearms safety programme.

Firearms Project Community Discussion Sessions

[8 June] Updated community meeting schedule – Greymouth, Nelson and Blenheim updated.

 

Firearms Community Sessions Schedule:

District

Date

Session Time

 

Wellington

Friday 1 June

12.30pm to 2pm

Upper Hutt Police Station

New Plymouth

Tuesday 5 June

11am to 12.30pm

TSB Showplace, 92-100 Devon Street West, New Plymouth

Taupo

Wednesday 6 June

10.30am to 12pm

Taupo Police Station

Hastings

Wednesday 6 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Cornwall Cricket Club, Cornwall Park, Roberts Street

Palmerston North

Thursday 7 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Convention Centre, 354 Main Street

Rotorua

Monday 11 June

10.30am to 12pm

Rotorua Police Station

Tauranga

Tuesday 12 June

8am to 9.30am

Deer Stalkers’ Club, 617 State Highway 29 Tauriko

Manukau

Tuesday 12 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Papakura Rugby Club, 2 Ron Keat Drive Papakura

Whangarei

Wednesday 13 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Whangarei Police Station

Gisborne

Thursday 14 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Gisborne Police Station

Greymouth

Monday 18 June

4.30pm to 6pm

John Paul II High School Hall, Alexander Street, Greymouth

Christchurch

Tuesday 19 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Christchurch RSA, 74 Armagh Street

Timaru

Wednesday 20 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Timaru Police Station training room - entry from Heaton Street only

Hamilton

Thursday 21 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Hamilton Gardens, Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton

Nelson

Monday 25 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Saxton Stadium - Netball/Upstairs Pavilion, Saxton Field, Stoke, Nelson

Blenheim

Tuesday 26 June

1pm to 2.30pm

Clubs of Marlborough, 42 Alfred Street, Blenheim

Invercargill

Thursday 28 June

4.30pm to 6pm

Invercargill Workerman’s Club, 154 Esk Street

Dunedin

Friday 29 June

2pm to 3.30pm

Victoria Hotel 137 St Andrew Street


In Police’s effort to review and improve the administration of the Arms Act, the Arms Act Service Delivery Group is looking closely at how Police can best deliver firearms related services to the public in a timely, consistent, and cost effective manner.

To assist with this work, the project team are looking to meet with Police district staff and firearms user community members for participatory discussion sessions in all police districts. These sessions are designed in a way that it will enable you to contribute creatively to the current thinking around challenges, opportunities, needs, and wants of the firearms community when interacting with Police for Arms Act related services. We want to hear about any insights you may have from your interaction with the Police and external agencies involved in the delivery of services. We will also take time to understand from you what you think the areas are that we need to focus on, and how we may improve our service model to deliver consistent, timely, and efficient services to you. During the workshop, you will have a chance to ask questions, have open and genuine discussion, and provide any feedback to help us shape our understanding of unique issues in your community.

All firearms community members are welcome to attend.

Police gearing up for new firearms safety training for first time licence applicants

[23 May 2018] From 1 July firearms safety training is changing.

Police has been working with the firearms community to improve safety outcomes by delivering an enhanced firearms safety training programme for first-time firearms licence applicants.

“Much like the process for obtaining a driver licence, first-time applicants will need to pass a theory test and undergo practical training to obtain a firearms licence,” says Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith.

“For many years the current theory-only programme has provided new firearms users with a solid start. But over recent years Police and the firearms community identified the opportunity to build on this and provide first-time applicants with a practical hands-on component to complement the theoretical.”

The theory test is a computer-based multi-choice test which will be delivered by Police using the same system used for computerised driver licence theory tests. Firearm licence applicants will be able to sit the firearms theory test at all Automobile Association (AA) driver licensing outlets; including all AA Centres, AA Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agents and the AA’s Rural Mobile Units, as well as all Vehicle Testing New Zealand branches that offer driver licensing throughout the country.

Applicants must pass the theory test before they can attend the firearms practical training course.

The practical course and training on safe-handling of firearms will be delivered by firearms instructors from the Mountain Safety Council across the country.

Police is also working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand around the potential use of volunteer fire stations in some locations. In addition, the Whakatupato course will continue to provide firearms safety training in remote and isolated communities.

The firearms theory test and practical training require applicants to show that they have a strong understanding of the Arms Code and how to stay safe with firearms.

“As pleased as Police is to deliver the new firearms safety programme, new firearms users will still need to gain experience using firearms safely in a variety of settings.

“Tapping into clubs with experienced firearms users who can pass on that valuable knowledge and experience is a vital part of being a responsible firearms user.

“We want the firearms community to continue to support new firearms users. Police is seeking help from firearms clubs, and the volunteer instructors from the programme ending 30 June, to provide community-based mentoring and to partner with new firearms users.

“Imagine a person getting their firearms licence because they want to go hunting but they don’t know any hunters. Clubs play a vital role in bringing new firearms users together with experienced users.

“Having a new practical component and a community of people keen to coach and mentor new firearms users will contribute significantly to improved safety outcomes. And that is what Police wants.”

Clarification of no change in process for overseas’ visitors applying for a firearms licence

[4 May 2018] It has come to Police’s attention that there has been confusion recently around whether there has been a change to firearms licences for people visiting New Zealand. There has been no change to this process for years.

When visitors come to New Zealand they are required to apply for a firearms licence one month before they arrive. If a visitor arrives in New Zealand without a visitor firearms licence they are directed to the closest arms officer for an in-person application. It is then up to the arms officer to decide if a visitor licence is issued. If the visitor arrives at an airport without a licence and in possession of firearms, the firearms will be held by Police until the visitor has been to see the local arms officer.

In an effort to ensure the one month requirement is more obvious to visitors applying for a firearms licence, Police has updated the online application form to highlight this obligation.

Consultation - Secure storage requirements for firearm licence holders: Police policy and practice

[18 April 2018] New Zealand Police is seeking feedback on the updated draft Secure Storage Requirements for Firearms Licence Holders.

This draft document has been updated since it was released in November 2017. Changes have been made based on feedback received last year. Those wishing to provide further feedback can contact us on secure-storage-firearms@police.govt.nz. Feedback closes at 5pm on 16 May 2018. Please put "Secure Storage" in the subject line.

Also attached is the report on Security and Storage of Firearms Public Submissions. This report will provide the reader with an understanding of submissions received as a result of the 2017 consultation and what action was taken.

Your feedback may be made publicly available by Police on its website, or to members of the public who request copies of submissions. Please indicate clearly if your identity or comments are provided in confidence, or if there is some other reason they should not be disclosed.  Any request for non-disclosure will be considered in terms of the Official Information Act 1982. Your feedback may be edited for publication to anonymise it or remove sensitive information.

New firearms safety training programme for first-time firearms licence applicants

[12 Apr 2018] Police is looking forward to providing an enhanced firearms safety training programme that has both a theory and practical component.

"The current theory-based programme has successfully run for many years and Police is grateful for the many hours put in by volunteer instructors in support of their communities. Over the recent years, Police and the firearms community have seen the need for a practical component to contribute towards improved safety outcomes,” says Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith.

"There has been a desire for a practical component for first-time firearms licence applicants and we are happy this will be delivered from July this year."

Police sought tenders from interested parties to provide the practical training. Following the Government procurement process, Police has signed a two-year trial programme contract with the Mountain Safety Council to provide firearms safety practical training on behalf of Police.

"This enhanced training programme for first-time firearms licence applicants is part of Police’s work towards improved safety outcomes.

"Police wants all people to be safe and feel safe, this is especially important when firearms are being used."

Mountain Safety Council CEO Mike Daisley says they are pleased to have been confirmed as the successful provider.

"We proposed a training framework that was developed after extensive feedback from face-to-face meetings in every region of New Zealand that currently has firearms safety training.

"The new system will deliver higher levels of consistency and bring new firearms users up to speed more effectively.

"We’d like to publicly thank our volunteers for decades of service to their communities. New Zealand is indebted to their tireless work to improve firearms safety."

Acting Superintendent Mike McIIraith says the tender process was competitive.

"As in any process like this, there were other organisations that could have done the job but we believe the Mountain Safety Council will provide the best service based on our requirements."

The criteria were: the proposed solution being fit for purpose, the capability and capacity of the respondent to deliver, and price.

The enhanced programme has a theory component that must be passed and a practical component where the applicant must achieve a required standard. More information on how the theory and practical components will be delivered will be released in May.

A category firearms security requirements

[19 Feb 2018] In response to a recent question on Police’s ability to require firearms security storage to be in place when conducting a licensing visit. Police require all licence applicants (new or renewal) to have approved security in place at their residence.

  • Every firearms licence is subject to the conditions relating to security precautions set out in regulation 19.
  • Regulation 19(1)(c) requires that the licence holder “take reasonable steps to ensure that any firearm in the holder’s possession is secured against theft.”
  • Regulation (2) provides that from 1 July 1993, those reasonable steps shall include:
  1. keeping on the holder’s premises—
    • a lockable cabinet, container, or receptacle of stout construction in which firearms may be stored; or
    • a lockable steel and concrete strongroom in which firearms may be stored; or
    • a display cabinet or rack in which firearms may be immobilised and locked so that none of them may be fired; and
  2. keeping locked or immobilised and locked in the cabinet, container, receptacle, strongroom, display cabinet, or rack required by paragraph (a) every firearm which is on the holder’s premises and which is not under immediate and personal supervision of the holder or some other holder of a firearms licence; and
  3. ensuring that no firearm in the holder’s possession is left in a vehicle that is unattended.

Firearms permit services update

[30 Jan 18] Police has been working towards centralising all firearms permit services to the Arms Act Service Delivery Group based at Police National Head Quarters, in order to provide a consistent and standardised level of service. We are now administering more firearms importation permit requests at headquarters. We also intend to move towards having an online permit application process running alongside the current paper process. We will provide updates as this work progresses.

Change to requirements for airguns purchases

[24 Jan 2018] Police mail order guidelines for form S.43A (PDF, 21KB) previously required people to prove membership of an airsoft club when purchasing an airsoft gun. After feedback from the public, Police has reviewed this requirement and found it is not a requirement of the Arms Act. Therefore, Police has now amended the policy to remove this requirement and updated all relevant documentation. Changes effective from 24 January 2018.

Form S. 43A  Application to purchase Sporting Firearm(s), Airgun(s) and/or Ammunition (PDF 55KB)

Update on Police / TradeMe interface

[18 Jan 2018] A recent gap has been identified when firearms licence holders in the ‘renewal in progress’ status are asking a question, bidding or buying a firearm on TradeMe.  ‘Renewal in progress’ indicates that a firearms licence is still current and that the licence holder is in the licence renewal process.  When setting up the TradeMe / Police interface only licences that were shown as  ‘current’ would be able to ask questions, bid or buy firearms on Trademe.  

This gap is now being addressed by Police and the fix will be in place by 25 February 2018.

Arrangements for bringing firearms through Auckland International Airport

New arrangements are in place for people who wish to bring firearms through Auckland International Airport.

Following consultation with airlines, ground handling contractors and Police partner agencies, it has been agreed that a new, consistent process should be in place to increase security.

From this month, firearms coming into the airport will be uplifted by ground handlers who will then place them in a secured cabinet situated between baggage carousels 3 and 4. The person bringing the firearms into the country will then be required to contact Airport Police and complete the paperwork required to bring the firearm into New Zealand before proceeding to Customs.

The new arrangements will apply to New Zealanders returning with firearms as well as people visiting from overseas.

History of firearms regulation in New Zealand

The regulation of firearms and firearm owners in New Zealand dates back more than 170 years. If you’re interested in finding out more, see firearms history (PDF, 378KB).

Consultation - Secure storage requirements for firearm licence holders: Police policy and practice

New Zealand Police is seeking feedback on two versions of a draft document regarding the secure storage requirements for firearm licence holders.

The two draft documents differ slightly in a couple of key areas, with the November 2017 version providing more detail about when different security options will be acceptable. Those wishing to provide feedback are encouraged to read both documents and to make clear which document their comments relate to.

Feedback is to be provided to secure-storage-firearms@police.govt.nz  by 1 December 2017. Please put "Secure Storage" in the subject line of your email and please remember to advise which draft document you’re commenting on.

Background:

New Zealand Police established a Firearms Community Advisory Forum (FCAF) to act in a consultative and advisory capacity to Police on matters relating to Police’s administration of the Arms Act.

  • In November 2016, a firearms community member of FCAF raised concerns about the inconsistent methods used to secure firearms and suggested that the forum could assist Police and firearms licence holders by considering future standards for the practical storage of firearms and ammunition.
  • NZ Police also wished to ensure there are processes and guidance to encourage reliable security of firearms to increase safety within the firearms community and for the general public and to minimise opportunities for firearms to enter the illicit armoury.
  • In April 2017 a security sub-committee was established as a standing committee of FCAF, and produced an April 2017 draft.
  • In November 2017 a second draft was produced.
  • Feedback is now being invited on these two draft documents.
  • Feedback is to be provided by 1 December.
  • It is intended to have a final document by mid-December 2017.

View the 2 versions of the draft document:

Recording serial numbers helps protect firearms and other valuable property

Many New Zealanders do not record the serial numbers of their valuable items, making it much harder for them to be recovered if they’re lost or stolen.

There have been recent burglaries where firearms were taken but almost none of the serial numbers had been recorded. Often the make and model wasn’t known either. This makes it a lot harder for Police to reunite the owners with their property if it is later recovered.

That’s why Police encourages firearms owners to record the make, model and serial numbers of their firearms. We also encourage people to record these details for other valuable items, such as TVs and stereos.

There are numerous ways this information can be recorded, ranging from simply writing it down to using online facilities such as SNAP. For more information on this free service, visit the Operation SNAP website.

What Police does with seized and surrendered firearms

Please review the following short Facebook clip to get an understanding of what Police does with seized and surrendered firearms. 

If any member of the public has any firearms they would like to surrender to Police, please contact your local station to make surrender arrangements.  If you decide to go to a station make sure the firearms are in a carry case to prevent any cause for alarm or concern for Police staff or members of the public.

View the clip on the Counties Manukau Facebook page

Trade Me licence checks

Police has been working with Trade Me to confirm that people who are buying or intending to buy firearms through the site hold a current firearms licence.

From 7 September 2017, whenever someone asks a question, bids, clicks “Buy Now” or proceeds to purchase in relation to a firearm listing on Trade Me, they will need to enter their firearms licence number and the name on that licence.

Trade Me will then send a request containing the member’s name and supplied firearms licence number to Police via its application programming interface (or API). Police will provide a ‘Yes/No’ response so Trade Me can establish whether the licence is valid.

Trade Me will not have access to Police firearms licence records, and the only information Police will provide is a simple “Yes” or “No” as to whether a licence is legitimate and current.

The Privacy Commissioner has considered this process and found that it raises no concerns under the Privacy Act. His comments, along with further information, is available on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

This process does not replace existing legal requirements for sellers to ensure that the purchaser holds a firearms licence. Before supplying the firearm to the new purchaser, sellers must sight the firearms licence of the buyer or receive a mail order form signed by Police confirming the buyer holds a valid firearms licence.

Police would like to acknowledge the work Trade Me is doing to help prevent people who do not have a valid firearms licence from buying or selling firearms.

Police will look to make this system available to other sites and businesses that are selling or facilitating the sale of firearms via the internet.
 

Secure storage of firearms

Inspection of secure firearms storage provisions is a key factor to enable Police to be satisfied that a person is fit and proper to have a firearms licence irrespective of whether the application is for a first time licence, renewal or endorsement.

If for any reason inspection cannot be achieved it is likely that a licence or endorsement will not be issued.

Refer to Sections 24, 30, 30 B and 32 of the Arms Act 1983 and Regulations 19, 28 of the Arms Regulations 1992.
 

Police's commitment to strengthening communication with the firearms community

Following release of the Government’s response to the Law and Order Select Committee’s Report on issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms, the Police Executive is taking further steps to deliver stronger consultative and decision-making processes regarding our administration of the Arms Act.

In keeping with the Government’s recommendations, we acknowledge we need to be more responsive in consulting with the Firearms Community Forum and the wider firearms community.

As a result, we have introduced a new governance structure that provides greater oversight and direction of firearms related matters.

A new Arms Act Service Delivery Group, incorporating the Arms Control Unit and the Arms Safety Control Project is in the process of being established to lead this work. This new Group will report directly to the Police Executive and be focused on improving administrative efficiency and strengthening communications and consultative processes. It will take some time to get this group fully functioning.

In the interim the work already in progress will continue, and we will continue to consult with the Forum as an important conduit between Police and the firearms community.
 

Police approach to MSSA* classification remains unchanged

In response to recent information being circulated within the firearms community regarding the classification of A-category firearms – and in particular AR15 type semi-automatic firearms – Police confirms that the classification and rules regarding the importation of these weapons has not changed. (*MSSA, Military Style Semi-Automatic)

Specifically:

  • People can still continue to apply to import A-category firearms as they always have – no special reasons are required. This classification and its interpretation by Police has not changed, despite what has been circulated through social media.
  • 28,000 A-category firearms were imported into New Zealand in 2016 and these will continue to be imported in 2017 under the same classification rules.
  • There has been no re-classification of AR15 type semi-automatic weapons nor has Police made any proposal – an individual or a dealer can still continue to apply to import these weapons. These continue to be treated as an either an A-category or an E-category firearm depending on the individual specifications of the firearm.
  • The Arms Act has always required importer to obtain a permit to bring in “parts” of firearms to New Zealand and a special reason is required to import MSSA parts. To deliver on the intent of the Act Police needs to consider whether the application relates to a part of a MSSA or part of an A category firearm. Where it is possible that the part could be either for an A category or an E category firearm Police is required to seek further clarification about the intended use of the part.
  • Police cannot change the classification of firearms by making an Order-in-Council. Any such proposal would need to be approved by Cabinet and be signed by the Governor-General
  • Police continues to administer the Arms Act and remains committed to working with the firearms community to promote the safe use and management of firearms. Anyone with questions regarding Police’s approach to firearms licensing or management is encouraged to contact us directly or through the Firearms Community Advisory Forum.
  • Police’s first priority remains the safe, secure and lawful use of firearms and effective administration of the Arms Act as part of our commitment to safer communities together.