Important information for people who own pre-charged pneumatic air rifles
As of October 15, 2010 all pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles (excluding airguns used in air soft and paintball sports) will be defined as a class of especially dangerous airguns and will therefore be subject to the firearms licensing requirements set out in the Arms Act 1983.
These types of airguns are capable of causing serious injury or death. They are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for violent criminals who own and use them without having to undergo the rigorous background checks required for a firearms licence. They have been used in two homicides in this country.
This means that owners must be fit and proper persons to own a PCP air rifle, have minimum storage arrangements, and complete safety training. This also allows Police to work with Customs to control the importation of PCP air rifles.
Owners of PCP air rifles who do not have a firearms licence will be given three months (until 14 January 2011) to either:
- obtain a firearms licence, or
- dispose of the air rifle by either:
- selling or giving it to someone with a firearms licence (including a licensed dealer), or
- handing it in to Police (without compensation).
Target shooters who use PCP air rifles will need to either:
- apply for a firearms licence, or
- arrange for appropriate supervision, and storage, from a member of an organised shooting club.
Find out how to obtain a firearms licence on our website: http://www.police.govt.nz/service/firearms/index.html
Police will take an educative approach to this change. However after 14 January 2011 people found in possession of a PCP air rifle without a firearms licence may be in breach of the Arms Act 1983 and may be charged accordingly.