Apply for permits to import or possess (firearms, PCCKs, ammunition)

Under the Arms Act 1983, New Zealand Police receive and consider applications for permits to import (section 18) and permits to possess pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms, prohibited magazines, and pistol carbine conversion kits (sections 35, 35A and 35AA).

You can contact Police for permit related queries by email at Permitfirearms@police.govt.nz.

Permits to possess pistol carbine conversion kits

Lawful possession of a pistol carbine conversion kit requires (s 22BA):

  • A firearms licence or dealer licence with an endorsement made under section 30 authorising possession of a pistol.
  • Possession of a pistol under a permit to possess or permit to import.
  • A permit to possess the pistol carbine conversion kit under section 35AAA.

The person considering an application for a permit to possess a pistol carbine conversion kit needs to be satisfied that the applicant holds the relevant endorsement and permit in relation to a pistol. In addition, for target pistol shooting applicants, the Police decision maker also needs to be satisfied that:

  • The pistol carbine conversion kit specifically enables a pistol that has an overall length of no more than 400 millimetres and is capable of firing specified ammunition at a muzzle velocity of 1,600 feet per second or less to be fired from the shoulder; and
  • The pistol carbine conversion kit does not modify the pistol in any other way.

Completed applications forms can be:

Importing firearms and ammunition

Any New Zealand firearms licence holder may apply to Police to bring a standard firearm or non-prohibited ammunition into New Zealand.

An endorsement holder may also apply to import a pistol, restricted weapon, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, or a pistol carbine conversion kit.

Permit to Import

A permit to import is required to import:

  • a firearm, pistol, blank firing gun (including starting pistol), restricted airgun, or restricted weapon
  • any part (see Section 2 of the Arms Act 1983) of a firearm, pistol, blank firing gun (which includes a starting pistol), or restricted weapon
  • a prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine or a prohibited part (prohibited items)
  • a pistol carbine conversion kit and an air pistol carbine conversion kit
  • any non-prohibited ammunition
  • any prohibited ammunition. The applicant must be a person who is authorised or expressly permitted to possess such ammunition

(Section 16, Arms Act 1983)

Applications for permits to import pistols or restricted weapons (and their parts); restricted airguns, prohibited items, and prohibited ammunition may only be granted if there are special reasons as to why those items should be allowed into New Zealand. Sufficient information to assess this needs to be provided on the application form (or accompany it).

A permit to import will only be issued to a person who may lawfully possess the item on its arrival in New Zealand. For example, a permit to import a standard firearm or non-prohibited ammunition will only be issued to the holder of a New Zealand firearms licence; and a permit to import a pistol, restricted weapon or prohibited firearm or a prohibited magazine may be issued to an endorsement holder.

Importing pistol carbine conversion kits (s 18AA)

An applicant for a permit to import a pistol carbine conversion kit needs to demonstrate that:

  • There are special reasons why the pistol carbine conversion kit should be allowed into New Zealand.
  • They have a pistol endorsement and a pistol that they have obtained under a permit to possess or permit to import.
  • Where the pistol carbine conversion kit is for target pistol shooting, that the pistol carbine conversion kit specifically enables a pistol that has an overall length of no more than 400 millimetres and is capable of firing specified ammunition (ammunition used on pistol shooting ranges approved by the Commissioner) at a muzzle velocity of 1,600 feet per second or less to be fired from the shoulder; and does not modify the pistol in any other way.

Importing air pistol carbine conversion kits (s 18AAB)

Permits to import air pistol carbine conversion kits can only be issued where the applicant intends to personally use the kit as a member of an airsoft or paintball club that is affiliated with a national airsoft or paintball organisation.

Importing prohibited ammunition

Only a person who is permitted by regulations to possess prohibited ammunition and is a firearms licence holder can apply to import prohibited ammunition. Regulation 28Y sets out who can possess prohibited ammunition.

Applications for permits to import should only be sought for items that are going to be entering New Zealand in a single consignment at the same time; or if in more than one consignment, where all consignments are going to be entering New Zealand within a 30 day period. The permit to import will cease to apply to remaining items 30 days after the first items entered New Zealand (s 18AAD).

Permit to Possess

Permits to possess pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms, and prohibited magazines

A permit to possess is required in order to make your endorsement specific to every pistol, restricted weapon, prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine (see Sections 35 and 35A of the Arms Act 1983) acquired from another person inside New Zealand.   

The permit to possess process will also be able to be used by new prohibited firearm and prohibited magazine endorsement holders seeking to make that endorsement specific to an already held item.

A permit to possess will only be issued to the holder of a New Zealand firearms licence with the appropriate firearms endorsement(s). This means that you must already have been issued with the relevant firearms endorsement before applying for a permit.