Important notice

Firearms Law Reform

The firearms amnesty and buy-back ends on 20 December

Now is the time to notify Police and hand-in any prohibited firearm/s and/or parts before it's too late.

Find out more

Firearm law changes & prohibited firearms

Firearms laws have changed

 

New firearm laws

The Arms Act has been amended. It bans most semi-automatic firearms, some pump action shotguns and also certain large capacity magazines. There are limited exemptions. There are also controls around who may possess parts of prohibited firearms.

There is no longer a category of firearm known as a military style semi-automatic firearm (or MSSA) and the old "E" endorsement is obsolete.

The newly banned items are called prohibited firearms, prohibited magazines, and prohibited parts. New offences involving prohibited items carry tougher penalties.

An amnesty and buy-back scheme is in place until 20 December 2019. Those in possession of prohibited items have until this date to notify Police and hand-in their firearm/s and/or parts.

 

Information on prohibited firearms

Prohibited firearms, parts and magazines

Prohibited firearms are:

  • All semi-automatic firearms (including semi-automatic shotguns), but:
    • excluding rimfire rifles .22 calibre or less as long as they have a magazine (whether detachable or not) that holds 10 rounds or less; and
    • excluding semi-automatic shotguns that have a non-detachable, tubular magazine that holds 5 rounds or less.
  • Pump action shotguns that:
    • Are capable of being used with a detachable magazine; or
    • Have a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds.

Only those who meet one of the exemption categories and who have applied for and obtained a new endorsement and permit to possess may lawfully possess a prohibited firearm.

Prohibited magazines are:

  • Shotgun magazines (whether detachable or not) capable of holding more than 5 rounds.
  • Magazines for other firearms (excluding pistols) that are:
    • Detachable magazines bigger than 10 rounds that are capable of holding 0.22 calibre or lower rimfire cartridges
    • Detachable magazines bigger than 10 rounds that are capable of being used with a semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm
    • Other magazines, detachable or not, that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Only those who meet one of the exemption categories and who has applied for and obtained a new endorsement and permit to possess may lawfully possess a prohibited magazine.

Prohibited parts are:

  • Any part designed or intended to be an integral part of a prohibited firearm.
    • Examples include: butt, stock, silencer, sight
  • Any component that can be applied to enable a firearm to fire with (or near to) semi-automatic or automatic action.
    • Examples include: gas block, gas tube, sub-calibre conversion kit.

Only those who have an endorsement permitting them to possess a prohibited firearm may lawfully possess a prohibited part.

List of legal and prohibited firearms

Firearm type

Action

Prohibited firearm

.22 rimfire or smaller

Bolt

No - but note that a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is prohibited.

.22 rimfire or smaller

Lever

No - but note that a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is prohibited.

.22 rimfire or smaller

Semi-auto

No - if it has magazine holding 10 rounds or less.

Yes - if it has a magazine holding more than 10 rounds. 

Shotgun

Pump

Yes - if it is capable of being used with a detachable magazine; or if it has a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.

No - if it is not capable of being used with a detachable magazine and it has a non-detachable tubular magazine that is not capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.

Yes - unless below applies

Shotgun

Semi-auto

Yes - unless below applies

No - if it has a non-detachable tubular magazine that is capable of holding no more than 5 cartridges.

Shotgun

Under & over

No.

Shotgun

Side-by-side

No.

Centre fire

Bolt

No - but note that a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is prohibited.

Centre fire

Pump

No - but note that a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is prohibited.

Centre fire

Lever

No - but note that a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is prohibited.

Centre fire

Semi-auto

Yes

Amnesty

The amnesty on possession of prohibited firearms, parts and magazines runs until 20 December 2019. If you, or someone you know, has an unwanted firearm or part, even if it’s not prohibited, you can hand it in under amnesty at a collection event. Other options include hand-ins at dealers, bulk-picks if you have more than 10 items, or hand-ins at Police stations. If you do have more than 10 items, please select that option via the online notification form and Police will be in touch with you to arrange a suitable time to collect from your premise.

No details or licence required – no questions asked.  Note that there is no compensation paid for items handed in under amnesty.

These firearms will be destroyed and are not eligible for buy-back.

During the amnesty it is not an offence to possess firearms that are newly prohibited, but you cannot use them.

Buy-back

New firearm regulations allow for the buy-back of newly prohibited firearms and parts until the end of the amnesty on 20 December 2019. Hand-in your firearms or parts at a collection event. Other options include hand-ins at dealers, bulk-picks if you have more than 10 items, or hand-ins at Police stations. If you do have more than 10 items, please select that option via the online notification form and Police will be in touch with you to arrange a suitable time to collect from your premise.

To receive compensation for prohibited firearms you will need a valid firearms licence. If you are handing in parts and accessories included in the price list; you do not require a firearms licence to receive compensation.

More information: updates from the New Zealand Government website

Support

If the changes are causing you stress or anxiety, you can get support by calling or texting 1737 anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk it through with a trained counsellor 1737.org.nz.

Previous changes to firearms

The 21 March 2019 changes made by an Order in Council are superseded by this amendment.