I went online early to notify Police but I never got a notification number. What do I do?
Firearms owners who went online between 22 March-10 June to notify Police of their intention to hand in their firearm, will have their notification number manually emailed to them by Police. You do not need to complete another notification form.
Do you know how many prohibited firearms there are?
No. Many semi-automatics could be held by individuals with an A category firearms licence. Police do not hold information on those firearms.
Why prohibit semi-automatics specifically?
Semi-automatics have the ability to cause harm in a fast and highly destructive way, and from a distance. The greater the mix of calibre, capacity, and capability, the less the survivability of the injury.
Won’t there be an increase in firearms smuggled into New Zealand as a result of the change?
New Zealand Customs has good systems in place to detect all firearms importations, both legal and illegal. The vast majority of New Zealanders are responsible and law-abiding citizens. Anyone with information on unlawful firearms is encouraged to contact Police.
Isn’t this going to increase the black market in New Zealand?
The firearms community is comprised of people who have been deemed fit and proper to hold a firearms licence so it is expected they will abide by the law. Many have already notified us of their intent to hand in their firearms.
However, the Government recognises many firearm owners will now lose the ability to use firearms they purchased for what were legitimate reasons. This is part of the reason for the buy-back compensation scheme.
Are you taking away rights of legitimate users?
No. The possession, ownership and use of a firearm in New Zealand is a privilege and not a right, and it carries significant responsibilities.
Firearm licence holders still have the ability to use a variety of firearms for sport, hunting, and business purposes. This is about balancing the safety of our communities with the use of firearms for business and recreational purposes.
Why can’t they be highly regulated like pistols?
There is no encompassing organisation or infrastructure in place that readily enables the strict regime that is in place for pistol use. Also, the controls applied to pistol use are in keeping with their use for close range targets. Semi-automatics are used for longer range targets.
If there is no register for firearms which were previously Category A firearms but are now prohibited firearms, how will you know if all prohibited firearms have been handed in?
We expect those who have held these firearms lawfully to do the right thing.
Will you be requesting sales records from all gun sellers?
Under section 12 of the Arms Act 1983 Police may require some records from firearms dealers to help assess the number of banned firearms in the country.
There is an existing requirement under the Arms Act for dealers to hold their records for five years.
How long does the online form take to complete?
The form takes an average of 15 minutes to complete for a person with two firearms.
What happens if I have a half submitted form?
The form does not retain the information and so we would recommend you only attempt completion when time allows.
If I have already completed the form before the bill passed, do I need to complete it again?
Can I take a firearm that I bought in New Zealand while on holiday, back to my home country?
Section 28G(2)(c) of the Regulations allows for the exportation of a firearm during the Amnesty period providing that there has been a MFAT export certificate issued. The firearm holder will need to demonstrate to MFAT that they have brought the firearm in legally and that they are taking it out of NZ for an appropriate reason. Please review the MFAT website, and contact MFAT export control directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: +64 4 439 822.
Police also have information on our website about the process of exporting firearms.
I live overseas but have a prohibited firearm stored in New Zealand. What must I do?
You can apply for buyback if you are a New Zealander living overseas and you own a prohibited firearm/s and/or parts that are stored in New Zealand.
You will need to contact Police yourself on 0800 311 311 to notify us. Once you have done that, you can authorise a person to act on your behalf if you are unable to. As the owner, you will need to nominate a New Zealand bank account for the payment to be made to.
Once you have called 0800 311 311 or emailed National.AmnestyEnquiry@police.govt.nz initially, Police will work with you or your nominated person to complete the process which will include signing the receipt and handing-in the firearm/s and/or parts to Police. You will be paid within 10 working days.
The firearm/s and/or parts will need to have been handed-in to Police by 20 December 2019. Police advise that you start the process as soon as possible.
Can I permanently modify my AR 15 firearm?
The Police position is that we do not believe that firearms such as AR15 can be permanently modified. Holders of AR15 type firearms are encouraged to attend buy-back local collection points in their region.
Are AR type lower receivers prohibited?
Yes, AR type lower receivers are prohibited under the Act. These substantive AR type parts can be used interchangeably and are capable of forming a prohibited firearm with a centre-fire upper receiver. Any modification of a prohibited firearm by replacing the upper receiver is not permanent and is therefore not consistent with the intent of the legislation.
An AR type lower receiver on its own does not yet appear on the Buy-Back price list (04 Sept 2019 edition) and they have not, to date, been accepted as part of the buyback.. At the point they are listed, Police will put the pricing on our website and we encourage all owners of AR type lower receivers to then hand them over as part of the buyback process and receive compensation.
What is a prohibited part?
Prohibited parts are:
- Anything (such as a butt, stock, silencer, or sight) that is:
- designed to be an integral part of a prohibited firearm; or
- intended to be an integral part of a prohibited firearm; and
- Any component that can be applied to enable (or take significant steps toward enabling) a firearm fire with (or near to) semi-automatic or automatic action.
- Examples include: bump-stock, gatling trigger.
Can I still use a suppressor?
You can still use a suppressor fitted to your standard firearm.
Can exempt persons have prohibited parts?
Individuals who apply for, and obtain, an endorsement to possess a prohibited firearm may lawfully possess parts for that firearm.
Can you import prohibited parts?
An import permit is required to import prohibited parts. Only the Commissioner of Police (or his delegate) may grant the application, and the Commissioner must be satisfied that there are special reasons for why the prohibited part/s should be allowed into New Zealand. The person applying for the permit to import must hold an endorsement (or be a dealer applying as an agent for an individual who is an endorsement holder).
Do I need an import permit for a firearm part?
Yes you do. See 'Permits to import or possess firearms'
How does the amnesty process work?
The amnesty from prosecution for possession of prohibited firearms, parts, and magazines will run until 20 December 2019.
Police encourages any person now in possession of a prohibited item to safely secure it and notify Police by completing the online form or calling 0800 311 311.
The amnesty period includes the ability for firearms holders to anonymously hand-in any firearm/s under amnesty. These firearms will be destroyed and are not eligible for buy-back.
Amnesty allows time for you to handover prohibited firearms even if you no longer hold a valid firearms licence. You may also hand in a non-prohibited firearm/s if you no longer wish to have it in your possession.
During the amnesty period it is not an offence to possess firearms that are newly prohibited, but you cannot use them.
Can firearms that are not prohibited firearms be handed in?
Will people be prosecuted if they don’t hand their firearms in during the amnesty?
As the Commissioner of Police has said, people should hand in their prohibited firearms, magazines and parts during the amnesty period which runs until 20 December 2019.
If they do not or do not demonstrate any intent to do so, then Police will take action.
How can I hand in my firearm/s?
Police preference is for firearm/s to be handed in at collection events which are being held throughout New Zealand.
However, there are a number of options for firearm’s owners to hand-in their firearms: Countrywide community collection events; bulk pick-ups by Police for those with more than 10 firearms; collections at selected firearms retailers or dealers, and Police station hand-ins. There are also exception-based pick-ups by Police if there are security concerns or transport constraints.
Who manages the collection points?
Twelve dedicated Police collection teams support district-based Police staff and other necessary resource at each community collection point. Collections are replicated in the same way throughout the country.
What should people do to get ready for a collection event?
- Complete the online notification form to help speed up the hand-in process.
- Record your online notification reference number and remember to take it with you to the collection event.
Safety is paramount - before coming to a collection event, remember to safely transport your firearms by clearing them of all ammunition and placing the firearms and parts in a safe carry bag, such as a firearms bag, or a nondescript cover.
When you come to a collection event, please bring the following with you:
- Photo identification (drivers licence or passport)
- Your bank account number
- Your firearms licence (if applicable)
- You online notification reference number
- All your prohibited firearms and prohibited parts, cleared of all ammunition
- Any other firearm/s or parts you wish to hand-in to Police for destruction.
How will the hand-in and collection process work?
It’s important all firearm/s owners remove all ammunition from their firearm/s and store them securely before transporting to collection points.
Once at a collection event, owners will need to do a safety clearance of every firearm, under Police supervision. This ensures all firearms are empty of ammunition. Police staff will provide you with a chamber safety flag once that process is complete. This shows the firearm is safe for handling and free of ammunition.
Amnesty: If you want to hand-in your firearm during the amnesty period, proceed to the amnesty queue at collection events and hand your firearm to processing staff. The firearm will be tagged for destruction and then securely stored.
Buy-back: If your firearm is eligible for buy-back, owners should go to the Police website and complete the online notification form before going to collection events. Remember to record your online notification reference number.
If you haven’t completed your online form you will need to go to the administration station at collection events and complete an online form then. Note the process will be quicker if you complete your online notification form before going to a collection event.
You will then take your firearm/s to be confirmed by Police staff who will use the catalogue and pricing determined by Government. The price cannot be negotiated as they are set in Regulations. An assessor will then confirm the firearm/s match the descriptions on the form. The firearm/s are then verified by a firearms expert. The firearm/s will then be tagged for destruction and secured.
Please note that people seeking firearm/s endorsements need to do so via the online notification form or by calling 0800 311 311.
Can I bring ammunition and other parts/accessories to hand-in at the collection events?
Yes, you can bring ammunition, parts and magazines to collection events. Please make every effort to ensure your firearm/s is unloaded and these items are safe.
I have more than 10 firearms and multiple parts and accessories. What must I do?
Please complete the online notification form, select bulk-ups and list the firearms and parts you will be handing-in for buy-back. Please do NOT attend a collection event as the team will be unable to process your application for buy-back.
By completing the online notification form and providing the relevant details, Police will be in contact about collecting your firearms and parts from your premise.
How long will the process take at a community collection site?
This will vary depending on the number of people attending and the number of firearms being handed in. It will also depend on whether you have completed the online notification form in advance. If you do, you will progress quickly through the process.
What if none of the locations or times suit me or I can’t get there? What if I live in a remote location or don't have transport? What if I don’t have childcare options?
The online notification form enables people to inform Police if they cannot transport their firearms safely to any of the collection events. If you are unable to travel we ask that you please complete the online notification form or call 0800 311 311 and an alternative option will be considered.
Children are welcome to attend the events.
What happens to the firearms once they are handed in?
Firearm/s are tagged, disabled and securely stored. Firearm/s will be rendered inoperable onsite and then securely transported to another location for bulk destruction.
How will you record/track/trace firearms handed-in?
All firearms will be tagged with a unique ID using QR codes. This creates a ‘chain of custody’ from hand-in, through to final destruction.
When does the buy-back end?
The buy-back ends on 20 December 2019, no exceptions.
Does the buy-back cover parts, accessories, magazines and ammunition?
The buy-back includes parts, accessories and magazines but not ammunition.
Can I sell my firearm to someone overseas instead of taking part in the buy-back?
No. If it is a prohibited firearm you are unlikely to be given a permit to export under the Customs and Excise Act.
Will you be doing checks on all firearms licence holders?
Police’s established processes for checking licence holders will continue. However, work on the proposed second bill will consider the need to audit and monitor compliance of all licence holders.
I disagree with the price list. How was it developed and how can I appeal?
The price-list was developed in consultation with firearms and industry experts, independently from NZ Police. Prices for the now prohibited items reflect the value of the item just prior to March 2019. They take into account retailer's prices and online prices and - in the case of a prohibited firearm - whether the firearm is a current, superseded or discontinued model.
Buy-back amounts depend on a firearm or part - the criteria is listed in detail on the price list. They are calculated as a percentage of the value or base price of the item. Firearms in (A) in new or near new condition, 95% of the base price (B) in used condition, 70% of the base price (C) in poor condition, 25% of the base price.
For a prohibited part in any condition better than poor, the buy-back amount will be 70% of the base price. If they are in poor condition, buy-back will be 25% of the base price.
If you do wish to appeal the buy-back price for your item/s, section 63 of the Arms Act 1983 allows for you to appeal to the District Court through the civil jurisdiction.
Will the price list be updated if there are items missing/need reviewing?
The price list is subject to future amendments, as soon as is reasonably practicable, to include further makes and models of firearms that may not be included in the initial publication released on 20 June 2019. Once Police is made aware a firearm is not on the price list and this is confirmed, a firearm will be entered into the system and price investigation undertaken. Should the investigation be successful, the firearm will be added to the price list, which will be updated and notified in the Gazette and online at police.govt.nz.
The decision to amend the price list is made by the Police Commissioner.
Why is my firearm on the price list? I don’t think I have a prohibited firearm.
There are some firearm brands/models that are listed that have different capacity magazines. If you have a shotgun with a non-detachable magazine capacity of 6 or more it is prohibited.
If, for example, your semi-automatic shotgun has an internal non-detachable magazine capacity of five or fewer cartridges, corresponding to what it is chambered for, then it is not prohibited regardless of whether it features on the price list.
Why are optical sights not included in the price list?
Many optical sights are purchased as an additional item from the firearm and non-permanently attached to the firearm. They are therefore able to be removed from the firearm and used on non-prohibited items by the holder or sold for use on a non-prohibited firearm. They can be sold internationally but, as an optical sight is a controlled item, the seller would need to apply to MFAT for permission to export. MFAT will consider the application on a case by case basis.
Should the optical sight be permanently fixed to the firearm, its value will be considered in the overall valuation of the prohibited firearm.
Why is ammunition not included in the buy-back?
The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019 provide exemptions for those who have legitimate purpose for the continued possession of these types of ammunition. In the absence of any other legitimate use compensation is deemed unnecessary.
How long is it going to take for people to get paid once they start the buy-back process?
When people have completed the process at the community collection events and handed over their firearms, they will receive payment within 10 working days. If firearms are handed over at a dealer or Police station, payment terms will be longer.
Are people going to receive an itemised receipt with agreed price for their weapons and parts at events?
Yes, people will receive a printed itemised receipt with the agreed price for firearms/items that are on the price list List. This itemised receipt will also be emailed to the firearm holder. However, if the item is not on the price list, then the agreed price will not be on the receipt. For more information on this process, refer to the price list (PDF 305KB).
Do I have to pay GST on firearms or parts handed in as part of the buy-back scheme?
If you are not GST registered then no GST is payable on firearm(s)/parts handed in to Police.
If you are GST registered, the hand-in of prohibited firearm(s)/parts is treated as a supply for GST purposes if they were an asset of your GST registered business.
This means that where a GST registered person hands in a firearm(s)/parts which were used in the course of the GST registered business (for example, has previously claimed GST on the firearm(s)/parts), they will be required to pay GST on the compensation received in their GST return.
The compensation payments are being made on a GST inclusive basis. This means that where GST is payable it will be 3/23rds of the compensation received for the firearm(s)/parts. You will receive a remittance statement setting out the compensation you will receive for each firearm/parts.
Where multiple firearms/parts are handed in, the GST treatment of each item handed in should be considered. GST is only payable on the compensation received for firearm(s)/parts where they were assets of a GST registered business.
We recommend you discuss with your accountant if you are unsure what GST treatment applies.
Will I be paid for individual parts within the groupings on the price list?
Police will only compensate for parts if the full part grouping is surrendered. If you only have partial groupings we will collect those items under amnesty, and you will not be compensated. We will not pay for a sub-set of parts within one of the specified grouping.
Why can’t I get paid when I hand in my firearm/item? / Why does payment need to go through your systems?
New Zealand Police does not issue cheques or makes cash payments. Paying electronically provides greater security, transparency and efficiency for both New Zealand Police and the firearms holder over the transaction.
Why can’t you just give me a cheque?
Cheques are no longer issued by New Zealand Police. Payment electronically is an efficient and secure method of payment.
How does the dealer compensation process work?
- Dealer notification: You will have received an email from NZ Police with your login credentials for the Dealer Compensation online portal. You will need to submit your application for compensation into the portal, including a full inventory of prohibited items being claimed and any supporting evidence.
- Provisional Review: NZ Police will provisionally review your application for compensation and check that the evidence submitted substantiates your compensation claims for each prohibited item. NZ Police will notify you of the outcome of this provisional review and whether any further information is required.
- On-site collection and reconciliation: NZ Police will contact you to schedule collection of your prohibited inventory. At the time of collection, NZ Police will conduct a physical reconciliation of prohibited items being collected against your application for compensation. This includes performing a condition assessment for any second-hand or trade-in firearms that you are claiming compensation for.
- Compensation Payable: NZ Police will notify you of the final amount of compensation payable.
- Compensation Paid: NZ Police will notify you that compensation has been paid to your nominated bank account.
What items are prohibited?
Refer to the following sections of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019
- s2A; Meaning of prohibited firearm
- s2B: Meaning of prohibited magazine
- s2C: Meaning of prohibited part
- s2D: Meaning of prohibited ammunition
What prohibited items are eligible for compensation?
To be eligible for compensation, the prohibited items must be:
- lawfully purchased or ordered before 12 April 2019 to qualify for compensation; OR
- For Prohibited firearms that temporarily became MSSA firearms at 3 pm on 21 March 2019 (under the Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms) Order 2019). These firearms must have been lawfully purchased or ordered before 3 pm on 21 March 2019. This is to ensure that if the firearm was a standard (A category) firearm before 21 March 2019, but became a MSSA on 21 March 2019, you don’t need to show that you had a permit to procure if you purchased or ordered it from a domestic supplier (but you would still have had to have a permit to import if acquiring from overseas).
In addition, at the date of your application for compensation, the prohibited items claimed for need to be:
- Held by the dealer (pending collection by Police); or
- Subject to the control of Customs; or
- Forfeited to the Crown under section 176(1)(a) of the Customs and Excise Act 2018; or
- Delivered by Customs to Police under section 85(1)(b) of the Customs and Excise Act 2018.
What if I have returned a prohibited item to a supplier already?
If you returned a prohibited item to a supplier, you may apply for compensation in respect of:
- The difference between the amount you paid for an item and the amount of the refund received; and
- Any external costs reasonably incurred that are directly attributable to, or that may be apportioned to, the purchase of the item, including domestic and international freight costs; and
- Any international or domestic freight costs incurred that are directly attributable to, or that may be apportioned to, the return of the prohibited item.
Am I required to return prohibited items to the supplier?
Before applying for compensation you must have taken all reasonable steps to mitigate your losses (for example, cancelling orders before shipment or returning items to suppliers). When you make your application for compensation you will need to provide evidence of the steps you have taken to mitigate your losses (for example, emails with suppliers and contractual terms).
What evidence do I need to provide to support my claim for compensation?
To be eligible for compensation, you must provide the following evidence to support your claims:
- Evidence that you have taken all reasonable steps in the circumstances to mitigate losses in respect of the prohibited items (for example, cancelling orders before shipment or returning items to suppliers).
- Evidence to support:
- The purchase price of the new items;
- The trade-in value of second-hand items; OR (if you are unable to supply evidence of the trade–in value or purchase price of the second hand item) the amount payable for an equivalent item specified in the Compensation Schedule;
- The difference between the amount paid for the item and the amount of refund received with respect to the returned stock;
- Any external costs reasonably incurred that are directly attributable to, or that may be apportioned to, the purchase of the item (and its return in the case of returned stock).
- Copy of your dealer licence.
Please also note that at any point before, during, or after the dealer compensation process, NZ Police may request to view your dealer book.
How much compensation will I receive?
Refer to the following sections of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019.
- s28S: Amount of compensation available for new, second-hand, and trade-in items
- s28V: Amount of compensation available for return of prohibited items to supplier
Please note that the amount you claim in your application is a provisional compensation amount. Once your application and supporting evidence has been reviewed by NZ Police, you will be notified of the final compensation amount payable.
How long will it take to pay out my compensation?
Compensation will be paid out as soon as possible after NZ Police have collected your prohibited items and this has been reconciled against your application for compensation. To reduce the possibility of delay, please ensure you have followed the instructions and guidelines to provide full and complete accurate information and supporting evidence.
I am a licenced dealer, but have not received my login details.
Please contact NZ Police at email@example.com OR call 0800 311 311 to obtain your login details.
I have forgotten my password.
Please click on the ‘Forgot your password?’ link on the login page to reset your password.
Alternatively contact NZ Police at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 0800 311 311.
Do I supply GST inclusive or GST exclusive prices?
Please provide all prices in NZD exclusive of GST, unless otherwise specified.
If you need to calculate the GST exclusive price, please use the following formula:
- Step 1: GST inclusive amount × 3 ÷ 23 = GST amount (eg $115 × 3 ÷ 23 = $15)
- Step 2: GST inclusive amount – GST amount = GST exclusive amount (eg $115 - $15 = $100).
I wish to claim for a prohibited firearm that I have built from parts I have purchased.
You will need to claim for the purchase price of each part of the firearm separately NOT the full firearm. Enter the details of the prohibited parts on the Dealer Stock – Parts tab of the Prohibited Items Inventory Form. In the comments field, specify that the part relates to an assembled prohibited firearm and provide a serial number of the firearm.
I wish to claim compensation for newly prohibited ammunition.
Prohibited ammunition is not eligible for compensation.
I have purchased prohibited items in a foreign currency.
You must provide evidence of the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) value of your purchase. As example, you might provide an invoice showing the amount payable and a bank statement showing the actual amount of NZD paid with a reference to the invoice number.
What happens if I am not able to provide an invoice supporting my purchase of the prohibited item?
For new items: an invoice must be provided in order to be eligible for compensation for prohibited items.
For second-hand and trade-in items: if you cannot provide evidence of the amount paid for the prohibited item, you will receive the amount listed on the Price List for the condition as assessed by a NZ Police firearms assessor.
I am having trouble using the Prohibited Items Inventory Form OR don’t have Microsoft Excel.
Please contact NZ Police at email@example.com OR call 0800 311 311.
Can I make more than one application for Dealer compensation?
Only one application can be submitted by a licensed dealer for all prohibited items, unless Police are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances preventing the dealer from making only one application.
Please ensure that you are satisfied you have included everything in your application for compensation. If circumstances change after you have submitted your application and you think you may need to make a second application you will need to first satisfy police that the circumstances are exceptional
To submit your application of why your circumstances are exceptional, please contact Police at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prohibited Stock Held on Behalf
For second hand/used prohibited items that you were holding (before the law change) on behalf of a third party to sell on their behalf, that third party (who is the person entitled to possession) needs to make arrangements for those items to be delivered to Police and make the application for compensation.
I have no prohibited stock
As part of this process you are able to declare that you have no prohibited items under your dealers licence (including on order or in transit) and you will not be applying for compensation in accordance with the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019.
Unique prohibited items
What are unique prohibited items?
The Arms Regulations 1992 recognise that not all items are represented in the price list and therefore acknowledges that there will be some unique, rare, or modified items that require special consideration. For example, some owners may have modified their prohibited item in a way that has significantly increased the items’ value and is not reflected in the price list.
Applications need to meet one of the three criteria below:
- The prohibited item is not listed in the price list and it is rare, or has other distinguishing characteristics that significantly affect its value, or
- The prohibited item is not listed in the price list and it is otherwise unique and is substantially different from any other prohibited item listed in the compensation schedule, or
- If the prohibited item is listed in the price list but the item has been modified in such a manner, and to such an extent, that you have reasonable grounds to believe the value of the item is at least 30% above the base price for that item listed in the price list.
Applications that do not meet the criteria will be declined.
When do I need to have my application form in by?
Please submit your application as soon as possible. The amnesty and buy-back ends on 20 December 2019.
Are there any compensation exclusions?
The amount of compensation payable for a unique prohibited item does not include any economic loss, consequential loss, business interruption or any loss attributable to intrinsic or sentimental value. Please read regulation 28I of the Arms Regulations 1992 for more information on the limits to compensation payable.
How do I apply?
- Complete the application form.
- Application form (PDF 867KB)
- If you have one unique prohibited item, upload the application form and all supporting documentation to your Online Notification form OR;
- If you have two or more unique prohibited items, upload one application form, a supplementary form for every additional item and all supporting documentation to your Online Notification form.
- Supplementary application form (PDF 550KB)
- You will also need to upload photographs of the unique prohibited item to your online notification form.
- Once you have loaded this information, an application invoice will be generated and applicants will need to pay a $138.00 (GST inclusive) application fee. This is a non-refundable application fee and must be paid within 7 days of receiving the invoice. You will receive payment confirmation and following this Police will begin reviewing the submitted application. Further details or actions relating to your application will be communicated to you directly by Police.
Why do I need to attach photos?
This is to provide the panel for unique prohibited items with evidence to assist in assessing your application.
What photos do I need to attach to my application?
Please upload the following photos to your online notification form to support your application:
- At least one photo that shows the entire item end to end
- At least one photo that shows the barrel
- At least one photo that shows the working action
- At least one photo that shows the serial number
- Any other photos that show rare, unique or distinguishing characteristics or evidence of modification.
What’s the cost of an application?
Firearm owners applying for compensation will be required to pay a one-off non-refundable application fee of $138.00 (GST inclusive) within 7 days of receiving the invoice. The fee covers the cost of processing the application, and any supplementary application forms, that are submitted at the same time. If additional applications are made over and above the main one, another charge of $138 will apply.
Applicants may be required to obtain a valuation from a Police approved valuer if the supporting documentation is not deemed sufficient. If this is the case, Police will get in contact with the applicant to outline the following steps. The applicant will be responsible for managing and paying for the valuation.
Is the $138 fee refundable?
The $138 fee is not refundable. This fee is for the administration costs of processing your application/s. We ask that you please check the Arms Regulations 1992 to make sure that your firearm, part or accessory is eligible before applying for unique prohibited compensation.
I have multiple items that I wish to submit to the unique prohibited application process. Do I have to pay the $138 fee multiple times?
If you submit your application - and any supplementary applications at the same time – you will only need to pay the $138 fee once. If additional applications are made at a later date, another charge of $138 will apply. You can submit an application for as many prohibited items as you like - providing they meet one of the three criteria outlined in regulation 28P of the Arms Regulations 1992.
I’ve already handed my prohibited item in but I think I could have been compensated for it being unique prohibited. What can I do?
Items already handed-in have been destroyed and therefore cannot be processed as unique prohibited items retrospectively. Police communications have been clear that firearm holders who thought their item was unique prohibited should retain it until Police had a process in place.
How have the approved valuers been selected?
Qualified valuers applied and were selected through a procurement process, considering their capability and expertise in unique prohibited firearms, capacity and integrity. Approved valuers have a range of experience across different categories of unique prohibited items and are located throughout New Zealand to ensure ease of access for firearm holders.
What if I do not know how to upload documents to my online notification form?
Please refer to the document below for guidelines on how to upload your application to the online form. If you still need assistance, please call the 0800 311 311 and we can arrange assistance.
- User guide (PDF 489KB)
Are parts or accessories eligible for unique prohibited compensation?
Yes, if they meet the criteria specified in section 28P of the Arms Regulations, you can apply for unique prohibited compensation for parts and accessories.
I already have a valuation, why would the Police ask me to get another valuation for my item?
Police may require you to seek a second valuation from an approved valuer if your initial valuation does not have all the required information needed to make a fair and informed decision about an item’s price. Alternatively, you may be required to seek a valuation from a specialised valuer with specific expertise. The Police approved valuers are published on the website. You can choose to get a valuation from an approved valuer as part of your original application, to avoid the possibility of needing a second valuation.
Does my firearm need to be insured?
While your application for compensation through the unique prohibited items application process is being considered, it is your responsibility to ensure that your firearm is appropriately insured against any loss or damage that could occur before the firearm is surrendered to Police.
Modifications and Approved Gunsmiths
What firearms can be modified under the buyback scheme?
Some firearms with non-detachable tubular magazines are able to be modified - to permanently reduce the magazine capacity so that the firearm is no longer a prohibited firearm, or its tubular magazine is no longer a prohibited magazine -, including:
- Semi-automatic firearms capable of firing only 0.22 calibre or lower rimfire cartridges, with a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
- Centrefire firearms that do not have a semi-automatic action and have a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
- Semi-automatic shotguns with a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.
- A pump-action shotgun with a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.
Owners of some bolt, lever-action and pump-action firearms may not realise that, while firearms with those actions are not prohibited, the non-detachable magazine may be prohibited because of the number of rounds it holds.
- Shotguns with a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than five cartridges.
- Other firearms with non-detachable tubular magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges.
What modifications can be done?
The Commissioner has approved the manner and standard for these tubular magazine modifications, which are available in this document:
When it refers to “welding” in the Commissioner’s approved manner and standard of modification, does this also include soldering or brazing?
Soldering, brazing and welding are all methods of joining two or more pieces of metal and selected other materials. Police consider that soldering and brazing counts as welding – as long as it is done in a way that ensures the modification is not reversible without the use of significant tooling and would require replacement parts.
My firearm is prohibited and I want to get it modified, what should I do?
Firearms owners should first notify Police of their intention to modify via the Police website.
Once firearms owners have notified Police they should make contact with an Approved Gunsmith which are listed on the Police website. Discuss with the Approved Gunsmith whether your particular firearm is able to be modified. If it is, they will provide instructions on the process.
Will my items be insured while they are being transported and worked on by the Approved Gunsmith?
Approved Gunsmiths have been approved by the Commissioner on the basis that they will all ensure their risks of doing business and providing the modification services are adequately covered, whether by insurance or otherwise. This means not all gunsmiths who have been approved will have insurance.
It is recommended that you check your own insurance policy to see what that covers and ask the gunsmith what their insurance arrangements are before delivering your firearm to them for modifications to be carried out.
Who pays for the modification?
Police pay the cost of modifications to tubular magazines (provided for under regulation 28U of the Arms Regulations) up to a maximum of $300 (including GST) where:
- The modification is done by an approved gunsmith.
- The gunsmith has provided the necessary documents to Police, including a certificate certifying that the modification has been done in the manner and to the standard approved by the Commissioner.
Payment is made directly to the Approved Gunsmith.
What if the modification costs more than $300?
Police will only pay up to a maximum of $300 (including GST) for the cost of the modification. When deciding whether or not to modify your firearm, ask the Approved Gunsmith how much the modification is going to cost. If it will cost more than $300 (including GST), then you will need to decide whether you want to pay for the costs above $300 and instruct the gunsmith to proceed with the work on that basis; or, whether you want to hand-in the firearm to Police and receive compensation instead.
Do I need a firearms licence in order to have my firearm modified?
Yes, in order to have your firearm modified under the prohibited firearms amnesty and buyback scheme you must have a valid firearms licence.
Can I have my ‘box magazine’ modified under the buyback scheme?
Modifications under the prohibited firearms amnesty and buyback scheme do not apply to ‘box magazines’. It only covers non-detachable tubular magazines firearms and shotguns with non-detachable magazines as per the Arms Act Regulations.
Police do not generally recommend modifications to box magazines. Prohibited box magazines can be handed-in for compensation and compliant magazines can then be purchased.
It is recognised, however, that it may not be possible to source compliant box magazines for some firearms. In those situations, firearms licence holders can elect to have their ‘box magazine’ that exceeds 10 rounds modified by a gunsmith at their own cost. It is the firearm owner’s responsibility to ensure their firearms meet the new Act and any modification is ‘permanent’. The modification to a ‘box magazine’ must be carried out with due care, skill and diligence, and the firearm must be maintained in a safe working state. The modification must not be readily reversible. The reduction of the magazine capacity should be completed by cutting the body to reduce its length so that it does not allow a higher capacity than 10 cartridges/rounds to be loaded. Modifications using ‘blocks’, ‘pinning’ or ‘dowels’ - to prevent ammunition loading exceeding 10 rounds - will not be considered a permanent modification by Police.
I had my firearms modified before the gunsmiths were approved. Can I seek retrospective compensation?
No, firearms owners who elected to have their firearms modified prior to the announcement of the Approved Gunsmiths and accompanying process are not eligible to seek payment towards that modification.
I have modified my firearm myself, can I seek compensation?
No, firearms owners who have modified their own firearms are not eligible to seek compensation. They must also be aware that any modification made must be permanent and not reversible without significant tools and skills. See, for example, the guidance on the manner and standard for modifications for Approved Gunsmiths.
I have used a non-approved Gunsmith, can I seek compensation?
No, firearms owners who have had their firearms modified by a ‘non-Approved’ Gunsmith are not eligible to seek compensation.
Can Police check my modification?
Police have approved gunsmiths that Police consider to have the requisite skills. While Police have the ability to conduct checks on firearms modified under this process, as required for audit purposes, it is not envisaged that modifications carried out by Approved Gunsmiths will be widely checked.
For modifications performed outside of that process, Police will not be routinely checking them. It is the firearm owner’s responsibility to ensure their firearms have been properly and safely modified.
Given the small number of gunsmiths in New Zealand and the huge number of firearms with tube magazines, is it possible for all the firearms affected to be converted by 20 December?
Not everyone with a firearm that can be modified will elect to modify it – some people may choose to hand-in their firearm and receive compensation.
People that do elect to modify their firearm will be signalling their intent to do that through their online notification. Police will monitor those numbers over time.
People who want to take up the option of modifying their firearm are advised to start that process soon in order to allow as much time as possible for the modification to be done. The amnesty and buy-back period ends on 20 December 2019.
Video Q&As on Firearms
Last updated 18 October 2019