Modifications and approved gunsmiths

If you need to have your firearm modified, please call 0800 311 311 between 8am-8pm to notify Police.

New provisions in the Arms Act 1983 came into force on 12 April 2019 prohibiting most semi-automatic firearms, and some shotguns, magazines and parts.

Some prohibited firearms with tubular magazines can be modified to be non-prohibited.

Firearms that can be modified

Some firearms with non-detachable tubular magazines may be modified (to permanently reduce the magazine capacity so that the firearm is no longer a prohibited firearm), including:

  • A semi-automatic firearm capable of firing only 0.22 calibre or lower rimfire cartridges, with a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
  • A semi-automatic shotgun 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.

In addition, any firearms with non-detachable tubular magazines that are prohibited magazines because they are capable of holding more than 10 rounds, may also have that tubular magazine modified to reduce its capacity.

Modifying your firearm

  • Please call 0800 311 311 between 8am-8pm to notify.
  • Select an approved gunsmith from the list below.
  • Confirm with your approved gunsmith whether your firearm can be modified.
  • Please discuss shipping and transportation of your firearm/s with your approved gunsmith.
  • Arrange to book the modification with your approved gunsmith. Note that you will need to pay for your firearm/s to be shipped to your approved gunsmith.

Your approved gunsmith will complete the work and return your firearm with a certification of work complete. Your approved gunsmith will notify Police of work carried out and will receive up to $300 for modifications per firearm from Police.

Key points to note

  • The amnesty period allows you to transport your prohibited firearm to an approved gunsmith for modifications.
  • The subsidy paid to approved gunsmiths for modification work is a maximum of $300.
  • 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.
  • A list of approved gunsmiths who are authorised to carry out modifications is available below.
  • If you, non-Police approved gunsmiths and any other individuals, choose to carry out modifications yourself, you are not eligible to receive the $300 compensation as the work has been done by a non-approved gunsmith.
  • If you, non-Police approved gunsmiths and any other individuals carry out the work yourself, it must be completed in accordance with the standards below.

Modification of centrefire semi-automatics

Any proposed modification to a firearm in an attempt to change its classification needs to be permanent and irreversible.

Police are not aware of any modification to the action of a centrefire semi-automatic firearm that would be sufficiently irreversible to change its classification. Accordingly, such modifications are neither recommended nor endorsed by Police.

A semi-automatic firearm will remain a semi-automatic firearm even if it’s for the time being, partially dismantled by the removal of some parts. Furthermore, modifications that can be reversed by someone with skills and tooling that are readily available, will not change the classification of a firearm. The fact that a firearm might temporarily be unable to fire with a semi-automatic action due to some sort of modification, does not mean that it is no longer a semi-automatic firearm. If by the completion or replacement of a component or any corrections / repairs, the firearm can be made to fire with semi-automatic action again, the firearm is not permanently and irreversibly modified. (See paragraph (b)(ii) and (iii) of the extended definition of firearm in section 2 of the Arms Act 1983)

The only modifications provided for in the Arms Regulations (and accordingly endorsed by Police) are permanent modifications undertaken by Police-approved gunsmiths to:

  1. the non-detachable tubular magazine of a prohibited firearm; or
  2. a prohibited tubular magazine.

The amnesty period ends on 20 December 2019. In order to be eligible for compensation for prohibited firearm, the application for compensation has to be made before 20 December 2019. Anyone possessing inappropriately modified prohibited firearms after the end of the amnesty period, risks being arrested and charged for possession of a prohibited firearm.

List of approved gunsmiths




Darren Hills


Arnie Sharpe


On Target


D.F Maisey Gunsmithing Services



NZ Guns and Parts

Phone: 09 294 7795, 027 493 3347


Custom Cartridges

Phone: 07 378 4593


Miles Manufacturing Ltd

Phone: 027 476 2731


Jeff Horn

Phone: 06 758 4216

New Plymouth

Design, Develop, Manufacture Ltd.



Rivers to Ranges Limited

Phone: 06 878 7177


Gun Supplies Ltd

Phone: 07 347 6570, 027 496 0884
Fax: 07 347 6565



NZ Armourer Ltd

Phone: 027 376 8773




Jepsen Acoustics & Electronics Ltd     

Palmerston North

Gun Services

Phone: 06 323 3728, 022 190 9969


Hayes & Associates Ltd


Kathryn Truscott


GR & Rm Hunt


The Gunshop (Magnum Imports)

Phone: 04 939 6184

Upper Hutt

MR Max Ltd

Lower Hutt

Dave's Gun and Barrel works


Gunsmith Services Marlborough

Phone: 021 0257 3069


Webster Gunsmithing Services Marlborough


Gunworks Ltd

Phone: 03 342 1001


Worksmart - Shoot Smart Ltd

Phone: 022 354 4794

Pleasant Point

Laurie Bradley Gunsmith

Timaru South

Desert Guns Ltd


Greystone Guns

Phone: 03 324 3210


Staveley Alternative Technologies

Phone: 021 428 482


Rod Woods


Gunmakers NZ


Quality Machining Ltd


Shooters World Gore


Custom Guns Ltd

Phone: 027 918 2760



Frequently Asked Questions

Modifications and Approved Gunsmiths FAQs


Page updated 18 October 2019