Firearms licensing for collectors and dealers

Updates

At alert level one all firearms services operate normally.

At alert level two both district based and centrally supported activities including face to face interviews and site visits will continue to operate.

Police public counters will operate with social distancing protocols in place. Social distancing will be observed and staff will be wearing facemasks and appropriate PPE as required. A limited number of firearms safety programme courses are still running.

In the interests of reducing the spread of COVID-19, it’s recommended firearms community members wear face coverings when visited by Police. At Alert Level 2, wearing a mask is recommended when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you don't know. For more information visit https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/protect-yourself-and-others/wear-a-face-covering/

At alert level three the following firearms face to face services are deferred:

  • Public counter services,
  • Mail order approval service
  • First time licence and licence renewal applicant vetting and security checks
  • Dealer licence applicant vetting and audit checks,
  • Endorsed firearms licence holder audits,
  • Firearms safety programme for first time applicants.

The following centrally based firearms non-face to face support services continue in a reduced capacity:

  • permits to import firearms,
  • prohibited endorsement application resolution and
  • change of address phone enquiries.

Online notifications and applications will be received and will be processed but with reduced capacity likely to create delays.

At alert level four the following firearms face to face services are deferred:

  • Public counter services,
  • Mail order approval service
  • First time licence and licence renewal applicant vetting and security checks
  • Dealer licence applicant vetting and audit checks,
  • Endorsed firearms licence holder audits,
  • Firearms safety programme for first time applicants.

The following centrally based firearms non-face to face support services are deferred:

  • permits to import firearms,
  • prohibited endorsement application resolution and
  • change of address phone enquiries is deferred.

National contact services may continue in a reduced capacity with some staff enabled to work from home. Firearms applicants may lodge applications and change of address notifications on line or by email but these will be placed in a backlog queue.

Note:

  • The Government passed legislation in May enabling the extension of firearms and dealers’ licences expiring between December 2019 and 25 September 2020. This means people who have an expired or expiring firearms or dealer’s licence, and have applied for a renewal, will be deemed to have a current licence until the outcome of their licence application. For licences expiring between 25 March and 25 September 2020 licence holders have up to 4 months after the original expiry date in which to apply for a replacement licence.
  • Pistol endorsement holder minimum annual shoot requirements will be affected and Police will engage separately with these licence holders in the future.
  • Due to continuing COVID-19 related impacts Police have an increasing backlog of licence applications and other work. As alert levels allow the backlogs will be progressed as promptly as possible.

Full details of regulations covering firearms collectors and dealers can be found in the Arms Code.

Information and application forms are available if you wish to apply for an endorsement and permit to possess prohibited items on a collector or dealer.

Firearms collectors

You need a standard firearms licence if you collect firearms, plus a 'C endorsement' if you want to collect pistols and/or restricted weapons. This endorsement does not allow you to fire the weapons and demands strict storage security.

You need a different C endorsement for each of these situations:

  • you are a genuine collector with a collection that has an identifiable theme
  • you've got an heirloom pistol or restricted weapon that has special significance to you
  • you are a director or curator of a bona fide museum
  • you are employed by a bona fide theatrical group or film making organisation.

The fee for one or more endorsements is $204.00. Apply to your local firearms office.

Application form to apply for a C endorsement:

Firearms dealers

If you buy, sell, make or hire out firearms as part of a business, you need a dealer's licence as well as a standard licence. This is valid for one year.

Dealer's licence fee (new or renewal) - $204.00. Apply to your local firearms office.

If you wish to have prohibited items as part of your business you will need to apply for an endorsement and permit to possess prohibited items. If you wish to have pistols and restricted weapons as part of your business you will need an 'F endorsement'.

A separate consent is needed if you are a dealer holding or exhibiting at a gun show.
Dealers' gun show consent fee - $50.00

Importing firearms

Collectors and dealers need a permit to bring firearms into New Zealand. Contact your local firearms office.

You can only import firearms that are on the approved firearms list.

To have a firearm that is not on the list assessed, send details of the make and model by email using this Firearms enquiry contact form.

There are other offensive weapons you need the approval of your nearest arms officer to import:

  • knuckle-dusters (including knives with knuckle dusters incorporated)
  • swordsticks
  • any weapon disguised to have the appearance of something else
  • any knife where the blade opens automatically by button, spring, or other device (e.g. flick knife)
  • any knife where the blade is released by force of gravity or force to the central point and which is then locked in place by a button, spring, lever or other device
  • any knife (excluding folding pocket knife with blade less than 10cm) that is designed for easy concealment on the body, or has a double-edged blade designed for stabbing/throwing, or any knife known as ‘urban skinner, terminator, black eagle, black dagger, throwing knife’
  • bayonets.

Exporting firearms

You need an export permit to take or send firearms, components, accessories, ammunition and other offensive weapons out of New Zealand. This permit is needed whatever the state, completeness or working condition of the items. Certain exemptions exist for antique items and exports for the purposes of repair and return.

Export permits are issued free of charge by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Further information and application forms are available through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.