Firearms safety programme

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.

 

Safety is critical when storing, handling or using a firearm. The Firearms Safety Course will ensure you have a strong understanding of the Arms Code, particularly the seven basic rules of firearms safety. It will also provide you with practical training so you know how to safely handle a firearm.

If you’re applying for your first firearms licence then you need to complete the Firearms Safety Course (that is, pass a theory test and undergo practical training) as part of your requirements for a firearms licence, or have completed the Whakatūpato programme.

If you’re an existing or previous licence holder applying for a new firearms licence, you will (as now) be directed by Police to either complete a firearms safety test (in the application form) during the licensing process, or to undertake the Firearms Safety Course.

Police will confirm if you should undertake the Firearms Safety Course after you submit your application for a firearms licence. If you are required to undertake the Firearms Safety Course you need to take the confirmation letter issued by Police when you attend the course. 

Who needs to complete the firearms safety course?

If you ... then you ...


commence the Firearms Safety programme after 1 March 2019
 


must complete both the theory test and practical training components of the Firearms Safety Course


have commenced the Firearms Safety programme but not yet passed the
Theory Test at AA or VTNZ before 1 March 2019


must complete both the theory test and practical training components of the Firearms safety Course


commenced the Firearms Safety programme and have passed the Theory test at AA or VTNZ


must only complete the practical course component of the Firearms Safety Course


have successfully completed the old firearms safety course before 30 June 2018


don’t need to attend the Firearms Safety Course if you submit your firearms licence application within 12 months of completing the old course

If you submit an application more than 12 months after completing the old course you must undertake the Firearm Safety Course


successfully completed the
Whakatūpato Course


don’t need to complete the new firearms safety course

If you submit an application more than 12 months after completing the Whakatūpato Course you must undertake the Firearm Safety Course or attend a Whakatüpato Course again


completed the Firearms Safety programme
(passed the Theory test at AA or VTNZ and attended a Practical Course)


have completed all training requirements and don’t need to attend the Firearms Safety Course


are an existing or previous
licence holder applying for a new
firearms licence


will be directed by Police to either

  1. complete the firearms safety test (in the application form) when interviewed, or
  2. to undertake the Firearms Safety Course
     

 

Note:

  • The Whakatūpato programme will continue to provide firearms safety training in remote and isolated communities. The programme will be aligned with the Firearms Safety Course to include both a theory test and practical training. More information on this programme is available through Police Māori Responsiveness Managers.
  • The cost for doing the firearms theory test and practical training is currently included in the licence application fee.

Firearms Safety Course overview

The firearms safety course encompasses a theory test that requires you to show that you understand how to safely handle firearms; and a practical training session giving hands-on experience in firearms safety … More

Firearms Safety Course booking and preparation

As a first time firearms licence applicant you must pass the Firearms Safety Course as a mandatory component of your firearms licence application process  … More

Firearms safety e-learning

The Arms Code quiz will help you prepare for your firearms theory test. Even if you’re an experienced firearms user, you can check your understanding of firearms safety.  … More

Find a mentor

The firearms theory test and practical training require applicants to show that they have a strong understanding of the Arms Code and of how to stay safe with firearms … More

Identification requirements

You must show the following form of identification when you attend the firearms safety course … More