Firearms safety programme

Updates

[2 July 2020] The firearms safety programme, including the safety course, training, and testing have now resumed.

[14 May 2020] In response to Covid-19, the Government has passed temporary legislation 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.

This recognises the inability of licence holders to complete the renewal application or for Police to progress licensing and vetting activity during alert level restrictions. Please note there will be delays as Police works through the backlog, as well as new applications.

What the changes mean for licence holders:

  • If your firearms or dealer’s licence expired before or on 24 March 2020 you must have already applied for a renewal of your licence before it expired for the temporary legislation to apply. If your licence expired before this date and you had not applied for a renewal, you are not legally able to possess or use firearms. You should urgently contact your local police arms office to discuss your options.

  • If your firearms or dealer licence has or will expire between 25 March and 25 September you need to apply for a renewal of your licence as soon as you can to allow for the expected delays in processing your application and no later than 4 months after the expiry date. Following your application you will be able to legally continue to possess, procure, or use a firearm or ammunition for up to 12 months after the original expiry date or until you have had your licence application determined by Police if this happens earlier.

Any endorsements on the licence will continue to be valid for the same period as any extended licence. Similarly, any conditions on a licence will also continue during the extended licence period.

Licence holders going hunting or shooting should carry their existing firearms licence card with them, and confirmation that they have applied to renew their licence.

People who want to sell a firearm or ammunition to a person with a licence card which shows an expiry date before 25 September 2020 should contact their local arms office to confirm it is legally permitted to sell the firearm or ammunition.

 

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