Apply for a dealer's licence


Important Note: 24 June 2021 Dealer Changes

On 24 June 2021, this page was updated to reflect the Arms Legislation Act 2020 amendments impacting dealer licensing. Please ensure you read the below to see how these changes may impact you:

I currently hold a valid dealer’s licence

 

All dealer licences currently in force on 23 June 2021 are valid until the licence expires or is revoked. If you wish to continue conducting a dealer activity after 23 June 2021, you will need to complete the Dealer Licence and Endorsement application before your current dealer licence expires.

 

I am an employee of a dealer

 

As an employee of a dealer, you can continue to possess your dealer’s firearms1 and prohibited magazines in your capacity as an employee subject to:

  • you holding a valid firearms licence and F endorsement (if handling endorsed firearms) on 23 June 2021; and
  • you remaining employed by that dealer; and
  • until your employer’s dealer’s licence expires or is renewed.

1 firearms refers to pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms.

 

I undertake an activity that is now considered a dealer activity

 

If you are not a licensed dealer but want to carry out any of the range of dealer activities from 24 June 2021, you will need to promptly apply for and obtain a dealer’s licence in order to lawfully conduct that activity.

Police are conscious that, immediately prior to 24 June 2021, you may have been lawfully carrying out activities that did not previously require a dealer licence. For example, displaying arms items as the director or curator of a museum, or repairing arms items. Police are providing you with 60 days to submit an application (by 23 August). During this time, we expect you to be otherwise compliant with the law. Public interest consideration will point strongly against any compliance action being taken for carrying out dealer activities without a dealer licence until a decision is made on your application.

 

Who needs a dealer licence?

If you engage in any of the following activities with a class of arms items, you will need a dealer licence.

Activities:

  • the business of selling, hiring, lending or otherwise supplying arms items
  • possessing arms items for the purposes of an auction
  • the business of repairing or modifying arms items
  • displaying arms items as the director or curator of a bona fide museum
  • manufacturing for sale, hire, lending, or other supply a class of arms items:
  • manufacturing (for the purposes of permitted supply (as defined in section 4A (3))) prohibited parts and using prohibited items to test and demonstrate those prohibited parts.

Classes of arms items:

  • Non- prohibited Firearms
  • Prohibited firearms
  • Non- prohibited Magazines
  • Prohibited magazines
  • Non- prohibited parts
  • Prohibited parts
  • Airguns
  • Pistols
  • Restricted weapons
  • Pistol carbine conversion kits.

You will only be able to undertake the activities, and deal in the specified arms items, that are stated and granted in your dealer licence.

 

Activities that do not require a dealer licence


There are limited exemptions that do not require a dealer’s licence. These are:

  • commercial hunting guide services by a firearms licence holder who during these services supplies no more than six firearms to one or more clients
  • selling, hiring, lending, or supplying of firearms by a member of a shooting club, if the member -
    • sells, hires, lends, or supplies firearms to a club member, or on club premises, with the approval of the club management committee or a majority vote of club members; and
    • the revenue from the sale, hire, lending or supply of the firearms is used for the benefit of the club.

 

Who can apply?

To apply for a dealer licence, you must meet the following criteria:

  • hold a current firearms licence, and;
  • be 16 years old or over, or;
  • be 18 years old or over, if applying for an endorsement to deal in prohibited firearms, and/or prohibited magazines.

You will need to demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person to hold a dealer’s licence. Police will consider your overall character and business background from the information provided by you, your referees, and information held or obtained by Police. This includes:

  • Your character, reputation, and whether you:
    • have the competencies and resources to continue the dealer activities for which the dealer’s licence is sought;
    • have any convictions;
    • have a sound knowledge of firearms;
    • understands the legal obligations of a holder of a dealer’s licence; and
    • understands the legal obligations of a holder of a firearms licence, including the endorsements on a firearms licence, and are able to provide advice on those obligations.

And

  • any other matters the commissioned officer of Police considers relevant.

And

  • If you are a senior manager of a body corporate and applying for a dealer’s licence to enable the body corporate to continue dealer activities, the commissioned officer of Police will consider whether:
    • the body corporate has appropriate record-keeping and other systems to comply with the requirements of Arms Act and Arms Regulations; and
    • if the body corporate operates from two or more places of business, each place has a manager who holds a dealer licence who has appropriate oversight and control of dealer activities carried at that location.

You will also need to demonstrate you can;

  • safely and competently possess quantities of firearms
  • deal in firearms responsibly and comply with all requirements of the Arms Act and Arms Regulations
  • run your business with due skill, care, and actively oversee all dealer activities with appropriate policies and procedures
  • implement and maintain appropriate record keeping systems; and
  • manage firearms stocks responsibly and store all firearms and ammunition securely.

 

Steps to complete the application process

Step 1: Open the application form and complete

Open and save the Dealer Licence and dealer endorsements application form (Editable PDF 656 KB) to your device.

  • Read the application form carefully and enter your answers. An incomplete application will cause processing delays
  • Click the ‘save’ icon regularly, as you go and again once you’ve completed the form.

Note: You will need Adobe Reader installed on your device to complete the form properly.
If you do not have Adobe Reader installed, click here to go to the official Adobe Reader website and follow the instructions to download and install.

 

Step 2: Pay the Application Fees

Pay the application fee at a New Zealand PostShop and upload a scanned copy or digital photo of the receipt along with your application. PostShop staff will need to know the type and amount of the fee.

Find a New Zealand PostShop that accepts firearms licence payments. Filter using the ‘Pay a Bill’ option after selecting your location.

When you make payment, you'll need to tell Postshop staff the amount that you need to pay so they can charge the correct fee.

Application fees are non-refundable.

Dealer licence application fees (including GST) are:

Type of fee

Fee

Dealer licence fee (new or renewal)

$204.00

Dealer gun show consent fee

$50.00

Fee for one or more endorsements (if you apply for them at the same time)

$204.00

 

 

Step 3: Get a recent passport-style photo

Your photo must:

  • have been taken within 12 months of the date you upload your application
  • be a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders with the head filling most of the photograph
  • be of you without a hat or head covering (except where your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering)
  • have a plain, light-coloured background
  • be in colour.

Photographs in electronic format must:

  • be portrait photograph (with a 4:3 aspect ratio)
  • be in jpg or jpeg format
  • be between 25KB and 10MB
  • be between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high.

Digital and printed photos from commercial outlets will typically meet these requirements.

 

 

Step 4: Photograph or scan identity documents

You must provide a photo or scan of your:

  • current New Zealand Firearms Licence

And

  • proof of address dated within the last 3 months (e.g. bank statement, utilities bill, electoral roll, etc).
 

Step 5: Upload your application documents

Check that you have completed all the relevant sections of the application form and you have all supporting documents saved and ready to upload, including:

  • application form
  • a photo or scan of the receipt for your application fee
  • a photo or scan of the receipt for your endorsement fee
  • a recent passport style photo
  • a photo or scan of your current New Zealand Firearms Licence
  • a photo or scan showing proof of address.

Click the link below titled ‘Upload application documents’ and follow the instructions to upload your application form, photo, fee receipt, and proof of Firearms licence and address.


Upload application documents

What do I do if​ I can’t upload my application?

You can submit a paper application, along with your supporting documentation, at any Police station. You must provide two identical photographs on printed photographic paper measuring 45mm x 35mm untrimmed when submitting hardcopies

Please attach copies of the original documents to your application. Do not send original documents.

If you have any questions or need any help, please contact your local firearms office.

 

 

Step 6: We will be in touch with next steps

Once your application has been received, Police will contact you to arrange a time to interview you and your nominated referees (see below section for information on choosing referees).

You will also be required to show Police your premises, security arrangements, and secure storage facilities, such as a steel and concrete room, steel cabinets, or steel safes.

 

Renewing a dealer licence


A Dealer’s licence is valid for one year and must be renewed before it expires to continue business operations.

The application to renew can be made using the Dealer Licence and dealer endorsements application form (Editable PDF 656 KB) and submitted using the Upload application documents page. If your application is submitted before the expiry date, you can continue business operations until your application is determined. The renewal (if granted) will take effect from the date of expiry of the previous licence.

Every renewal requires:

  • application form
  • the details of two referees and your spouse, or partner or next of kin,
  • a photo or scan of the receipt for your application fee
  • a photo or scan of the receipt for your endorsement fee
  • a recent passport style photo
  • a photo or scan of your current New Zealand Firearms Licence
  • a photo or scan showing proof of business address.

We encourage people to apply four months ahead of their licence expiry. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact your local firearms office.

 

Referees


When applying for a dealer’s licence or the renewal of your current dealer’s licence, you will need two unrelated referees as well as a next of kin/spouse.

Eligible referees must ordinarily reside in New Zealand and be available for an interview in-person with an Arms Vetter.

A good choice of person to be your referee will be someone who:

  • knows you well in business and personal capacities
  • regularly meets and interacts with you
  • has known you for at least three years
  • is over 25 years of age
  • has experience as a business owner or management/supervisory level
  • is a firearms licence holder, or a dealer licence holder
  • is of good character including:
    • would be considered a fit and proper person to have a firearms licence if they are not a current firearms licence holder
    • has not been bankrupted or banned from involvement in a management role in a business
  • has had some firearms dealer experience (preferable)
  • is happy to allow Police to do a background check on them to confirm they are suitable to act as a referee for you.

Referee interviews

Police will ask your referees to complete a questionnaire and attend an interview. The interviews are designed to be thorough to confirm you are fit, proper and suitable to operate as a licensed arms dealer.

 

Other people who may have involvement in the dealer activity


Employees and other people who may have involvement in the dealer activity

On your application form you will be asked to provide the details of all your employees, whether paid or not, as they have access to the arms items and ammunition handled as part of business activities. Police will need to check that these people are suitable to have access to firearms, have the necessary licence and endorsement(s) and are not known to associate with gang members or organised crime groups.

You will also be asked to provide the details of any other people who have a financial, management, or director involvement with the company and/or has regular access to non-customer areas of the business.

This is because these people may have an opportunity to, exert control over the direction and conduct of the business, or have access to stock, so it is important to confirm that they do not present any known safety risks to your proposed dealer activities.

 

Place of business (s7)


Dealer licences are issued in respect of one place of business and that place is specified in the licence.

If you want to operate more than one place of business, you can get a dealer licence that authorises you to do so, only if there is a manager who also holds a dealer licence providing appropriate oversight and control at each place of business.

On an occasional basis, a dealer may continue dealer activities from places additional to the place of business specified in their dealer’s licence. To do so, you must apply and obtain a condition on your dealer licence that permits it.

Separate consent is needed if you wish to hold or exhibit at a gun show.

Note: Any firearms, pistols, prohibited magazines, and restricted weapons in the possession of a dealer and being hired out use by a broadcaster, bona fide theatre company or society or cinematic or television film production company or video recording production company may be handled at any site in addition to the place of business specified in the dealer’s licence if certain conditions are met. For example, handling and secure storage of the items at that site is supervised by a theatrical armourer, and the armourer has an endorsement permitting this and also written consent from Police specifying the location of the site and duration and description of the production.

 

Manufacturing


If you are proposing to manufacture pistols, restricted weapons, pistol carbine conversion kits or air pistol carbine conversion kits you will also need to apply to the Commissioner for written approval stating the numbers of each class of arms item intended to be manufactured before manufacturing can commence.

In the case of pistols, restricted weapons and pistol carbine conversion kits the Commissioner must be satisfied that there are special reasons why these items to be manufactured should be in New Zealand (s6B).

The manufacture of air pistol carbine conversion kits can only be approved if the kits are for the personal use of a member of an airsoft or paintball club that is affiliated with a national organisation.

The application can be made using the Application to manufacture types of arms items form (DOCX, 572 KB).

 

Dealer Endorsements


If you want to deal in pistols, pistol carbine conversion kits, restricted weapons, or prohibited firearms or magazines, you will need the relevant endorsement/s on your dealer licence. You can apply for endorsements on your dealer licence at the same time as you apply for your licence or renewal.

If you are granted an endorsement, you can only deal in those endorsed items in your capacity as a dealer.

You will also need to apply for and be granted a permit to possess, or a permit to import, as appropriate, before you can take possession of each arms item.

 

Obligations as a dealer


Security of dealer premises and firearms stock

As a dealer’s licence holder, you are responsible for ensuring the structural soundness and integrity of the building(s) at your specified place(s) of business. All points of entry must be strong and maintained in good condition. Firearms must be securely stored and immobilised, and all reasonable measures are taken to secure the premises from unlawful entry.

The Police Firearms Secure Storage Guidance document (PDF 1.29MB) contains information to help you understand and meet these security requirements.

At least once a year between licence renewals, Police will check that you are meeting the dealer provisions for the secure storage of arms items and ammunition.

Record of dealings

As a licensed dealer, you need to keep dealer records, prescribed by regulations, of:

  • all transactions conducted while carrying on a dealer activity
  • the arms items and ammunition received, sold, supplied, or manufactured while carrying on the dealer’s business.

Note:

  • “supplied” includes hired out, leased, lent, or provided to a third party
  • “received” includes items returned from the person who hired, leased, or was otherwise provided with them, or items left with the dealer temporarily (for example, for repair).

Inspection of records

These records need to be kept at the place of business and you must permit Police to inspect and copy your transaction records.  Police can also ask you to provide any further information in your possession regarding any dealings relating to firearms, airguns, pistols, prohibited items, or restricted weapons (and failure to comply is an offence).

Police will check your dealer records of sales and purchases of all firearms, magazines, and parts. Depending on the scale of the business and associated risk, more frequent inspections may occur.

What will happen?

The date and time of inspections will usually be pre-arranged with you.

Stocks of arms items held under permits to import or possess will be checked and compared against Police records (pistols, prohibited firearms, prohibited magazines, and restricted weapons) to ensure the physical items held total to the items noted in Police records.

 

Exporting firearms


If you want to take/send firearms, parts, accessories, ammunition, or any offensive weapons out of New Zealand you will need to obtain an export permit before removing these items from 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.

 

Importing firearms


If you wish to import firearms for your business you will need to apply for, and be granted, a permit to import for each import of arms items before your overseas supplier dispatches the items.

 

Firearms Licence Checker

 

You can use the Firearms Licence Checker when selling firearms or ammunition to check whether the person you are selling to is presenting a valid licence to make the purchase. This tool is the same one used by TradeMe however, it has been updated to also check licence version numbers (if applicable).

How to use the Firearms Licence Checker

  1. Open the link on your computer (PC or laptop)
  2. Enter the Seller’s details
    1. If a "Licence validation successful" pop up message appears, you can proceed to the Buyer’s details
    2. If a caution alert appears, verify the Seller’s details you have entered. If you are still receiving a caution alert, you won’t be able to proceed to the next step in the tool and may need to contact Police for further assistance.
  3. Enter the Buyer’s details
    1. If a “Licence validation successful” message pops up, then it is safe to proceed with the sale.
    2. If a “Could not validate buyer licence” alert appears, check you have entered the buyer’s details correctly. If you are still receiving the caution alert, then the buyer may not have a valid licence and you should not proceed with the sale.

Assistance

If you require further assistance with the Firearms Licence Checker please contact Police on 04 213 5009 or email firearmslicence.applications@police.govt.nz. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 0900 to 1600.

More information including FAQs can be found in this Information Brochure (PDF 248KB).

 

Further information


Read about the law changes that come into effect on 24 June 2021 that impact on firearms dealers.

You can also read about earlier changes to legislation which impact on dealers here: