Apply for a firearms dealer licence

If you want to run a business that sells any firearms, prohibited magazines, prohibited parts, airguns, pistols, or restricted weapons; or if you want to manufacture for sale any firearms, prohibited magazines, prohibited parts, airguns, pistols, or restricted weapons, you will need a dealer licence.

You will also need a New Zealand firearms licence before you can be granted a dealer licence. A dealer licence is valid for one year and must be renewed prior to expiry in order to continue business operations. The licence cannot be transferred to, or vested in, any other person.

If you want to import firearms for your business you will need to apply for a permit to import.

If you want to deal in pistols and restricted weapons, prohibited firearms, and/or prohibited magazines as part of your business you will need to apply for the appropriate endorsement on your dealer licence and a permit to possess for each of the pistols, prohibited firearms, prohibited magazines, and restricted weapons you are holding as a dealer. 

Place of business

A dealer’s licence is issued in respect of one place of business only, and that place of business must be 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 operate from more than one place of business if, at each of those places of business there is a manager who holds a dealer licence. A dealer may, on an occasional basis, carry on dealer activities from places additional to the place of business specified in their dealer’s licence if they apply for and obtain a condition on the dealer licence that permits it. A separate consent is needed if from time to time you wish to hold or exhibit at a gun show.

Criteria for a dealer licence

To apply for a dealer licence you must:

  • hold a current firearms licence, and
  • be sixteen years of age or older; or
  • be at least eighteen years of age if you are also applying for an endorsement to deal in prohibited firearms, and / or prohibited magazines;

You will also need to demonstrate you are a fit and proper person to carry on the business of dealing in, or manufacturing for sale, arms items. This means you will be able to show you:

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

When assessing whether you are a fit and proper person to have a dealer licence, Police will consider your overall character and business background including information provided by you and your referees, as well as other information held or obtained by Police.


Dealer's licence fee (new or renewal) - $204

Dealers' gun show consent fee - $50.00

If you are applying for an endorsement as part of your dealer business, you can do so as part of this application. The fee for an endorsement is $204, incl. GST. If you apply for multiple endorsements at the same time the fee remains $204.


Process for first time applications


You must complete a:

and submit your application online or by delivering it to your local police station.

Note: you can save your completed application to update for your renewal application.

You will need the following in order to submit your application:

  • Your application form
  • A scan or photo image of your Postshop fee payment receipt
  • A recent digital passport style photo (or two identical printed passport size (4.3cm x 3.5cm) and style photos (for rules concerning passport photos visit the Department of Internal Affairs website if you are submitting a hard copy application)
  • A scan or photo of your current New Zealand Firearms Licence
  • A scan or photo showing proof of address dated within the last 3 months (e.g. bank statement, utilities bill, electoral roll, etc)
  • A scan or photo of your PostShop receipt for payment of endorsement/firearms licence application fee(s) if applicable.

Your application can be submitted online through Police’s firearms forms upload page, or in paper form at your nearest police station. If you are handing in the application we suggest you check the opening hours for the station first or call 105 to arrange.

If you would like to submit your application in hard copy, the above documents should be photocopies (except for the photos).

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

What happens next?

After your application has been received and assigned, the Police vetting process will start. This will include contacting and interviewing you and your nominated referees (see below section for further 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.

Police will also perform further checks in order to assess whether you are fit and proper to carry on the business of a dealer in, or manufacturer for sale of, firearms, prohibited magazines, airguns, pistols or restricted weapons.



This section holds information on choosing your referees and about being a referee for someone applying for a dealer licence or renewal. Two unrelated referees are required for a dealer licence application (as well as a next of kin/spouse).

To be 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.
  • Meets and interact with you on a regular (frequent) basis.
  • Has known you for at least 3 years.
  • Is over 25 years of age.
  • Has business experience as a business owner or at management or supervisory level.
  • Is of good character including:
    • would be considered a fit and proper person to have a firearms licence themselves
    • has not been bankrupted or banned from involvement in a management role in a business.
  • Is a firearms licence holder or a dealer licence holder.
  • 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 fill out a questionnaire and then interview them. The interviews are designed to elicit whether the applicant is fit and proper and must be thorough in order to confirm the applicant is a suitable person to operate as a licensed firearms dealer.


Renewing a dealer licence


The duration of a dealer’s licence is twelve months. The application for renewal must be made before the existing dealer licence expires. If the renewal application has been made before the date when the licence would otherwise expire, the licence continues in force until the application is determined. The renewal (if granted) takes effect from the date of expiry of the previous licence.

Holders of a dealer’s licence are to make application for the renewal of their current licence using the dealer licence (which includes dealer licence endorsements) application form:

Process for renewing

If you have previously submitted an application using the editable PDF version of the form you can:

  • update the details you provided in the previous form,
  • date the form for the current submission date
  • submit the application using the firearms forms upload page

Note: every renewal will also require two referees

A current passport quality photo image or photograph must be provided with the application if the photo on the current licence card is no longer a good likeness.

The application fee must be paid at a New Zealand Postshop and evidence submitted with the application (scanned image / digital photo file or photocopy is submitting a paper application).

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

IMPORTANT NOTE: Renewal of dealer’s licence (s8)
An application for renewal of a dealer’s licence may be made before the current licence expires (s8 (2)). If an application for renewal of a dealer’s licence has been made but not determined before the date on which the licence would otherwise expire, the licence continues in force until the application outcome is determined (s8(4)). However, note that if the application for renewal is made after the licence expires, the licence is no longer valid and the dealer must cease to undertake any dealer activities. We encourage people to apply 4 months ahead of their licence expiry.


Dealer Endorsements


If you want to deal in pistols, 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 to deal in pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms and/or magazines, that endorsement allows you to deal with these items in your capacity as a dealer only.

You will also need to apply for a permit to possess and if applicable a permit to import for each item.


Security of dealer premises and firearms stock


Each dealer licence is subject to conditions regarding the structural soundness and integrity of the building(s). All points of entry must be strong and maintained in good condition, firearms are securely stored and immobilised, and all reasonable measures are taken to secure the premises from unlawful entry.


Inspections of records


As a licensed dealer, you are required to keep dealer records at your place of business (in accordance with section 12 of the Arms Act and regulation 7 of the Arms Regulations). You are required to permit Police to inspect and copy those records and must, on demand, provide Police with all further information in your possession regarding any dealings relating to firearms, airguns, pistols, prohibited items, or restricted weapons.

At least once a year between licence renewal events, Police aim to check 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 be pre-arranged with you. Police employees will inspect your records of transactions and may take copies of transaction entries. If requested, you must provide any additional information relating to a transaction/s.

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 tally to the items noted in the Police record for the dealer.

Note from 24 December 2020 dealers are required to record all sales of ammunition also.


Exporting firearms


If you want to take or send firearms, components, accessories, ammunition and other offensive weapons out of New Zealand you will need an export permit. 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.


Further information

Read about some law changes that come into effect on 24 December 2020 which impact on dealers.