COVID-19 Alert Level changes

COVID-19 Alert Level changes

 

Individual firearms licensing system

The following changes affect all applicants for firearms licences, and licence holders. All the changes detailed below come into effect in December 2020.

Health requirements

 

A person applying for a firearms licence must provide Police the name and contact details of their health practitioner (i.e. their GP or medical practice) (s23(2A)).

An applicant’s health practitioner will be notified by Police as soon as practicable after a firearms licence has been issued to the applicant (s 24(3)). Health practitioners will need to consider notifying Police where they consider that the health condition of a licence holder is such that, in the interests of safety of individuals or the public, the licence holder should not be permitted to use or possess a firearm, or should only be able to do so subject to limitations warranted by the licence, because of a health condition (s 91).

 

Disqualified persons and offences

 

Disqualified persons

A person is disqualified from holding a standard firearms licence (s22G) if, within the previous 10 years:

  • they have been convicted of, or been released from prison following conviction for, certain serious offences (see table below for list); or
  • they have had a protection order (other than a temporary order) made against them.

Only people who are not disqualified from holding a firearms licence can apply for one.

This disqualification provision is not applied retrospectively to existing licence holders (Schedule 1, Part 2, clause 10).

Disqualifying offences

A person becomes a disqualified person for 10 years from the date they were convicted or the date they are released from prison following conviction (whichever is later) if they have been convicted of any of the following offences.

Offences under the Arms Act 1983

Section

Title

16(4)

Offence to import firearms, etc. without permit (imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who acts in contravention of subsection (1)(c) Prohibited item)

16A

Offence to import prohibited ammunition

44A

Offence to sell or supply prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine

50A

Unlawful possession of prohibited firearm

50D

Unlawfully carrying or possessing prohibited firearm in public place

51A

Presenting prohibited firearm at other person

53A

Use or attempted use of prohibited firearm to resist or prevent arrest or commit offence

54

Use or attempted use of firearm, etc, to resist or prevent arrest or commit offence

54A

Carrying prohibited firearm with criminal intent

55

Carrying firearm, etc, with criminal intent

55A

Offence to assemble prohibited firearm

55D

Offences relating to illegal manufacturing of arms items

55E

Offences relating to illegal trafficking of firearms, parts, or ammunition

55F

Offences relating to falsifying firearm markings

 

Serious Violent Offences as defined in Sentencing Act 2002 s86A (means an offence against any of the following provisions of the Crimes Act 1961)

Section

Title

128B

Sexual violation

129

Attempted sexual violation and assault with intent to commit sexual violation

129A(1)

Sexual connection with consent induced by threat

131(1)

Sexual connection with dependent family member under 18 years

131(2)

Attempted sexual connection with dependent family member under 18 years

132(1)

Sexual connection with child

132(2)

Attempted sexual connection with child

132(3)

Indecent act on child

134(1)

Sexual connection with young person

134(2)

Attempted sexual connection with young person

134(3)

Indecent act on young person

135

Indecent assault

138(1)

Exploitative sexual connection with person with significant impairment

138(2)

Attempted exploitative sexual connection with person with significant impairment

142A

Compelling indecent act with animal

144A

Sexual conduct with children and young people outside New Zealand

172

Murder

173

Attempted murder

174

Counselling or attempting to procure murder

175

Conspiracy to murder

177

Manslaughter

188(1)

Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm

188(2)

Wounding with intent to injure

189(1)

Injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm

191(1)

Aggravated wounding

191(2)

Aggravated injury

198(1)

Discharging firearm or doing dangerous act with intent to do grievous bodily harm

198(2)

Discharging firearm or doing dangerous act with intent to injure

198A(1)

Using firearm against law enforcement officer, etc

198A(2)

Using firearm with intent to resist arrest or detention

198B

Commission of crime with firearm

200(1)

Poisoning with intent to cause grievous bodily harm

201

Infecting with disease

208

Abduction for purposes of marriage or sexual connection

209

Kidnapping

232(1)

Aggravated burglary

234

Robbery

235

Aggravated robbery

236(1)

Causing grievous bodily harm with intent to rob or assault with intent to rob in specified circumstances

236(2)

Assault with intent to rob

 

Offences under the Crimes Act 1961

Section

Title

92

Piracy

98

Dealing in slaves

98A

Participation in organised criminal group

189A

Strangulation or suffocation

199

Acid throwing

202C

Assault with weapon

238

Punishment of blackmail

267(1)

Everyone commits arson and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years

269(1)

Intentional damage (Intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages any property if he or she knows or ought to know that danger to life is likely to result.)

269(3)

Intentional damage (Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who intentionally destroys or damages any property with reckless disregard for the safety of any other property.)

306

Threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm

 

Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

Section

Title

6

Dealing with controlled drugs

9

Cultivation of prohibited plants

10

Aiding offences against corresponding law of another country

11

Theft, etc, of controlled drugs

12

Use of premises or vehicle, etc (for an offence against this Act)

12A

Equipment, material, and substances used in production or cultivation of controlled drugs (supplies, produces, manufactures, possession

12AB

Offence to knowingly import or export precursor substances for unlawful use

12F

Drugs smuggling outside New Zealand, etc: prohibited equipment or material

 

Fit and proper person to possess firearms or airguns

 

The Act now sets out some discretionary criteria that may be taken into account when determining if someone is a fit and proper person to be in possession of a firearm (s24A).

It also sets out some criteria that disqualify a person from holding a licence (s22G).

Some of the criteria that Police may take into account when determining if someone is fit and proper to possess firearms or airguns include whether (s22A):

  • The  person is charged with, or has been convicted of, in New Zealand or overseas that are punishable by a term of imprisonment
  • The person is charged with or convicted of an offence under the Arms Act
  • The person has been charged with or convicted of an offence against section 231A of the Crimes Act 1961 (entry onto agricultural land with intent to commit imprisonable offence), the Game Animal Council Act 2013, the Wildlife Act 1953, or the Wild Animal Control Act 1977
  • The person has inflicted or is inflicting family violence; is or has been at any time the subject of a temporary protection order; or has, or has had, a restraining order made against them
  • The person is a member of, or has close affiliations with a gang or organised criminal group
  • The person uses drugs (illegal or legal) in a way that detrimentally affects their judgement or behaviour
  • The person abuses alcohol (or is dependent on alcohol) to an extent that detrimentally affects their judgement or behaviour
  • The person shows (or has recently shown) symptoms of a mental or physical illness or injury that may adversely affect their ability to safely possess firearms
  • The person has shown patterns of behaviour demonstrating a tendency to exhibit, encourage, or promote violence, hatred, or extremism
  • The person has engaged in conduct involving non-compliance with the requirements of the Arms Act, the regulations, or conditions on any permits, endorsements or licences issued under the Act
  • The person has been assessed as a risk to a State’s national security

In determining whether a person is fit and proper to possess firearms or airguns Police may take into account:

  • Whether the applicant has a sound knowledge of the safe possession and use of firearms
  • Understands the legal obligations of a licence holder
  • Any other relevant matters that are considered appropriate to the application

The criteria will not be applied retrospectively to reassess current licence holders but will be considered when Police respond to new actions by a current licence holder after the commencement date of section 24A.

If prejudicial information is going to be taken into account, Police must disclose this to the applicant and give them an opportunity to respond. Exceptions to doing this apply where disclosure is likely to endanger the safety of any person, or prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or New Zealand’s international relations, or prejudice the entrusting of information to Police or the security services of New Zealand (s 24A(4)-(5)).