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Minister’s Firearms Advisory Group

The Minister will now establish a firearms advisory group (ss88-90A) to provide advice on matters that will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Arms Act, particularly the safe use and control of firearms.

The group will have a chairperson and up to eight other members, all of whom will be appointed by the Minister of Police.

Membership of the advisory group must comprise a balance of people from both the firearm-owning and the non-firearm-owning community, including people who are concerned about the mitigation of harm from firearms from a health perspective. When considering appointments, regard will be had to the need for the group to have knowledge and experience in a variety of areas including firearms regulatory systems, public health and safety, firearms research, firearms safety and use, and membership of a community organisation or group involved in firearms awareness, safety, or law reform.

Members can be appointed for a term of up to three years, and reappointed. Any member may be removed from office if there is just cause by written notice to the member from the Minister.

Guidance Notes

The Act now provides for the Commissioner to issue notices that provide guidance and details of an administrative nature to licence holders and non-licence holders, relating to matters such as (s87):

  • Requirements of regulations that relate to the security of premises where firearms are kept.
  • Issuing of identifying markings for firearms and magazines manufactured in or imported into New Zealand.
  • How to demonstrate the positive behaviours, skills, and knowledge that are expected of a fit and proper person.
  • The approval of any shooting club or certification of any shooting range.
  • Managing specific situations where non-licensed people come into possession of a firearm.
  • Matters that health practitioners consider when determining whether to notify the Police under section 91.
  • Any other area where the Commissioner considers further guidance or detail is useful.

The Commissioner must consult the advisory group, and may consult any other person or organisation he/she thinks appropriate, before issuing any notice. The notice must be published in the Gazette and be publicly available in electronic form.