New Zealand firearms licence application

Updates

Licencing and extension reminder

Is your firearms licence due to expire within the next 4 months?

If you wish to reapply we urge you to make application immediately to ensure the application can be processed before your current licence expires. This extra time is needed for Police as we deal with the COVID19 related back log of applications. Staffing numbers have been increased to reduce the backlog. Nevertheless, to avoid the risk of having to store your firearms elsewhere it is recommended you apply four months before your ten year licence is due to expire.

Priority is being given to licence renewals, as well as those who need a licence for work. If you need a licence for work, please note this on your application form and speak to your local arms officer.

Did your firearms licence expire between 8 June 2020 and 25 September?

The 4 month COVID extension applies to any one whose licence expired between 8 June to 25 September 2020. To get this extension you must have made application for your licence no more than 4 months after your licence expired. That is, if your licence expires on 8 July 2020 you must make application by 8 November 2020 etc.

Firearms regulatory services during COVID-19 alert levels

At alert level one all firearms services operate normally.

At alert level two both district based and centrally supported activities including face to face interviews and site visits will continue to operate.

Police public counters will operate with social distancing protocols in place. Social distancing will be observed and staff will be wearing facemasks and appropriate PPE as required. A limited number of firearms safety programme courses are still running.

In the interests of reducing the spread of COVID-19, it’s recommended firearms community members wear face coverings when visited by Police. At Alert Level 2, wearing a mask is recommended when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you don't know. For more information visit https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/protect-yourself-and-others/wear-a-face-covering/

At alert level three the following firearms face to face services are deferred:

  • Public counter services,
  • Mail order approval service
  • First time licence and licence renewal applicant vetting and security checks
  • Dealer licence applicant vetting and audit checks,
  • Endorsed firearms licence holder audits,
  • Firearms safety programme for first time applicants.

The following centrally based firearms non-face to face support services continue in a reduced capacity:

  • permits to import firearms,
  • prohibited endorsement application resolution and
  • change of address phone enquiries.

Online notifications and applications will be received and will be processed but with reduced capacity likely to create delays.

At alert level four the following firearms face to face services are deferred:

  • Public counter services,
  • Mail order approval service
  • First time licence and licence renewal applicant vetting and security checks
  • Dealer licence applicant vetting and audit checks,
  • Endorsed firearms licence holder audits,
  • Firearms safety programme for first time applicants.

The following centrally based firearms non-face to face support services are deferred:

  • permits to import firearms,
  • prohibited endorsement application resolution and
  • change of address phone enquiries is deferred.

National contact services may continue in a reduced capacity with some staff enabled to work from home. Firearms applicants may lodge applications and change of address notifications on line or by email but these will be placed in a backlog queue.

Note:

  • The Government passed legislation in May 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. For licences expiring between 25 March and 25 September 2020 licence holders have up to 4 months after the original expiry date in which to apply for a replacement licence.
  • Pistol endorsement holder minimum annual shoot requirements will be affected and Police will engage separately with these licence holders in the future.
  • Due to continuing COVID-19 related impacts Police have an increasing backlog of licence applications and other work. As alert levels allow the backlogs will be progressed as promptly as possible.

 

Download an application for a New Zealand firearms licence (PDF 111KB)

Who needs a New Zealand firearms licence

If you are 16 years old or over you can apply for a firearms licence. This will allow you to have and use unsupervised:

  • shotguns and rifles that do not require an endorsement (as below)
  • specially dangerous airguns (including pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles).

You need a special addition to your licence (called an endorsement) to:

  • possess or use prohibited items (P endorsement)
  • collect pistols and restricted weapons or stage theatrical performances involving pistols and restricted weapons (C endorsement)
  • possess pistols and restricted weapons in your capacity as a dealer or their employee (F endorsement).

Anyone can use an A Category firearm without a licence if they are under the immediate supervision of a licence holder. Anyone can use a pistol if they are on the range of an incorporated pistol club that is recognised by the Commissioner of Police, and under the immediate supervision of a licence holder with a B endorsement. ‘Immediate supervision’ means the licensed person is within reach and can control the firearm. The supervisor must not be using another firearm at the same time.

Note: If you are visiting New Zealand for less than a year and need a firearms licence, apply for a visitor licence.

Using airguns

If you are 18 or older you do not need a licence to own or use an airgun. You do need a New Zealand firearms licence to use specially dangerous airguns (including pre-charged pneumatic air rifles), except those used in airsoft/military simulation (MilSim) and paintball sports.

If you are 16 or 17 years old and wish to buy or use an airgun unsupervised, you need a New Zealand firearms licence.

How to apply for a New Zealand firearms licence

Step 1

Complete the application form

Print and fill in the application for a New Zealand firearms licence (PDF 111KB).

Don’t fill in the safety test on the back of the form at this stage.

Step 2

Pay your application fee

Take your completed application form to a PostShop and pay the firearms licence application fee. Attach the receipt to your application form. You can get your passport photos taken (for step 3) at the same time if you need to.

Firearms licence application fees (including GST) as at 2018 are:

Type of fee

Fee

Licence fee for new licence holders

$126.50

Licence fee before expiry of last licence

$126.50

Licence fee after expiry of last licence

$241.50

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

  • target pistols (B endorsement)

  • a collection of pistols or restricted weapons (C Collectors or Museum endorsement)

  • pistols or restricted weapons for performing a play/film/re-enactment (C Theatrical endorsement)

  • prohibited items

  • pistols or restricted weapons for hire or sale (F endorsement – dealers)

$204.00

 

Find an NZ Post store that offer firearms licence payments using the locator below:

PostShop/Kiwibank Locator

Filter using the ‘Pay a Bill’ option after indicating your location.

Step 3

Get two recent colour passport style photos

Attach these photos to your application form. Your photos must be:

  • 35mm x 45mm untrimmed
  • taken not more than 12 months from when you supply it
  • a good likeness of you
  • a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders, with your head filling most of the photo
  • taken without a hat or head covering unless you wear either for religious reasons
  • taken against a plain, light-coloured background
  • a coloured photo
  • printed on good quality paper
  • identical.

Step 4

Deliver your application to Police

Take your application to your nearest police station. Remember to take:

  • your application form
  • the PostShop receipt for your application fee
  • two recent passport style photos
  • your firearms licence (if you have one)
  • three documents that prove your identity (passport, birth certificate, driver licence, photo ID, credit card/bank card). At least one of the documents needs to have a photo of you.

What happens next

Step 5

Police background check

Police will carry out an initial background check relevant to whether you are a fit and proper person to possess firearms or airguns.

Step 6

Firearms safety programme

  • If you’re applying for your first firearms licence then you need to complete the Firearms Safety Course to obtain a firearms licence for the first time.
  • If you’re applying for your first firearms licence and you have previously successfully completed the old firearms safety course, or the Whakatūpato programme, then you don’t need to complete the new firearms safety course.
  • If you’re an existing or previous licence holder applying for a new firearms licence, you will 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.

Note: You need to receive the Firearms Safety Course confirmation letter from Police before you enrol to attend a Firearms Safety Course, which includes sitting the theory test and completing the practical handling session.

To complete the firearms safety programme you will need to:

  • study the Arms Code thoroughly. We also recommend that you complete the Arms Code Quiz to help you to prepare
  • attend the Firearms Safety Course. The course includes
    • sitting the firearms theory test. This is a multiple question test that you must pass
    • practical session covering safe handling and use of firearms.

Step 7

Police interviews and security check

Police will arrange a visit to interview you and check your firearms security arrangements. We’ll also interview your referees and complete any remaining enquiries.

Step 8

Firearms licence approval

Police will evaluate if you are a fit and proper person to possess or use firearms, before deciding whether to approve your firearms licence application. If your application is approved, you’ll be issued a firearms licence.

If your firearms licence is due to expire while you are overseas

You cannot renew a firearms licence while you are overseas - you must apply in person at the Police station nearest to where you live or work in New Zealand.

If you are overseas, we advise you to surrender your licence before it expires. On your return to New Zealand you can then apply for a new firearms licence which is currently cheaper than renewing an expired licence.

To surrender your licence before it expires, contact the Arms Officer nearest to where you normally live or work in New Zealand. Keep the firearms licence and a copy of the message you send the Arms Officer. Apply for a new licence when you get back to New Zealand. You can shoot A Category firearms under immediate supervision of a current firearms licence holder while waiting for your new licence.

Contact your nearest Arms Office.

Change of contact details

If you have changed your address or other contact details since your firearms licence was issued, you are required by law to let us know within 30 days. Change address on firearms licence.