Dealer licence changes
Major parts definition (regulation 2)
Major parts are defined as the action (frame, receiver, or upper and lower receiver) of a firearm, the frame of a pistol, and a calibre conversion component or kit of a pistol.
Dealer application requirements (regulations 3 & 4)
Updates to the regulations provide clarity of what information a dealer must provide when applying for a dealer’s licence.
Record-keeping (regulation 7)
From 1 February 2022 dealers have additional record keeping requirements. These include:
- Transactions involving any arms items excluding parts that are not major firearm parts
- Transactions involving ammunition
- Recording additional transaction information based on the dealer activity.
Licensed dealers need to keep dealer records of the particulars prescribed by regulations in relation to:
- all transactions conducted while undertaking a dealer activity
- the arms items and ammunition received, supplied, or manufactured while carrying on the dealer’s business.
The dealer’s record book, whether it is in hardcopy or electronic format, must be retained at the place of business specified in the relevant dealer licence for 10 years and must be available for inspection by Police at all times (refer s12(1), (1A) and (2) of the Arms Act 1983). If the dealer ceases business, all their records must be surrendered to the Police, other than those records entered in the registry [This has not yet been established] (refer s8C(1)(c) of the Arms Act 1983).
Recording details of arms items, magazines, and ammunition (regulation 7)
When recording details of each arms item received or supplied, the dealer, in addition to the make, model, calibre/gauge, and identification number, must now also record the:
- action type
- magazine capacity (for firearms with a non-detachable magazine).
When recording details of any magazines received or supplied the dealer must record:
- capacity, and
- in the case of a prohibited magazine (whether detachable or non-detachable), its identification number.
When recording details of ammunition received or supplied the dealer must record:
- type (manufacturer, calibre/gauge, and one of: centrefire, rimfire, or shotgun)
Record keeping requirements based on dealer activities (regulation 7)
There are now specific record keeping requirements according to the dealer activities for which the dealer’s licence has been issued.
These requirements apply to the following activities, and can be found in the regulations noted against those activities:
- Directors and curators of museums (r7A)
- Auctioning arms items (r7B)
- Hiring arms to broadcaster or theatrical entity (r 7C)
- Hiring or supplying firearms and airguns for shooting or hunting activities (r7D)
- Hiring airguns supplied for airsoft and paintball sports (r 7E).
Amended security precaution requirements (regulations 8 and 8A)
Regulation 8 now focuses on the security of building premises; and new regulation 8A focuses on the appropriate secure storage for arms items and ammunition.
Key changes to security precautions are:
- Major firearm parts, pistol carbine conversion kits and magazines require the same level of security and handling procedures as pistols, prohibited items, and restricted weapons.
- Vital parts removed from firearms for the purpose of making the item inoperable must be securely stored (steel box, steel cabinet or steel safe, or strongroom) separately from the firearms.
- Ammunition - not on display must be stored in an area not accessible to the public. It should be stored in a steel cabinet or container secured to the building, or in a locked secure storeroom or strong room.
- Ammunition kept in a locked container - If ammunition is on display to customers, it must be in a locked container or a locked display case that is soundly constructed and secured to the building to prevent its removal.
- Museums - Directors or curators of bona fide museums must ensure that an arms item or ammunition on display is not able to be handled by members of the public, firearms are rendered inoperable (vital part removed) and adequately secured in a manner approved by a member of Police.
Police are working through what these changes mean and will provide a guidance document soon.
Application in relation to a gun show (regulation 6)
The regulation has been amended so that applicants must also provide details of:
- The security of the place where the gun show is to be held
- The facilities for the secure display of arms items and ammunition, and
- Facilities for secure storage of arms items and ammunition when not being displayed for sale.
Dealer’s licence conditions prescribed in legislation (regulations 9A-9F)
The following new conditions on dealer’s licence holders have been included in the amended regulations. These are described in regulations 9A to 9F.
Discontinuance of business (regulation 9A(1)(a)-(b))
Dealers must notify Police if they:
- No longer wish to carry on their business (in which cases the dealer must surrender their dealer’s licence on the date that they discontinue their business), or
- Can no longer comply with one or more of the licence or endorsement conditions.
Alteration of premises (regulation 9A(1)(c))
- Dealers must notify Police if they intend to alter the premises at which the dealer undertakes their business in a way that will affect the security of the premises.
Change of manager (regulation 9A(1)(d))
- Dealers must notify Police if the manager at any of their places of business is to change and provide the address of the place of business, the date from which the new manager will be managing the dealer’s activities at that place of business; and the name of the new manager.
Dealer employee leaves your employment (regulation 9A(1)(e))
- Dealers must notify Police if an employee ceases their employment, if the employee’s firearms licence bears endorsements made under section 30 or 30B of the Act authorising possession of pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms, or prohibited magazines in in their capacity as an employee of a licensed dealer.
Inspection of certain arms items (regulation 9B)
- A dealer licence holder will need to permit the Police to inspect all non-prohibited firearms, airguns, non-prohibited magazines, prohibited parts, and air pistol carbine conversion kits and the place where the items are kept. The dealer will receive 7 days’ notice of a proposed inspection by the Police.
Transport of certain arms items or ammunition (regulation 9C)
Arms items and ammunition must remain on the dealer’s premises unless:
- The items are being delivered to the address of a licensed firearms holder authorised to take possession, or
- The dealer’s licence has special conditions allowing the dealer to carry these arms items/ammunition to another place of business, at another location e.g. another place of business of the dealer, a gun show, or to the place of business of an approved gunsmith, or
- With written permission from Police in a particular instance e.g. for a theatrical production.
Testing of certain arms items (regulation 9D)
- Prohibited firearms, pistols and restricted weapons may only be test fired if it is required for the purposes of the dealer activities they are authorised to carry out and is undertaken at a shooting range certified by the Commissioner subject to any conditions prescribed by the Commissioner.
Setting licence conditions according to dealer activities (regulation 9E)
The Commissioner of Police may prescribe conditions according to the type of dealer activity that a dealer is authorised to conduct. Some examples of the types of conditions which the Commissioner may prescribe for each dealer activity are described in r9E(2) to r9E(6).
Changing of activities, classes of arms items or places of business (regulation 9F)
Police may, upon application, amend a dealer’s licence if the dealer wishes to change their approved activities, the approved classes of arms items they deal in, or the place or places of business the dealer is authorised to operate from.
Identification numbers (and exemption from need to apply identification numbers (regulation 12))
A dealer who receives, at any time and for any purpose, a firearm, pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, restricted airgun, blank-firing gun, restricted weapon, or major firearm part (other than a restricted airgun that is designed for use in airsoft or paintball sports, an antique firearm, or a major firearm part that is an integrated part of firearm with an identification number) that does not bear an identification number, must mark the item within 30 days of receiving it.
A commissioned officer of Police may, by writing, exempt a dealer from compliance with any of the requirements set out in regulation 12 if the officer is satisfied that, in the circumstances, alternative means of uniquely identifying an arms item can be implemented, including (but not limited to) stamping or engraving the identification number on a non-visible area of the frame, receiver, upper receiver, or lower receiver or by causing a tag with the identification number to be firmly attached to the arms item.
Condition on endorsements for dealer employees (regulation 21A)
A new condition has been placed on all dealer employee endorsements, that the employee must advise Police when they cease to be employed, for any reason, by the dealer for whose business they were granted the dealer employee endorsement(s).
Endorsement for theatrical armourer (regulation 22A)
When a person applies for an endorsement to possess arms items for the purpose of making stage, film, TV, or video productions; or re-enactments the applicant will need to indicate whether they wish to be recognised as a theatrical armourer.
This recognition, if granted, will be added to the broadcast/theatrical endorsements issued for approved applications made under Arms Act s29(e) or s30A(1).
Only persons with the theatrical armourer endorsement will be permitted to obtain the consent to use firearms supplied by a licensed dealer to a stage, film, TV, or video production company pursuant to Arms Act s5C and s7(4).
Firearm and ammunition, security, and transportation changes for all licence holders
Persons who are ammunition sellers – (sections 22D, 22E and 24C and regulations 9G, 9H and 9I)
If you intend to sell ammunition as a business activity (for which you need a firearms licence), you need to notify the Police, have appropriate security arrangements, and also keep records of all ammunition purchases and sales.
Conditions relating to security precautions (regulation 19)
(1) Every firearms licence is subject to the following conditions:
(a) the holder must not put a firearm in a place where a young child has ready access to it.
(b) the holder must take reasonable steps to ensure that any firearm in their possession is stored separately from any ammunition for the firearm so that a person who obtains access to the firearm cannot obtain access to the ammunition.
(c) the holder must take reasonable steps to ensure that any firearm in their possession is secured against theft.
(d) the holder must keep any firearm in their possession that is a flare pistol, humane killer, or stock marking pistol in a locked container except when they are using it, or it is under their immediate and personal supervision.
(2) The reasonable steps required by subclause (1)(c) are —
(a) keeping on the holder’s premises —
(i) a lockable cabinet, container, or receptacle of stout construction in which firearms may be stored; or
(ii) a lockable steel and concrete strongroom in which firearms may be stored; or
(iii) a display cabinet or rack in which firearms may be immobilised and locked so that none of them may be fired; and
(b) securely fixing to the premises all locked cabinets, containers, racks, and receptacles in which firearms are stored; and
(c) keeping locked or immobilised and locked in the cabinet, container, receptacle, strongroom, display cabinet, or rack required by paragraph (a) every firearm that is on the holder’s premises and that is not under the immediate and personal supervision of the holder or some other holder of a firearms licence; and
(d) complying with guidance notices issued by the Commissioner under section 87(1)(b) of the Act (if any) that relate to the secure storage of firearms by licence holders.
(3) The steps taken under subclause (2) must be approved by a member of the Police following an inspection carried out —
(a) at the time the holder’s firearms licence is issued (or renewed); or
(b) during an inspection under section 24B that includes an inspection of the holder’s steel and concrete strongrooms, storage boxes, cabinets, safes, racks, and similar items, and of the manner in which they are locked and secured on and to the premises.
(4) In addition to the condition in subclause (1)(b) relating to ammunition, ammunition must be stored —
(a) in its own secure storage container (such as a cash box or an ammunition box that is in secure storage or in a stout locked cupboard) that has —
(i) a locking mechanism that has a key or combination number that is different from the key or combination number for the person’s container for firearms; or
(ii) a padlock that has a key or combination number that is different from the key or combination number for the person’s container for firearms; or
(b) in a lock box in a gun safe cabinet that has a different key from the key for the gun safe cabinet and the key for the gun safe cabinet must be stored in a different place from the other key; or
(c) if the ammunition is bulky and difficult to store in a container, in a locked room or storage area on the licence holder’s premises that —
(i) is of sufficiently robust construction to prevent the theft of the ammunition; and
(ii) has been inspected and approved by a member of the Police.
(5) Guidance issued by the Commissioner (other than a guidance notice under section 87(1)(b) of the Act) for the purpose of assisting people to comply with subclause (2)(a), (b), or (c) may be used for the purpose of establishing compliance with that provision if the guidance is —
(a) issued after consultation with persons or organisations, or representatives of organisations, that appear to the Commissioner to be affected or likely to be affected by that guidance; and
(b) publicly available free of charge on an Internet site maintained by or on behalf of the Commissioner.
Secure storage of firearms and ammunition in mobile homes (regulation 19A)
Firearms and ammunition may only be stored in a mobile home, campervan, or caravan unit, if the vehicle or unit is being used as a temporary or permanent home; and the licence holder has appropriate storage that has been inspected and approved by Police.
Storage of firearms in vehicles during transportation (regulation 19B)
Firearms must be concealed from view from outside of the vehicle. They must also be made inoperable, if readily possible, by removing the bolt or another vital part (which should be kept under direct possession and control of the licence holder or stored out of sight separately from the firearms). If that is not possible, for example in the case of a lever action or semi-automatic or single shot firearm, then the firearms must be fitted with a trigger lock or travel in a locked case or carry bag.
Firearms must not be loaded with ammunition in the magazine, chamber, breech, or barrel, and must be stored separately from any bolt, vital part, or ammunition.
Ammunition must be concealed from view from the outside and stored separately from any firearms, in a locked boot, glovebox or similar compartment that can secure the items where this is practicable.
The above does not apply to vehicles used on a farm during farm-related duties, or while undertaking legally authorised hunting, or wild animal or pest control activities; and the licence holder is in the vehicle with the firearms or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle in which the firearms are stored.
Firearms or ammunition may be left in an unattended vehicle during a break in a journey for up to 60 minutes if:
- the licence holder remains in the immediate area or vicinity of the vehicle; and
- the firearms or ammunition are secured and out of sight, and
- if possible, vital parts of firearms remain in the licence holder’s possession, and
- the vehicle is locked, the windows are closed, and the keys remain in the licence holder’s possession.
If the vehicle is left unattended for more than 60 minutes, firearms and ammunition must be removed from the vehicle to a more secure location or under the licence holder’s direct possession and control, unless the vehicle is a mobile home, with secure storage in accordance with regulation 19A.
If a vehicle is travelling on a passenger ferry, the vehicle may be left unattended for the duration of the journey, if the licence holder is required to leave the vehicle deck. In this case, the vehicle must be locked, the windows closed, and the keys not left in the vehicle.
A motorcyclist carrying a firearm must render the firearm incapable of operation by removing the bolt or vital part and keeping the bolt or vital part of their person, or by affixing a trigger lock, and contain the firearm and anything removed from it within a locked case or carry bag.
Carriage of firearms on public transport (regulation 19C)
When firearms are carried on public transport (when this is not excluded by the conditions of carriage of the transport provider) or in public places, they must be unloaded, rendered inoperable by removal of the bolt or affixing a trigger lock, carried in a locked carrying case or bag and remain with the holder at all times.
Permits to Possess (regulation 24)
Changes have been made to Regulations 23A, 24, 25, 26, 26A, 26B, 26C and 27 so that:
- All references in these regulations to classes of firearms include pistol carbine conversion kits. For example, “ … pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine or restricted weapon …”
- Regulation 24 requires an application for a pistol carbine conversion kit to provide evidence of the pistol that the kit is to be associated with
- The words “… serial number or identification number …” has been replaced throughout these regulations with “... identification number ...”
Firearms licence changes
Upcoming changes to the firearms licence application form
(Applicants are to continue to use the existing form, and as necessary, can put the additional information in the notes pages at the back of the application form).
Applicants are now required to provide the following information as part of their application (regulation 15):
- countries stayed in for 14 days or more at any one time, during the previous five years
- criminal history checks for any country (other than New Zealand) stayed in for six months or more (not necessarily consecutively) in the previous ten years preceding your application (at the applicant’s expense)
- licence holder’s security precautions for the location and storage of their firearms/ammunition
- security arrangements for mobile homes/campervans and caravan units (if temporary/permanent accommodation)
- details of additional referee.
Fit and proper criteria for applicants (regulation 15A)
To hold a firearms licence, you must be considered a fit and proper person to possess firearms or airguns. Further criteria have been included for finding that a person is not a fit and proper person, i.e.:
- That -
- the applicant spent time outside New Zealand in the previous 10 years; and
- the Police sought information about that period to inform a decision as to whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to possess a firearm or an airgun; but
- the Police have not received the information about that period from the applicant or been able to verify the information about that period provided by the applicant; or
- If any person named by the applicant in their application is unable or unwilling to provide sufficient information to enable the Police to be satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to possess a firearm or an airgun; or
The Police have not been able to contact or confirm the identity of any person named by the applicant who resides overseas, or the person will not agree to an interview.
Permits to import (regulation 10)
Details of what information must be supplied for all permits to import are detailed in regulation 10 which has been updated to reflect amendments made by the Arms Legislation Act 2020.
Changes to who can possess prohibited ammunition (regulation 28Y)
Where a person notifies Police that they have prohibited ammunition and do not wish to dispose of it, they must apply to Police to be recognised as a person entitled to possess prohibited ammunition.
Inspection of firearms under section 24B of Act (regulation 29)
- Under section 24B, a member of the Police may inspect all firearms in your possession, the place(s) where your firearms and ammunition are or will be kept, and for those purposes you must permit Police to enter your premises at all reasonable times (you will be given at least 7 days’ notice of the proposed inspection).
- Under regulation 29, when a member of the Police carries out an inspection under section 24B(1)(c) of the Act of a licence holder’s firearms, they may also record the quantity and type of each firearm.
Note: places include mobile homes, caravans and campervans if being used as temporary or permanent accommodation and vehicles used to transport your firearms.
Change to endorsement for mail order/internet sales forms (regulation 29A)
The regulation has been amended so that:
- A member of Police signs a written hard copy purchase order, rather than the old phrase ‘… endorse a written order’
- A signed order is sent directly to the seller
- The regulation exempts dealers from s43A of the Act for transfers of non-prohibited parts (other than the action of a firearm) between dealers.
Provision relating to surrender of firearms (regulation 29B)
- If a firearm, airgun, pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, prohibited item, or restricted weapon is surrendered by a dealer under section 59A of the Act, the Police, after establishing that there is no lawful owner of the item and that it has not been involved in a crime, may return the item to the dealer if appropriate in the circumstances.
- The return of any item is subject to any conditions imposed by a member of the Police by notice in writing and agreed to by the dealer.
- In the case of a prohibited firearm, pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, or restricted weapon, the return of an item is also subject to the condition that the dealer holds the necessary permit to possess the item and is subject to any conditions of that permit.
Purchaser must notify Police if arms item not delivered (regulation 29C)
This regulation requires all licence holders to promptly report to Police the non-delivery of any arms item purchased that is being delivered by courier. These items must be treated as lost or stolen until investigation shows otherwise.
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