Health practitioners

What are my obligations as a health practitioner?

Read the Information Sheet for Health Practitioners (PDF 1.5MB) to learn about your obligations in regard to firearms and safety.

Note: The Information Sheet was developed in consultation with key stakeholders and agencies within the health sector, and is currently under review. If you have any queries in relation to the above, contact FirearmsCompliance@police.govt.nz.

 

New obligation for health practitioners

Health practitioners are now required to consider notifying Police if they have reason to believe their patient is a firearms licence holder and their health condition will impact on the safety of the patient or the public, if they have access to, or use of, firearms (section 92).

As a health practitioner notifying Police, you must provide:

  • your opinion that in the interests of individual or public safety the person should not be permitted to use or possess firearms (or only if subject to certain conditions)
  • the grounds on which the opinion is based
  • whether you believe the licence holder poses an immediate or imminent danger of self-harm or harm to others.

This obligation was introduced in the amendments to the Arms Act 1983 which came into effect on 24 December 2020. These new requirements and obligations are centred around safety - of the firearms licence holder and those around them.

The changes also require Police to notify the health practitioner when a licence has been issued or when a licence holder changes their health practitioner.

See the following resources for more information about your obligations and rights as a health practitioner:

Notify Police

If you have concerns about a patient’s access to firearms, or you have received a notification from Police regarding a person who is not your patient, you can notify Police online:

Health Practitioner Reporting form

Alternatively, you can phone the non-emergency Police number 105. If you think the licence holder poses an immediate or imminent danger of self-harm or harm to others, please call 111 and ask for Police.

For further guidance, see the Information Sheet for Health Practitioners (PDF 1.6MB).

 

Obligations for licence holders or applicants

If you are an existing licence holder, you need to provide your health practitioner(s) details:

  • when you renew your licence (section 23(2A))
  • when your health practitioner changes. You must notify Police and provide updated name and contact details for your health practitioner (section 24B(1)(f)).

How to notify Police of a change in health practitioner 

 

Notify Police of a change of health practitioner using the online form, or by downloading the Update Health Practitioner Details Form (editable PDF 75KB).

 

Email the form to firearms.NST@police.govt.nz or deliver it to your nearest police station

 

Important - Should your health practitioner notify Police of their concern about your possession of or access to firearms, you will not necessarily have your firearms licence revoked by Police. Each individual case will be considered in its entirety and dealt with in accordance with the law and in the interests of your safety and the safety of the community. You can read more about your rights on our Graduated Response page.

 

See the following resources for more information about your obligations and rights as a licence holder or applicant:

 
Graduated response
 
Health practitioner requirements

 

 

Forms & guides
 
Health Practitioner Reporting
Information sheet for health practitioners

 

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