New legislation strengthens Police visibility of shooting clubs and ranges
Amendments to the Arms Act 1983, which come into effect on Friday 24 June 2022, will strengthen Police’s visibility and governance of shooting clubs and shooting ranges.
The key change is that shooting clubs and shooting ranges will be regulated from 24 June 2022, and no new shooting clubs and shooting ranges may begin to operate after that date until they have obtained approval or been certified. You can read more about these here.
The amendments come into effect on 24 June 2022 and will introduce the requirement that all shooting clubs be approved and all shooting ranges be certified by the Commissioner of Police by the 24 June 2023. The changes are set out in section 63 of the Arms Legislation Act 2020 under ‘Part 6 Shooting clubs and shooting ranges’, which have now been incorporated into the Arms Act 1983.
To date, only pistol clubs and pistol ranges have had to be approved by Police.
All existing clubs and ranges may continue their target shooting activities but must make an application for club approval and range certification by 24 June 2023. If an existing club or Shooting Range Operator does not apply for a certificate of approval before 24 June 2023, it must cease operating.
From the 24 June 2022, no new shooting clubs and shooting ranges may operate until they have obtained approval or been certified.
Police are currently developing supporting information, processes, and procedures for Arms staff and clubs and range operators. The final application forms will be published once the regulations have been finalised and come into effect in December 2022. Formal applications cannot be received until this time.
As part of the shooting range application process, the range will need to be inspected by a trained and recognised Shooting Range Inspector (SRI). The SRI will conduct a physical inspection of a range and produce a report for the Shooting Range Operator (SRO) demonstrating that all matters required to meet the certification have been complied with. SROs can prepare for certification now before formal applications can be received from December 2022 onwards.
Exposure drafts of the New Zealand Police Shooting Range Manual, application forms and documents have been released online to assist the clubs and ranges community prepare for the changes. The final application, forms and shooting range manual and process will not be available until later this year, once the regulations come into effect.
Feedback received from public consultation on the draft regulations for shooting clubs and shooting ranges is still being reviewed. Material may change, so Police encourage the clubs and ranges community to remain engaged with the information updates published on the Police website as we work through this process.
A new dedicated Clubs and Ranges Team is being stood up to support the new legislation and regulations impacting shooting clubs and shooting ranges, including training more SRIs.
To learn more about the changes affecting shooting clubs and ranges, including a contact list of Police trained and recognised SRI, see the Clubs and Ranges web page.