Safety is critical when storing, handling or using a firearm.

You can learn more about firearms safety by taking the Firearms Safety e-Learning courses, reading the Arms Code, and completing either the Firearms Safety Course or Whakatūpato programme when you apply for a new firearms license.

Learn more about the seven firearms safety rules.

7 safety rules

The Firearms Safety Course

The Firearms Safety Course will give you a strong understanding of the Arms Code, particularly the seven basic rules of firearms safety. It will also provide you with practical training so you know how to safely handle a firearm.



you’re applying for your first firearms licence

you must complete either the Firearms Safety Course or the Whakatūpato programme.

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 CoursePolice will confirm if you should undertake the Firearms Safety Course after you submit your application for a firearms licence.


If you are required to undertake the Firearms Safety Course you need to take the confirmation letter issued by Police when you attend the course. 

Learn more about the Firearms Safety Course and find out if you need to take it.


Whakatūpato Programme

Whakatūpato is a New Zealand Police supported Firearms Safety Course designed specifically for remote and rural communities and is delivered by contracted Police trainers in partnership with iwi. The Whakatūpato qualification is equivalent to the National Firearms Safety Course delivered by NZ Mountain Safety Council, as the Whakatūpato training course covers the same requirements.

The training covers the fundamentals of firearms safety and handling, and includes the same theory test as the National Firearms Safety Course.

The main goal is to ensure firearms users’ and the people around them are safe at all times. Course participants are also encouraged to apply for their New Zealand Firearms Licence if they don’t have one.

On completion, successful participants receive a certificate which is valid for 12 months. If the student decides to apply for a firearms licence within that 12-month period, they don’t then have to attend the National Firearms Safety Course.


Helpful information

About the Firearms Safety Course
Firearms Safety Course booking service
Firearms Safety e-learning
Arms Code
View the 7 Safety Rules(PDF, 46KB)

Need help?

Find your local Firearms Office