New Zealand’s new Firearms Registry has hit a significant milestone with the 10,000th licence holder entering their firearms into the official record today.
There are now 10,044 licence holders in the Firearms Registry, who between them have collectively recorded 47,162 firearms – representing an average of 4.7 firearms per licence holder.
Licenced firearms owners across Aotearoa have been responding positively to the Registry, says Te Tari Pūreke – Firearms Safety Authority. It has taken just three months to get the 10,000th licence holder entered into the system. This is almost 5 percent of the 234,335 active firearms licence holders in New Zealand.
Te Tari Pūreke Executive Director Angela Brazier says the Firearms Registry is about making communities safer. It is one of the responses to firearms-related crime by disrupting criminals access to firearms.
If a person has a firearms licence, they are required to provide information for the Firearms Registry and to keep it up to date. People must provide information for the first time when they have what is known as an activating circumstance. These are set out in the regulations and include things like buying or selling a firearm; a change in licence holder information like a change of address; or if they report firearms lost or stolen.
If they don’t have an activating circumstance licence holders are required to provide information for the Registry by 31 August 2028.
“We would like to thank all the licence holders who have filled in the Registry so far, and we are encouraging those with activating circumstances to act on this, and get their firearm details into the Registry,” says Ms Brazier.
“When fully populated, the Registry will provide a picture of all lawfully held firearms and arms items in New Zealand. This will give greater transparency when firearms are changing hands and ultimately make the availability of firearms to the black market more difficult.
“Disrupting the flow of firearms to criminals works in tandem with other Policing initiatives that target organised criminal groups and gangs. These separate but complementary strategies are together making it harder for criminals to possess and use firearms and are making our communities safer.
“Additionally, if firearms are seized from criminals or found at crime scenes, their origin will be more traceable.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
• The Arms Legislation Act 2020 was passed by Parliament on 18 June, 2020. This legislation amended the Arms Act 1983 to establish a new firearms regulatory framework with greater regulatory oversight and stronger regulatory tools. This included the introduction of the Firearms Registry.
• Licence holders have been able to register their firearms for just over three months now – from the 24 June 2023.
• Licence holders are required to provide information to the Registry whenever they have an ‘activating circumstance’. A comprehensive list of activating circumstances is available on the Te Tari Pureke website: ‘When to register your arms items’. https://www.firearmssafetyauthority.govt.nz/firearms-registry/when-register-your-arms-items
• In total it has cost $10.4 million to establish the new Firearms Registry. Te Tari Pūreke estimate that ongoing running costs will be $8.5 million per annum.
• A Horizon research poll (carried out for Gun Control NZ) in August, which found 71 per cent of New Zealanders supported the Registry, while only 14 per cent opposed it. In the same poll, some 53% of New Zealanders said people felt safer now that the Registry was active and some guns had been banned. https://horizonpoll.co.nz/page/678/large-majorC2A0
Issued by Police Media Centre