Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush
Last Friday, our country was shocked by a brutal and senseless attack. We recognise our world has changed.
Police focus is on ensuring the immediate safety and peace of mind of our communities.
Today, the Government has made immediate changes to classifications in the Arms Act which will mean some firearms are going to be reclassified as military style semi-automatic firearms (MSSAs).
At 3pm today, changes have been by an Order in Council under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act came into force adding two more groups of semi-automatics under the MSSA definition:
• a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine (other than one designed to hold 0.22-inch or less rimfire cartridges) that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges; and
• a semi-automatic firearm that is a shotgun and is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.
As a result of these changes many people who, up until now have owned these firearms legally, will no longer be able to possess them on their current licence conditions.
This means for many people, you will now be in unlawful possession of your firearm.
Given this is an immediate change, there is an amnesty to allow the notification and hand in their firearms to Police.
To organise the hand in of your firearm, you will need to complete a form on the Police website. Those who are unable to do so can call Police on 0800 311 311.
When the form is submitted Police will be notified you are in possession of a firearm that needs to be handed in. We will contact you to organise a suitable time and place for you to hand over your firearm. This may mean you bring it to Police at an allocated time, or a Police employee comes to you directly to collect the firearm.
I can’t emphasise enough that in the current environment, it is important you do not take your now-unlawful firearm anywhere without notifying Police. It is absolutely vital that we manage the safe and organised transport of all firearms into Police custody.
There is clear information on our website around what firearms are affected by the change and what to do if your firearm if affected.
The Government has signalled there will be further changes made over the coming weeks to ban all military style semi-automatics and assault rifles permanently.
While legislation is being finalised, the Government in the interim has acted to restrict the potential stock-piling of these guns, parts and high-capacity magazines, prevent additional purchases and encourage people to notify Police about their intention to hand in their firearms.
We will continue to update the public and especially the firearms community as required.
Issued by Police Media Centre