Regulations that take effect tomorrow will ensure firearms owners who have already started a specific exemptions based process for their prohibited items will continue to be legally protected after 20 December 2019.
“The new regulations recognises those law abiding firearms owners that have done the right thing and started an exemption process during the amnesty and buy-back. Some of these processes - endorsement licences, modification - take time and careful consideration to complete and it’s important that these people are protected after the buy-back finishes,” says Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement.
“This is not an extension of the general firearms buy-back process. Firearms owners have had plenty of time to hand in their firearms.
“The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2019 extends the amnesty period to allow applicants to possess prohibited items while their applications are being processed. This applies only to applications for firearm modification, endorsements, dealer compensation, compensation for manufactured items and compensation for unique prohibited items.
“We have seen thousands of applications to modify prohibited firearms for example, many being heirlooms people wish to keep in the family. Approved gunsmiths need to be able to carry out the work requested by firearms owners into the New Year,” says Mike Clement.
The new provisions only apply to items which have been notified and are progressing through the buy-back system by the close of 20 December 2019.
“The new regulations reflect the original intent of the law which is to protect law-abiding firearms owners. I do need to emphasise that if you have a prohibited firearm that you aren’t claiming an exemption for you must hand it in by 20 December 2019. It will not be good enough to have registered on-line or told someone in Police you have it - it must be physically handed in. If you don’t, you are committing a criminal offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment which will almost inevitably result in the revocation of your firearms licence,” says Mike Clement.
Further information about how to hand in and details about collection events can be seen here.
The amendment also clarifies that:
- Centrefire compatible lower receivers are eligible for compensation, as are corresponding upper receivers when handed in at the same time.
- Police may request proof of ownership or purchase before providing compensation.
- Specifications now apply to compensation for manufacturers who manufactured prohibited magazines and prohibited parts prior to 12 April 2019.
- Compensation for large quantities of prohibited parts and magazines will take into account what portion is considered more than is appropriate for personal use.
An Arms (Prohibited Magazine) Order 2019 also declares drum magazines that can be attached to pistols, including currently advertised 50 round drum magazines, to be prohibited magazines. They will be eligible for buy-back before 20 December 2019.
The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, magazines and Parts) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2019 is available here http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2019/0288/latest/whole.html
A copy of the Arms (Prohibited Magazine) Order is now available here http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2019/0289/latest/LMS284212.html
Issued by Police Media Centre.