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

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

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

You don’t need to do the Firearms Safety Course


  • you've completed the Whakatūpato course and your Whakatūpato certificate is still within 12 months from the date of issue when you apply for a firearms licence

If you are required to undertake the Firearms Safety Course you will need to take the confirmation letter issued by Police with you 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 joint venture between the New Zealand Police and lwi to provide comprehensive firearms training for Māori and other rural persons who are firearms users but who for a number of reasons may not be able to access current firearms and hunter safety training.

The programme aims to:

  • promote the safe use of firearms in rural communities; and,
  • encourage people to gain their firearms licence

The trainees will be required to complete the firearms theory test and a practical session. This experience will help develop the required knowledge and skills to enable trainees to safely handle common firearm action types. The Whakatūpato Programme supports the learning gained from the Firearms Safety Code.

Typically, this programme will be held in the rural communities at appropriate venues such as marae and community halls.

More information on this programme is available through Police Māori Responsiveness Managers





Need help?

phone Call 0800 844 431 (09 302 6500) for MyFirearms Support
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