Theory and practical test   Book your safety course now


The Firearms Safety Course is a 3.5 hour session delivered by firearms instructors from the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) at venues across the country.

The Firearms Safety Course has two parts:

  1. Firearms theory test (30 multiple choice questions): This will confirm your understanding of the Arms Code, firearms safety practices and legislation requirements.

  2. Firearms practical training session: This covers hands-on safe handling of common types of firearms.

Reminder: Before you book, check the firearms safety section of the MSC website  and make sure you understand the requirements for course attendance


If you have cold or flu symptoms, please do not attend the courseContact MSC so they can move your booking.

0800 GUN SAFE (0800 486 7233)

Do I have to attend a Firearms Safety Course?

I’m applying for a firearms licence for the first time 
You need to complete the Firearms Safety Course


I’m applying for a firearms licence for the first time and live in a remote, isolated area 

You need to complete either the Firearms Safety Course or the Whakatūpato programme.


I already have a firearms licence but need to apply for a new one 

Te Tari Pūreke will let you know if you need to complete the Firearms Safety Course or the firearms safety test when you apply for your firearms licence.


I’ve had a firearms licence before and am applying for one again 

Te Tari Pūreke will let you know if you need to complete the Firearms Safety Course or the firearms safety test when you apply for your firearms licence.


I’ve completed the Whakatūpato course 

As long as your Whakatūpato certificate is still within 12 months from the date of issue, you don’t need to do the Firearms Safety Course before you apply for a firearms license.




Step 1

Apply for a firearms licence

Step 2

Attend a Firearms Safety Course

Step 3

Join a club and find a mentor

Step 4

Follow the 7 firearms safety rules


About the course

It is mandatory for a first-time firearms licence applicant to pass the Firearms Safety Course.

After applying, you will receive a confirmation letter from Police confirming that you can register to attend a Firearms Safety Course. The course includes sitting a theory test and a practical firearms handling session.

If you misplace or lose your applicant confirmation letter, which has the Applicant ID required to complete a booking, email 


Booking your course

The booking service is run by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council.

Before you book

  • To book, you must have applied for your firearms licence and received your unique ID number. 
  • Study the Firearms Safety Code thoroughly before attending. 
  • The course takes 3.5 hours, so make sure you allow for this when you book.

Course dates and locations

Find out where and when a Firearms Safety Course is happening near you at

How to book online

You will book your theory test and practical training together as the Firearms Safety Course.

Book online through to attend a Firearms Safety Course in your area.

How to book by email

Send an email to to book a course that’s convenient for you.

Identification (ID) requirements

You must bring valid (current)photo ID with you to the course.

You must bring valid (current) photo ID with you to the course. The name on your ID must exactly match the name printed on your Firearms Safety Course confirmation letter. If they do not match, contact Te Tari Pūreke immediately to request a replacement letter with the correct details.

Contact us

  1.  Valid (current) photo ID such as:
  • New Zealand passport
  • Overseas passport
  • New Zealand driver licence
  • Police identity card
  • New Zealand Defence Force photo identification
  • Kiwi Access Card (18+ card)
  • Identity document issued by the New Zealand government

If you are aged 16 or 17 and do not have the required photo ID

If you are aged 16 or 17 and do not have the required photo ID for the course, you must bring one of the following non-photo IDs:


  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Permanent resident document
  • Identity document issued by a secondary or tertiary institution
  • Card issued by a New Zealand bank with your full name and signature
  • Educational record or certificate
  • Professional or trade association membership certificate.


On the day of your course

Present your ID to your Firearms Instructor.


1.Firearms theory test | 30 minutes | Language: English

You will sit the theory test before undertaking the firearms practical training session.

Everything you need to know to pass the firearms theory test is in the Firearms Safety Code. You can read it online, or print a copy. Later in the year, hard copies of the Firearms Safety Code will be available to purchase. It is not difficult to pass the firearms theory test if you study the Firearms Safety Code thoroughly - don’t just read it once.

Reading or language difficulties?
You’re welcome to bring a reader/writer or interpreter with you.


Re-sitting the theory test

If you don’t pass the firearms theory test on your first attempt before the start of the firearms practical training session, you will be given a second opportunity to sit the test after the completion of the practical session.

When you pass the firearms theory test, your course instructor will record the result on your Firearms Safety Programme confirmation letter.

If you don’t pass the firearms theory test on your second attempt, Police will let you know what should happen next.


2. Firearms practical training session

The firearms practical training session covers safe handling and use of firearms. You must operate the firearm during your practical training session in accordance with the Firearms Safety Code. If you act in an unsafe way, you will be removed from the session and Police will reconsider your status as a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence.

Your firearms instructor will work with you during the course to help you with any firearms handling or safety concerns.

During the session you will have an opportunity to practice the following:

  • State and apply the seven basic rules of firearms safety.
  • Identify the main components of a firearm.
  • Demonstrate safety precautions and states of readiness on various firearm types.
  • Know how to safely cross a fence and how to safely use a transit case/bag to transport firearms.

Do not take any firearms with you. Deactivated firearms will be provided by your firearms instructor.


After you've completed your course

You don’t need to let Police know that you’ve attended the Firearms Safety Course as we will be automatically notified of your attendance and the results of the firearms theory test and firearms practical training.

Find a mentor

After gaining a firearms licence, Police encourage new firearms users to join a shooting or hunting club and/or association or partner with an experienced shooter to build on the knowledge and skills gained from the Firearms Safety Course.

Find a mentor.

Firearms Community Advisory Forum

New Zealand Police has established a Firearms Community Advisory Forum to act in a consultative and advisory capacity to Police.

Firearms Community Advisory Forum




Need help?

phone Call 0800 844 431 (09 302 6500) for MyFirearms Support
search Find your local Firearms Office