Find out how to apply for range certification. Certifications are valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

Firearms Registry requirements apply from 24 June 2023

Shooting ranges will need an individual firearms licence holder to register range firearms under their individual account in the Firearms Registry. This could be split between multiple people, but if one of these people resigns from the range, the arms items must be transferred to another member of the range with a firearms licence and any required endorsements.

Find out what the Firearms Registry means for you

About certification

Certification includes:

  • an inspection of range structures (man-made and natural features) 
  • a review of the Range Standing Orders (RSOs). 

Certificates are valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

Download the Shooting Range Manual

The manual sets out: 

  • who can make an application to certify a range 
  • responsibilities of the SRO (Shooting Range Operator) 
  • guidance to help you complete an application for shooting range certification. 

What is a shooting range?

A shooting range is: 

  • an outdoor or indoor facility, or a designated area of land
  • used by a shooting club or members of the public for the primary purpose of carrying out shooting activities.

Shooting activities means using a firearm or airgun to shoot at targets that aren't living, whether those targets are fixed or moving. Paintball shooting and airsoft shooting are not included in shooting activities.  

Any defence area that is used by a shooting club for shooting activities is also a shooting range that must be certified. 

Primary purpose is interpreted in the context of Part 6 of the Arms Act and against the purposes of section 1A of the Act.  Police will assess it against:

  • the area of the facility or the designated area of land that is used for carrying out shooting activities. 
    In some cases, the designated facility or area of land that is used for shooting activities will form part of a larger area of land that is owned or controlled by the range operator (for example, the range may form only a small proportion of the overall land area, the rest being a farm or forest).  That does not mean that the primary purpose of the range facility or area is not shooting activities.


  • the times when shooting activities are being carried out.  
    Many range areas or facilities are used for other purposes at other times when the shooting activities are not being carried out (e.g. grazing).  This does not diminish the need for the range operator to have the range certified. 

Members of the public includes situations where members of the public may, on payment of a charge or by making a booking, use the facilities, even if the occupier is entitled to exclude or eject any person. 

In the farming context, people responding to an invitation to an open day shoot (e.g. a fundraising activity) would be members of the public, whereas family members of the farmer or one or two personally invited friends would not be.  

Any shooting range that is used by members of the public (even if casually or irregularly or on private land) will need to be certified for the period of use. 

Who must apply for certification?

Anyone proposing to operate a shooting range must apply for certification and must not start operating until the range:  

  • applies for certification
  • Police grant that certification and issue the range with a certificate

If the range operator:

  • also supplies firearms or airguns, then a dealer licence will also be required because the business of hiring, lending or otherwise supplying a class of arms items is a dealer activity requiring a dealer licence , although if the range operator is a shooting club, see shooting club section below).
  • is a shooting club, remember that the shooting club will also have to be approved, but a dealer’s licence is not required if:
    • a member of the shooting club is selling, hiring, lending, or supplying firearms:
      • to club members; or
      • on club premises with approval of the management committee of the club or a majority vote of club members; and
    • the revenue from the sale, hire, lending or supply of the firearm is used for the benefit of the club.

Apply for club approval

Transitional provisions for ranges that were operating at 24 June 2022

There are transitional provisions in force to manage ranges that were operating at 24 June 2022:

  • Existing target pistol shooting ranges Any existing ranges that were previously approved by the Commissioner for target pistol shooting under the Arms Regulations are treated as if they had been issued with a certificate (lasting for 5 years) under the new provisions.  No further application was required for this to occur and Police have contacted these range operators and issued them with a certificate to this effect.  These pistol range operators will need to apply to have the range certification renewed again before 25 June 2027.
  • Other existing ranges For other types of existing ranges:
    • if the operator applied for certification by 25 June 2023, then that existing range can continue to operate until Police makes a decision on the application. If its application is declined it must immediately stop operating. 
    • If the operator did not apply for certification by 25 June 2023, then the range must cease operating. The operator may still elect to apply for certification but cannot operate the range until the certification is applied for and granted.

The role of the Shooting Range Operator (SRO)

A Shooting Range Operator (SRO) is the person in whose name the application for certification is made and is the person or entity that will be responsible for operating the range.

They have legal responsibilities for the safe design, construction and operation of the range. 

The SRO may be an individual person, a body corporate such as a company or incorporated society, or another entity type such as a trust or a shooting club that is not an incorporated society.

The role of the Officer on Duty (OOD)

Each shooting range will need to ensure that at all times while the range is in use that there is an officer on duty (OOD) who:

  • holds a firearms licence; and
  • is appropriately trained in shooting range safety management. 


Use the videos and other resources to help you prepare for certification.

Range certification guidance

Complete the forms

When you apply for shooting range certification you must complete the application form and submit your Shooting Range Standing Orders.

You can use the template and guidance for your Shooting Range Standing Orders below.

Save the forms to your computer before you start.

Do not remove any sections of the template. If it’s not relevant, write N/A.

The application form needs to be completed by the following person, depending on type of proposed range operator.  If the proposed range operator is:

  • an individual, then the application needs to be made by that individual.
  • a body corporate (for example, a company or an incorporated society), then the application needs to be made by a person who is authorised by that body corporate to make the application (this might be, for example, recorded in the Minutes of a meeting).
  • neither an individual not a body corporate (for example, an unincorporated club), then the application needs to be made by the range operator’s representative and they much be authorised by the operator to make the application (for example, the unincorporated club may have authorised the Club President to make the application, and this may have been recorded in the club organising committee’s minutes).

Application form for certification of a shooting range (FRM38MRC) (PDF 264.81 KB)

Shooting range standing orders template (FRMCR2 Template) (DOCX 92.13 KB)

Shooting range standing orders guide (FRMCR2 Guide) (PDF 507.14 KB) 

Before you submit your application

Arrange an inspection

You must contact an approved Shooting Range Inspector (SRI) from the list and arrange an inspection.

The SRI will review all your documentation and prepare an inspection report.  

More about the SRIs role:

Collect your supporting documents

You will need:  

  • a copy of the Range Standing Orders – including Ammunition Danger Area information  
  • a copy of the inspection report prepared by the Shooting Range Inspector  
  • if the proposed range operator is not an individual, evidence that:
    • you are authorised to make the application for the body corporate (where a body corporate is the proposed range operator), such as a letter or a copy of the minutes from the meeting that authorised you.  
    • you are the proposed range operator’s representative and authorised to make the application (where the proposed range operator isn’t either a body corporate or an individual.  For example, the proposed range operator may be an unincorporated club).

Submit your application

How to submit electronically

Upload your documents to the secure Police portal.

You’ll need to scan the form and have electronic copies of your supporting information to upload.  

Documents must be JPG, JPEG, PNG or PDF file types and each file must not be more than 5 MB.  

Shooting club and shooting range application – Police portal 

How to submit by post

Send the completed application form and the supporting information to: 

Clubs and Ranges Team  
Te Tari Pūreke – Firearms Safety Authority
DX PX10012  
Palmerston North.

Fees and invoicing

Application fees

The fee depends on the type and number of ranges on the site:

  • single shooting range on a site: $400  
  • multiple shooting ranges on the same site operated by the same range operator: $400 plus $45 for each additional range up to 6 ranges ($625). No additional fee for more than 6 ranges.  
  • clay target shooting range (skeet, trap, sporting): $400  
  • one-time-use range: $250  

All fees include GST of 15%.  

Renewal fees

Range certification must be renewed every 5 years.  

If there has been no significant change to design, construction or operation: $200.  

If there has been a significant change, the renewal fee is the same as an application fee and will depend on the number of ranges on the site.  

All fees include GST of 15%.  


You will be invoiced when Te Tari Pūreke receives your application. Your certificate will not be issued until payment is made.  

The invoice includes instructions on how and where to pay.  

About the fees

 Fees help to pay for about half the cost of regulating clubs and ranges.   


Contact the Clubs and Ranges team if you have any questions. 


Last updated
24 May 2024


Need help?
phone Phone 0800 844 431 (04 499 2870)
8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday