Shooting clubs and shooting ranges provide a supportive environment for the safe use of firearms in a controlled environment for recreation.

Clubs and range operators have new legal obligations under regulations that come into force on 15 December 2022. These new obligations are contained mainly in Part 6 of the Arms Act 1983 and Parts 5 and 6 of the Arms Regulations 1992.

Formal application can now be made through the processes outlined below

 

Police has produced guidance on the new regulatory framework for clubs and ranges:

New Zealand Police Shooting Range Manual (PDF, 14MB) 

Shooting Club Guide (PDF, 8.65)

A new section in the Secure Storage and Transportation Guide for Firearms and Ammunition for clubs and range operators.


 

What shooting clubs need to know

A shooting club must be approved by Police before it operates. It is an offence to operate a shooting club that is not approved.

Shooting clubs

A shooting club is a voluntary association of people who act according to a set of written rules, and take part (or intend to take part) in shooting activities on a regular basis. In this context shooting activities means using a firearm 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.


Transitional period

There is a phase-in (or transitional) period for the new certification requirements:

  • Any pistol club that was recognised by Police at 24 June 2022 may continue to operate and doesn't need to apply for approval.
  • Any other club that was in operation at 24 June 2022 may continue to operate provided it applies for approval before 24 June 2023. Once the application is made the club can continue to operate until Police makes a decision on the application. If its application is declined it must immediately stop operating.
  • If a club was not operating at 24 June 2022, it must not start operating until it applies for approval and Police grant that approval and issue the club with a certificate of approval.

Application

The application process and compliance guidance for clubs is outlined in the Shooting Club Guide. (PDF, 8.65). The application form for approval of a shooting club is here.

For a shooting club that existed on 24 June 2022 all these steps must be completed and the application made by 24 June 2023, otherwise the club must cease shooting activities. No new shooting club established after 24 June 2022 may carry out shooting activities until it has applied for and been granted approval.

 

 

What shooting range operators need to know

All shooting ranges must be designed, built and operated safely. To ensure this, a shooting range must be certified by Police before it operates. It is an offence to operate a shooting range that is not certified.


Shooting ranges

A shooting range is an outdoor or indoor facility, or a designated area of land, that is used either by a shooting club or members of the public for the primary purpose of carrying out shooting activities. In this context shooting activities means using a firearm 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.


Shooting range operator

The shooting range operator is the person in whose name the application for certification is made. They have legal responsibilities for the safe design, construction and operation of the range.

The operator of a range may be an individual person, a body corporate such as a company or incorporated society, or something else such as a trust or a shooting club that isn't an incorporated society.


Transitional period

There is a phase-in (or transitional) period for the new certification requirements:

  • Any pistol range that was approved by Police at 24 June 2022 may continue to operate and the operator doesn't need to apply for certification.
  • Any other shooting range that was in operation at 24 June 2022 may continue to be operated provided an application for certification is made before 24 June 2023. Once the application is made the range can continue to be operated until Police makes a decision on the application. If the application is declined operations must stop immediately.
  • If a range was not operating at 24 June 2022, operations may not start until an application is made for certification and Police grant that approval and issue a certificate.

Application

Making an application requires:

  • the range operator to prepare range standing orders and a shooting range checklist
  • a Police-recognised shooting range inspector (PDF, 180KB) to review documentation, inspect the range, advise the range operator on any changes needed and prepare an inspection report
  • the range operator or someone acting on its behalf to apply to Police for the range to be certified.

This process is outlined in section 2 of the Police Shooting Range Manual and Police can now formally accept applications. All the required forms, checklists and templates are available here.

No-one may operate a shooting range established after 24 June 2022 until an application for certification has been made and the certification granted.

Secure storage of firearms and ammunition

There are specific requirements for storing firearms and ammunition at premises used by a shooting club or premises at a shooting range. These premises are called 'club or range premises' here for short.

 

Note 
Detailed guidance on secure storage for shooting clubs and shooting range operators is available in the Secure Storage and Transportation Guide for Firearms and Ammunition.

 

Firearms or ammunition are considered to be stored at club or range premises if they are not in the physical possession of a licence-holder. That might be overnight but can also include shorter periods such as a lunch break during shooting activities.

Licence-holders are still responsible for the security of any firearm or ammunition in their possession while at club or range premises. But there are also responsibilities on the club and the range operator if firearms or ammunition are stored on club or range premises.


Shooting clubs

If firearms or ammunition are stored at premises used by a shooting club, the club must ensure that secure storage facilities are available. The club is the one named on its certificate of approval.


Shooting ranges

If firearms or ammunition are stored at the premises of a shooting range, the shooting range operator must ensure that secure storage facilities are available.

Selling or supplying firearms or ammunition

A range operator (or its senior manager if the range operator is a body corporate) must hold a dealer's licence if they are in the business of selling, hiring, lending or supplying firearms, ammunition or other arms items.

Police has developed a self-assessment tool to help range operators know whether this requirement applies to them. If a range operator does require a dealer’s licence, we recommend they apply for a dealer’s licence before submitting a range certification application (see Apply for a dealer’s licence).

A member of a shooting club who holds a firearms licence (and appropriate endorsement if applicable) does not need a dealer licence if they:

  • sell, hire, lend, or supply firearms to a club member, or on club premises, with the approval of the club management committee or a majority vote of club members, and
  • the revenue from the sale, hire, lending or supply of the firearms is used for the benefit of the club.

A member of a shooting club who holds a firearms licence does not need a dealer's licence if they:

  • sell ammunition to a club member, or on club premises, with the approval of the club management committee or a majority vote of club members; and
  • the revenue from the sale of the ammunition is used for the benefit of the club.

Fees

The costs of regulating clubs and ranges will be partly recovered from the clubs and range operators. Fees have been set at approximately half of Police's costs for this regulatory activity. This reflects the balance between private benefit to largely recreational firearm users and public benefit, and the safety outcomes from having an active and supportive club and range environment for people to participate in shooting activities.

Police will issue an invoice for fees once an application is made, with instructions on how and where to pay. Applications will not be processed until payment has been made. All fees include GST of 15%.


Clubs

The fee for processing an application for approval is $140.

Every year a club must pay a fee to help fund compliance activities. Police will issue clubs with an invoice, which must be paid before 30 June each year. To save processing costs a club can choose to prepay annual fees for an agreed period when making its initial application.

The fee is $40 for clubs for which ammunition or firearms are sold or supplied on behalf, and $30 for other clubs.


Ranges

The application 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 a maximum of $625, and no increase with additional ranges beyond a total of six ranges at the site
  • clay target shooting range (skeet, trap, sporting); $400
  • one-time-use range; $250.

Range certification must be renewed every five years. The fee for renewal is the same as for an initial application, except that if there has been no significant change to the circumstances (e.g. design, construction or operation) of the range the fee is $200.

 

 

Forms & Guides

Shooting Range Manual (PDF, 12MB)

Shooting Club Guide (PDF, 8.65)

Secure Storage and Transportation Guide for Firearms and Ammunition  for clubs and range operators


 

Useful links

Apply for approval of a shooting club

Apply for certification of a shooting range

Use the Firearms Licence Checker tool  when selling firearms or ammunition to check whether the person you are selling to is presenting a valid licence to make the purchase.

See the Clubs and Ranges frequently asked questions (PDF, 232KB)

For enquiries relating to shooting clubs and ranges, or the Shooting Range Inspector course, please email

 


 

 

 

 

 

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