Find out what an endorsement allows you to do, who can apply and what you need to provide in your application.

Firearms Registry requirements apply from 24 June 2023

If you’re applying for or reapplying for a firearms licence or endorsement from 24 June 2023, you must register all items in your possession within 30 days of submission, including those you have a permit for. 

This does not apply if you submitted your application before 24 June 2023. 

Firearms Registry 

When you need an endorsement as a dealer employee

You must have a firearms licence with an endorsement if you work for a licensed firearms dealer and your job requires you to handle: 

  • pistols  
  • pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCK) 
  • restricted weapons  
  • prohibited firearms  
  • prohibited magazines. 

Your employer needs a dealer's licence with endorsements to handle these items. The dealer employee and the dealer must have the same type of endorsements. 

Who is eligible to apply

If the endorsement is for prohibited firearms or prohibited magazines, you must: 

  • be aged 18 or over 
  • have a New Zealand firearms licence, or be applying for one. 

If the endorsement is for pistols or restricted weapons, you must: 

  • have a New Zealand firearms licence, or be applying for one. 

Types of endorsements

The type of endorsement you need depends on the items you will be handling. 

You can be endorsed to handle: 

  • pistols or restricted weapons
  • prohibited firearms
  • prohibited magazines 
  • pistol carbine conversion kits 
  • any combination of the above. 

Definition of restricted weapon

The Arms (Restricted Weapons and Specially Dangerous Airguns) Order 1984 defines restricted weapons.

Weapons declared restricted weapons | New Zealand Legislation website

Note, a restricted airgun is different from a ‘Specially Dangerous Airgun’. 

Definition of prohibited items and ammunition

When you do not need an endorsement

If your work for a licensed dealer requires you to handle the following items, you must have a firearms licence (but you do not need an endorsement):   

  • non-prohibited firearms which include specially dangerous air guns (PCPs) 
  • non-prohibited parts 
  • non-prohibited magazines 
  • non-prohibited ammunition 
  • airguns and restricted airguns. 

How long an endorsement lasts

An endorsement lasts for 12 months unless one of the following occurs earlier 

  • your firearms licence expires, or is surrendered or revoked  
  • your employer's dealer licence expires, or is surrendered or revoked  
  • the relevant endorsement on your employer's dealer licence expires or is surrendered or revoked 
  • you stop working for that licensed dealer. 

Information you need to provide in your application

When you apply for an endorsement, you need to provide the following information:  

  • employer details – contact information, dealer licence number, dealer activities 
  • evidence you are currently employed by a licensed firearms dealer – for example a letter from your employer 
  • how you will meet the obligations of an employee of a licensed dealer under the Arms Act and Arms Regulations 
  • your employment history 
  • your skills, knowledge, and experience handling pistols, pistol carbine conversion kits, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms and prohibited magazines in a business environment 
  • your personal attributes that make you suitable to hold an endorsement 
  • referee contact information – if your referee is not your employer. 

You may have to answer the same questions as when you applied for a firearms licence. We ask these questions again to make sure we have the latest information when we review your application. 

Your endorsement referee must be different from the referee you used in your firearms licence application. Your endorsement referee must be: 

  • 25 years or older 
  • a licensed firearms dealer or dealership business owner. 

A photo – if you are applying only for an endorsement 

If you are only applying for an endorsement, and not a licence, you must provide a photo.

You must supply a recent, good quality digital photograph that is a good likeness of yourself. A scanned copy of a photograph will not be accepted.

The photograph must meet the minimum requirements as set out in Regulation 30 of the Arms Regulations 1992. Passport photos from commercial outlets will typically meet these requirements.

This means the photograph must:

  • have been taken within the last 12 months
  • be a full front view of your face – chin to forehead and both sides of your face  
  • show head and shoulders, with the head filling most of the photograph  
  • be of you without a hat or head covering (except where your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering)  
  • have a plain, light-coloured background  
  • be in colour and in focus  
  • be in portrait format (with a 4:3 aspect ratio)  be in JPG or JPEG format 
  • be between 25KB and 10MB  
  • be between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high.  

We will not accept photographs that do not meet these standards.

If your endorsement referee is not your employer

If your referee is not your employer, the referee you choose must be:

  • 25 years or older.

The referee must not be:  

  • your relative, spouse, or partner, or a former spouse or partner from the past five years  
  • your employee
  • employed by New Zealand Police  
  • living at the same address as you  
  • already in your endorsement or licence application. 


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