Find out what you need to do while operating as a dealer to meet your obligations under the Arms Act and Arms Regulations.

Operating as a dealer

To hold a dealer’s licence, you must meet the requirements of the Arms Act 1983 and the Arms Regulations 1992.

This means you must:

  • have and retain a firearms licence 
  • be a fit and proper person to carry out the relevant dealer activities 
  • deal in arms items responsibly 
  • have secure storage facilities appropriate for your dealer activities enabling you to store the arms items you intend to deal in safely and securely 
  • conduct your dealer activity with the skill and care it demands 
  • oversee all the activities of your business 
  • have appropriate written policies and procedures to guide your employees 
  • establish and maintain an effective record-keeping system for your business 
  • oversee arms item stock responsibly. 

Arms Act 1983, Part 2 – Licensed dealers | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Regulations 1992, Part 2 – Licensed dealers, ammunition sellers, etc | New Zealand Legislation website

Surrendering your dealer’s licence

A dealer can surrender (give up) their dealer licence at any time. 

It is also a condition of all dealer licences that you let us know as soon as is reasonably practicable if you do not want to continue operating as a dealer or cannot meet the conditions of your licence. You must surrender your dealer’s licence on the day you stop running your business.  

To surrender your licence, fill in the notice of surrender of dealer’s licence form and hand it in with your dealer’s licence card to a Police station. 

If you surrender your dealer’s licence (or allow it to expire), you must immediately surrender to Police all of your dealer records that have not been entered into the Firearms Registry.   

You must also make a plan for disposing of your dealer arms items and ammunition and discuss it with us. Any of those items in your possession at the time of surrender (or expiry or revocation) will need to be disposed of within 3 months (unless the Commissioner agrees to a longer period) to a person approved by Police.

Arms Act 1983, section 8B – Surrender of dealer's licence | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Act 1983, section 8C – Effect of expiry or surrender of dealer's licence | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Act 1983, section 14 – Disposal of items of dealer if licence expires or is surrendered or revoked | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Regulations 1992, clause 9A – Condition of dealer's licence: notifications

Firearms Registry requirements for firearms dealers

Record-keeping requirements are changing from 24 June 2023

From 24 June 2023, some transactions between dealers and firearms licence holders must be recorded using the Dealer Transactions form on our website.

Keeping records 

When you must register your dealer stock 

Before 24 June 2025, or soon after, firearms dealers will need to provide information about their dealer stock of arms for the Firearms Registry.  

The exact date you’ll be required to do this will depend on when the Commissioner decides you should be brought into the Registry, and the type and frequency of your dealer activities.

What the Firearms Registry means for dealers 

Providing information about your employees

When an employee starts

You must give us the name and firearms licence number of each new employee who has access to arms items or ammunition at your premises.

Your employee’s firearms licence is linked to the record of them you give, which we include with your dealer’s licence.

Email: firearms.NST@police.govt.nz

When an employee leaves

You must notify your local arms office when an employee with access to firearms and ammunition stops working at any of your places of business.

If anyone holding an endorsement as your employee leaves, both you and the employee must let us know. 

Arms Regulations 1992, clause 9A(1)(e) – Condition of dealer's licence: notifications | New Zealand Legislation website 

Arms Regulations 1992, clause 21A(2) – Condition of endorsements for employees of licensed dealers | New Zealand Legislation website

When a manager changes

You must also notify your local arms office when the manager changes at any of your places of business.

You must provide:

  • the address of the place of business
  • the date from which the manager is managing your activities at that place of business.
  • the name of the manager.

Arms Act 1983, section 5A(1) – Application for dealer's licence | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Act 1983, section 5B(4) – Issue of dealer's licence | New Zealand Legislation website

Keeping records

As a dealer's licence holder, you must keep dealer records at your place of business.

Your dealer records must include:

  • all your transactions as a dealer
  • the arms items, including major parts, and ammunition you receive, sell, supply, or manufacture as a dealer.

'Supply' includes arms items you:

  • hire out 
  • lease
  • lend
  • provide to a third party.

'Receive' includes arms items: 

  • returned to you by the person you hired, leased, or provided them to
  • left with you temporarily – for repair, for example.

Record-keeping requirements have changed

From 24 June 2023, some transactions between dealers and firearms licence holders must be recorded using the Dealer Transactions form on our website. 

This is an interim step until dealers and their dealer stock are brought into the Firearms Registry. 

Providing information through the Dealer Transactions form means we can make sure firearms licence holders are aware of the requirement to register their arms items. 

Find out about recording dealer transactions online

Record-keeping requirements in detail

Your purchases and acquisitions

Ammunition

You must record:

  • type – for example, safety ammunition, other (please describe)
  • quantity (rounds) acquired of each type.

Arms items

You must record:

  • if it’s a firearm or airgun
  • if it’s a restricted weapon
  • type – for example, rifle, pistol, shotgun, machine gun
  • make
  • model
  • action type
  • calibre/gauge
  • identification markings (such as a serial number).

Non-prohibited magazines

You must record:

  • type – for example, non-detachable, detachable box, drum, belt
  • capacity (rounds).

Prohibited magazines

You must record:

  • if the magazine is detachable
  • identification markings (such as a serial number).

Major firearm parts

Major firearm parts are the frame, receiver, or upper receiver and lower receiver of a firearm, the frame of a pistol, or the calibre conversion component or kit of a pistol.

You must record:

  • identification markings (unless the part is incorporated or integrated into a firearm at time of delivery).

If your supplier is from New Zealand

You must record:

  • the date the ammunition or arms item was received
  • the supplier’s dealer or firearms licence number, including the version number (unless the item is an airgun received from a person aged 18 or over)
  • the supplier’s business name, dealer’s name and licence holder’s name (this must be their full name when the item is an airgun purchased by a person aged 18 or over).

You do not need to record the name of person who has surrendered an arms item to you under section 59A of the Arms Act providing you hand over this item to Police within 5 working days. See:

Arms Act 1983, section 59A – Surrender by licensed dealer of firearms, etc

If your supplier is overseas

You must record:

  • the seller’s full name (or company name)
  • the seller’s address or location.

You must also record the following from your permit to import:

  • serial number
  • issue date
  • issued by QID/office location
  • date importation landed in New Zealand
  • port importation landed at
  • date importation reported to Police and Police reference
  • Regulator Register Entry ID, including transaction ID code and register entry date.

Your sales or deliveries

Ammunition

You must record:

  • type – for example, safety ammunition, other (please describe)
  • quantity (rounds) acquired of each type.

Arms items

You must record:

  • if it’s a firearm or airgun
  • if it’s a restricted weapon
  • type – for example, rifle, pistol, shotgun, machine gun
  • make
  • model
  • action type
  • calibre/gauge
  • magazine capacity (rounds, for a firearm with a non-detachable magazine)
  • magazine type
  • identification markings (except airguns, unless they are a restricted airgun not used in airsoft or paintball sports).

Non-prohibited magazines

You must record: 

  • type – for example, non-detachable, detachable box, drum, belt
  • capacity (rounds).

Prohibited magazines

You must record:

  • if the magazine is detachable
  • identification markings (such as a serial number).

Major firearm parts

Major firearm parts are the frame, receiver, or upper receiver and lower receiver of a firearm, the frame of a pistol, or the calibre conversion component or kit of a pistol.

You must record: 

  • identification markings (unless the part is incorporated or integrated into a firearm at time of delivery).

All arms items and ammunition

You must also record:

  • the date the ammunition or arms item was delivered
  • the method of delivery
  • the buyer’s dealer or firearms licence number (unless the item is an airgun purchased by a person aged 18 or over who is unlicensed – in this case, record proof of ID/age and number/reference of document)
  • the buyer’s business name, dealer’s name and licence holder’s name (this must be their full name when the item is an airgun purchased by a person aged 18 or over)
  • the buyer’s address (mail order items can only be delivered to the licence holder’s licence address).

If the item is a pistol, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, restricted weapon, or pistol carbine conversion kit

You must also record the following details of the buyer’s permit to possess:

  • permit number
  • issue date
  • issued by Police Member QID/office location.

If you sold the item via mail order

You must also record:

  • mail order serial number
  • mail order issue date
  • mail order Police employee QID or office location
  • date sent to purchaser
  • courier/delivery company name (you must file the proof of receipt, including the signature and name from courier tracking).

Arms items for auction

As well as the information you would normally record for sales and deliveries, you must also record:

  • the date and place of the auction
  • name of the auctioneer who conducted the auction.

For delivery details, instead of what you would normally record for sales and deliveries, you must record:

  • the name and contact details of the purchaser
  • the purchaser’s firearms licence number (unless the item is an airgun purchased by an unlicensed person aged 18 or over – in this case, record proof of ID/age and number/reference of document)
  • the number of the purchaser’s permit to possess if the item is a pistol, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, restricted weapon, or pistol carbine conversion kit
  • the date and method of delivery of the item to the purchaser.

Arms hired to broadcaster, theatrical company, or cinematic, television film, or video recording production company

As well as the information you would normally record for sales and deliveries, you must also record:

  • the name and contact details of the theatrical armourer supervising use of the item
  • the theatrical armourer’s firearms licence number and the number of the relevant endorsements on the licence
  • the address of the theatrical armourer’s usual place of business
  • the main physical address of the broadcaster, company, society, or production company using the item
  • duration and description of the production.

Note: The theatrical armourer must hold written consent from Police regarding the location of the site of the production and its duration.

Firearms and airguns supplied for shooting or hunting activities

This applies if a licensed dealer supplies a firearm or an airgun for use for a shooting activity (for example, for use at a shooting range) or a hunting activity where the licensed dealer provides commercial hunting guide services and all the following apply:

  • the firearm or airgun remains in the ownership of the licensed dealer for the duration of the activity, and 
  • the firearm or airgun is returned to the possession of the licensed dealer at the end of the activity, and
  • the firearm or airgun is supplied with a quantity of ammunition or airgun projectiles as part of the cost of the activity, or the person to whom the firearm or airgun is supplied provides their own ammunition or projectiles.

Note: Shooting activities exclude paintball shooting and airsoft shooting.

You must record the information you would normally record for sales and deliveries.

For delivery details, instead of what you would normally record for sales and deliveries, you must record:

  • the date and place of the shooting activity
  • the name and contact details of all individuals participating in the shooting activity
  • each participant’s firearms licence number or, if a participant does not have a firearms licence, the participant’s full name and date of birth. 
  • the firearms licence number of each person providing supervision to participants using firearms or airguns without a firearms licence.

The person providing supervision of participants must sight photographic evidence of the participant’s identity, or their firearms licence before providing them with airguns or firearms.

Airguns supplied for airsoft or paintball sports

This applies if a licensed dealer hires out airguns for a specified period (a session) for use in any of following activities at a commercial sports venue, and the airguns are not taken outside of that venue:

  • airsoft games
  • paintball games
  • military simulation activities.

You must record the information you would normally record for sales and deliveries, except for delivery details, where you must instead record the:

  • names of the persons issued with airguns for the session
  • number of airguns issued at the beginning of the session
  • number of airguns returned at the end of the session.

Directors and curators of museums

This applies to a licensed dealer who is the director or curator of a bona fide museum that has as part of its collection, whether on display or in storage, an arms item (other than a part that is not a major firearm part).

Arms items

You must record:

  • make
  • model
  • action type
  • calibre
  • identification markings (if any)
  • magazine capacity (rounds, for a firearm with a non-detachable magazine).

Magazines

You must record:

  • type – for example, non-detachable, detachable box, drum, belt
  • capacity (rounds)
  • identification markings (if it’s a prohibited magazine).

Major firearm parts

Major firearm parts are the frame, receiver, or upper receiver and lower receiver of a firearm, the frame of a pistol, or the calibre conversion component or kit of a pistol.

You must record:

  • identification markings (unless the part is incorporated or integrated into a firearm at time of delivery).

Inspections

You must allow Te Tari Pūreke to inspect your dealer arms items and the premises where they are kept if you possess:

  • firearms (includes pistols and prohibited firearms) 
  • restricted weapons 
  • airguns  
  • prohibited magazines  
  • prohibited parts  
  • pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCKs). 

We will also:  

  • check stocks of arms items held under permits to import or possess  
  • compare stocks with Police records to make sure they match. We may inspect these arms items and how they are stored. You must also let us inspect and copy your dealer book and transaction records for all arms items and ammunition. Failing to provide this information or to permit inspection is an offence.  

We may also ask you to provide other information you have about dealings with arms items and ammunition (including major firearm parts). 

Transporting arms items and ammunition

You must keep your arms items and ammunition at your place of business, unless:

  • those arms items and ammunition are being delivered to the premises of a licence holder whose licence allows them to possess them 
  • you have conditions on your licence allowing you to transport these arms items and ammunition to another place of business, like another place of business, a gunsmith's premises, or a gun show 
  • you have written permission from Te Tari Pūreke to move arms items and ammunition for a specific occasion, like a theatrical production.

Secure storage and display guidance

All firearms dealers and ammunition sellers are subject to conditions that require the safe and secure storage of firearms and ammunition stored and displayed in their premises, and the condition of the premises.

Selling arms items and ammunition via mail order or over the internet

You must receive mail order from directly from Te Tari Pūreke that has been endorsed by Te Tari Pūreke before selling the following items via mail order or over the internet:  

  • non-prohibited firearms that do not require an endorsement
  • non-prohibited magazines
  • non-prohibited firearm parts (except between dealers, unless the part is the action of a firearm)
  • pistol carbine conversion kits
  • airguns (apart from airguns for airsoft and paintball sports)
  • ammunition.

You must have the correct endorsement to sell the following classes of arms items via mail order or through the internet:

  • prohibited firearms
  • pistols
  • restricted weapons
  • prohibited magazines
  • prohibited parts.

The buyer of an item from these classes of arms items must have:

  • the correct endorsement on their licence  
  • a permit to possess issued by Te Tari Pūreke, and that permit needs to specify the courier that delivers the item. 

Arms Act 1983, section 43A – Mail order or internet sales of arms items or ammunition | New Zealand Legislation website

Arms Regulations 1992, clause 29A – Endorsement on mail order or internet sales of arms item or ammunition | New Zealand Legislation website

When a firearm changes hands

Acceptance and handling of surrendered items

As a licensed firearms dealer, you can accept a surrendered non-prohibited firearm or any ammunition, retaining these for sale or parts. However, you must record the details of the person surrendering the item.  

Should the individual choose not to provide their details, you must present the item to Police within 5 working days of receiving it. 

Handling prohibited and restricted items 

A licensed firearm dealer (and any dealer's employee) who receives a prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, pistol, restricted weapon, pistol carbine conversion kit or parts cannot possess such items for sale purposes unless they have the necessary endorsement and permit to possess.      

In cases where you (or your employee) accepts prohibited or restricted items without the appropriate endorsements, you are required to deliver the item to the nearest Police station for inspection, within 5 working days of receiving it.    

Learn more about dealer obligations under the Arms Act 1983. 

Arms Act 1983, section 59A – Surrender by licensed dealer of firearms, etc | Legislation website 

Identifying arms items you receive

If you receive (including by import) one of these arms items and it does not bear an identification marking, you must mark it with one no more than 30 days after receiving it:

  • firearms
  • pistols
  • pistol carbine conversion kits
  • prohibited firearms
  • prohibited magazines
  • restricted airguns
  • blank-firing guns
  • restricted weapons
  • major firearm parts.

In unique circumstances, for example, where the arms item is unique or rare, or of significant historical value to New Zealand, you can apply to Te Tari Pūreke for a written exemption , to allow you to uniquely identify the arms item by alternative means. 

Te Tari Pūreke may authorise the unique identification of an arms item in a collection by other means, like: 

  • stamping or engraving the identification marking on a non-visible area of the frame, receiver, upper receiver, or lower receiver
  • firmly attaching to the arms item a tag with the identification marking.

If you are a bona fide collector and want to apply for this exemption, apply to Te Tari Pūreke in writing, setting out your reasons and your proposal for alternative means of identification explaining why that proposal is reasonable and appropriate to use in this case. 

For the meaning of antique firearm, see:

Arms Act 1983, section 2 – Interpretation | New Zealand Legislation website

You do not need to mark:

  • restricted airguns for airsoft and paintball sports
  • antique firearms
  • major firearm parts integrated with firearms with identification numbers.

Identifying arms items you manufacture

You must stamp, cast, or engrave an identification marking on these arms items when you manufacture them:

  • firearms
  • pistols
  • pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCKs)
  • restricted airguns
  • blank-firing guns
  • restricted weapons
  • major firearm parts.

Testing arms items

In the course of carrying out your licensed, specified dealer activities, you may fire these arms items only if it’s necessary to test them:

  • prohibited firearms
  • pistols
  • restricted weapons.

The dealer is the only person allowed to carry out the test fire. You can fire a maximum of 5 rounds per firearm.

You must:

  • test firearms only at a shooting range certified by the Commissioner of Police
  • meet any other conditions of your licence.

Selling and supplying airguns

You must have a dealer’s licence to deal in airguns.

Last updated
11 September 2023

 

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