Find out what a dealer’s licence allows you to do, who can apply, when you need an endorsement, and what you need to provide in your application.

When you need a dealer’s licence

You must have a dealer’s licence to operate a business that:

  • sells, hires, lends or supplies arms items
  • repairs or modifies arms items
  • manufactures arms items for sale, hire, lending or supply.

You also need a dealer’s licence to:

  • display arms items in a bona fide museum
  • possess arms items for auction.

If you will deal in pistols, pistol carbine conversion kits, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms or prohibited magazines, you must also apply for an endorsement. 

If you want to add other activities or types of arms items, you must reapply for your dealer’s licence.

When you do not need a dealer's licence

You do not need a dealer’s licence if you are:

  • a firearms licence holder who offers commercial hunting guide services, and during the provision of those services supply no more than 6 firearms to 1 or more clients at any one time (commercial hunting guides cannot supply pistols, restricted weapons or prohibited items)
  • a member of a shooting club selling, hiring, lending, or supplying of firearms to club members or on club premises where:
    • this is done with the prior 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 firearms is used for the benefit of the club.

Arms Act 1983, section 5 – Licensed dealers | New Zealand Legislation

A dealer’s licence is issued for a specific place of business

Your dealer’s licence will be for a specific place of business. You can get a dealer’s licence for more than one place of business if there is a manager at each site who also holds a dealer’s licence.

If you want to occasionally do dealer activities at places other than the place of business specified on your dealer licence, you must get a condition on your licence that allows it. You can do this as part of your application.

Arms Act 1983, section 7 – Place of business | New Zealand Legislation

Conducting a gun show from a different place of business

You must get consent from Te Tari Pūreke if you want to do business at a gun show.

Application for consent to conduct a gun show from a different place of business

If you hire out arms items for productions

Your dealer’s licence may allow you to hire out firearms, pistols, prohibited magazines, and restricted weapons for use by a:

  • broadcaster
  • theatre company or society
  • cinematic or television film production company
  • video recording production company.

To hire out pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms or prohibited magazines, you must have an endorsement on your dealer’s licence.

To hire out other classes of firearms you need to have a dealer’s licence, but not an endorsement. 

Note: You can only hire arms items to productions that have a theatrical armourer on site.

Renewing your dealer’s licence

Dealer’s licences are valid for 12 months.

Endorsements are valid until: 

  • your dealer’s licence expires or is surrendered or revoked 
  • your endorsement is surrendered or revoked.

We recommend you apply for a new licence (and any endorsements) 4 months before your licence expires. If you apply for a new one before your current dealer’s licence expires, your business can continue as usual until you get a decision about your new application. Your new licence starts on the date of this decision.

Who is eligible to apply

To apply for a dealer’s licence, you must hold a current firearms licence.

If you’re also applying for an endorsement for prohibited firearms and/or prohibited magazines, you must be aged 18 or over.

Firearms licence

How much it costs

Application fees:

  • New or renewed dealer licence – $204
  • Dealer gun show consent – $50
  • One or more endorsements, applied for at the same time – $204

These fees include GST and are not refundable. If you apply through MyFirearms you can pay using a credit or debit card (Visa or Mastercard). You will be charged a credit card surcharge of 1.9%.

Information you need to provide in your application

Photograph specifications

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.

A scan or photo of your identity documents and proof of address

If you have a New Zealand firearms licence or dealer's licence, you must provide a scan or clear photo of the following:

  • Your licence card (current or expired within 12 months)
  • Proof of address dated within the last 3 months

If you do not have a New Zealand firearms licence, you must provide a scan or photo of one of the following:

  • 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 New Zealand government

AND one of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Permanent resident document
  • Identity document issued by secondary or tertiary institution
  • Educational records or certificates
  • Professional or trade association membership certificate

AND proof of address dated within the last 3 months.

Details about your business

You must provide information about your business, including its name, business number, how long it’s been operating and your role in the business.

Dealer activities

You must select from the following list which dealer activities you wish to carry out:

  • selling (hiring or wholesale)
  • hiring
  • lending
  • otherwise supplying
  • auctioning
  • repairing and modifying
  • displaying as a director or curator of a bona fide museum
  • manufacturing for sale, hire, lending or other supply
  • manufacturing prohibited parts for permitted supply.

If you wish to manufacture pistols, restricted weapons, pistol carbine conversion kits or air pistol carbine conversion kits, you must also complete an ‘Application by licensed dealer for approval to manufacture' form and submit it with your application.

Application by licensed dealer for approval to manufacture

To manufacture, test or demonstrate prohibited parts, you must be an ‘exempt person’ under section 4A (1A) and (2A) of the Arms Act 1983. This means your business must have been running before 12 April 2019.

Arms Act 1983, Section 4A – Persons who may apply to import, manufacture, sell, supply, possess, or use prohibited items | New Zealand Legislation

Current or planned operations, business arrangements and obligations

You must provide details about your:

  • prior experience using firearms
  • relevant business experience
  • technical skills, knowledge and safety plans that ensure you can safely undertake your business.

You must also describe your business arrangements – such as your purchase and supply arrangements with suppliers – and be able to explain your obligations as a dealer under the Arms Act and Arms Regulations.

Financial soundness

You must provide a letter from your accountant (or business advisor) confirming the business has, or is being established with, a sound financial structure

Personal history details 

To understand if you and others will be safe if you have access to firearms, we ask questions in your application about your personal history.

Criminal offending

You must provide information about any criminal offending you have been involved with. 

Note: The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 requires you to state whether you have a criminal record when making an application under the Arms Act 1983. 

Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, section 19 – Exceptions to general effect of clean slate scheme | New Zealand Legislation


If you have a relevant health condition, you’ll be asked to provide details. You must supply a certificate from your health practitioner that is related to the condition. You will be asked to provide the contact details of your current health provider in your application.

Please make sure the contact information you supply is accurate, as the health provider will be sent an email once your licence is issued, as per our obligations under the Arms Act 1983. If you supply an incorrect email address, this may delay the licencing process.

Arms Act 1983 No 44 (as at 24 June 2023), Public Act 24 Issue of firearms licence | New Zealand Legislation

Depending how you answer each of these questions, we may ask for more information. 

Information about your referees

You must provide the names and contact details for:

  • one next-of-kin referee, aged 16 or over
  • at least two unrelated business referees, aged 25 or over.

Your next-of-kin referee:

  • vouches for your character, not necessarily your firearms experience
  • does not have to be a firearms licence holder or have seen you handle a firearm.

Your business referees must:

  • be living in New Zealand
  • know you well – this may include someone you’ve known and been in regular face-to-face contact with for a significant period of your life (at least 3 years, preferably more)
  • have first-hand knowledge of your experience in firearms dealer-related activities
  • be available for an in-person, face-to-face interview.

Ideally, your referee has a firearms licence, but this is not essential.

Your business referees must not:

  • be related to you (for example, not your parents, stepparents, cousin, aunt or in-laws)
  • live at the same address as you (for example, not your flatmate, lodger or boarder)
  • be your current spouse or partner, a former spouse or partner within the past 5 years, or an otherwise related person
  • be employed by New Zealand Police.

We will interview your referees to help us decide if you are a fit and proper person to have a dealer's licence.

We may ask for additional referees.

Security details for storage and display

You must explain how you are meeting security requirements for stock on display and in storage.

This should be for:

  • the location where you conduct your business, and
  • any storage location where you store any other firearms and ammunition the business may possess.

Body corporate senior managers must complete this section for the place of business from which they ordinarily conduct business.

Secure storage and transportation guide for firearms and ammunition (PDF, 4 MB)

If you’re a museum director or curator

As a museum director or curator with firearms or ammunition on public display, you must make sure:

  • the firearms are made inoperable
  • they cannot be handled by members of the public
  • the way they are secured complies with storage and display requirements.

If you’re an ammunition seller

Ammunition not on display on your premises must be stored:

  • in an area not accessible to the public
  • in a locked steel box, cabinet, or safe, secured to the building, or in a strongly made steel and concrete strongroom or stout storeroom.

Ammunition that is on public display on your premises must be stored:

  • in a locked, strongly made cabinet, container, or display case, secured to the building.

Details of the business’s record-keeping system

You must provide details of your dealer transaction and stock record-keeping systems as they apply to your business activities.

You must also describe the access Police are allowed to your records, and how you will ensure they are kept secure.

If you are applying for an endorsement

You must have an endorsement on your dealer’s licence if your work involves any of the following types of arms items: 

  • pistols and pistol parts 
  • pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCKs) 
  • restricted weapons and parts (not including restricted airguns) 
  • prohibited firearms and parts 
  • prohibited magazines. 

Extra information you need to provide

You must describe: 

  • which endorsement you require (pistols and restricted weapons or prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine) 
  • why you need to work with that type of item 
  • your experience working with that type of item 
  • the technical skills and knowledge you possess to safely undertake this work 
  • your obligations to supervise, secure and account for all items 
  • your obligations when supervising items shown to, and handled by a prospective customer or museum visitor  
  • your personal attributes that make you a suitable person to have or have access to these items (potentially in large quantities). 

You will also need to describe: 

  • the obligations you are required to fulfil as a dealer’s licence holder with an endorsement 
  • how you will ensure you (and your employees) always meet these obligations. 

Applying for permits

Once you have an endorsement, you are eligible to apply for a permit to possess or import pistols, restricted weapons, prohibited firearms or prohibited magazines. 

Note: You cannot use your dealer’s licence to apply for a permit for items for your personal use. Instead, you must use your firearms licence. 


Last updated
12 December 2023


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