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 you have a New Zealand firearms 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
- Card issued by a New Zealand bank with your full name and signature
- Educational records or certificates
- Professional or trade association membership certificate
AND proof of address dated within the last 3 months.
Employment and education details
You must provide details of your employment over the past 3 years, such as your occupation, your employer and how long you worked for them.
If you have studied at an educational facility or school in the past 3 years, you must provide information about the course and facility.
Reason for possessing firearms
As part of your application, you must tell us about your experience with firearms and why you want a firearms licence.
You must also tell us if you’re a member of a gun club or shooting organisation, and if you have applied for a firearms licence overseas.
Firearms can only be possessed for lawful purposes, and it is up to the possessor to prove a lawful purpose.
Keeping a loaded weapon, readily available, cannot be justified on the basis of a claim of self-defence relating to a generalised fear.
Use of force on a person is normally a criminal offence. It would be extremely rare that the use of a firearm against a person would be considered lawful.
Advice on keeping safe | NZ Police website
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.
You must provide information about any criminal offending you have been involved with, in accordance with the Clean Slate Scheme.
Clean Slate Scheme | Ministry of Justice website
You must also provide details about overseas travel within the past 10 years.
You need a criminal history check from any country you have been in for over 6 months in total (not necessarily consecutively) in the last 10 years.
For information on how to get a criminal history check, go to:
You may need to provide a criminal history check
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 ensure the contact information you supply is accurate, as the health provider will be sent an e-mail once your licence is issued, as per our obligations under the Arms Act 1983.
Arms Act 1983 No 44 (as at 24 June 2023), Public Act 24 Issue of firearms licence | New Zealand Legislation
If you supply an incorrect email address, this may delay the licencing process.
Depending how you answer each of these questions, we may ask for more information.
Information about your referees
We will interview your referees to help us decide if you are a fit and proper person to have a firearms licence. They do not need to be firearms licence holders.
You must provide the names and contact details for:
- one next-of-kin referee
- at least one unrelated referee.
Your next-of-kin referee must be aged 16 or over.
They could be:
- your spouse or partner (if you have one)
- a near relative (for example, a parent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, grandparent or sibling) who knows you well (even if they reside overseas).
If you are 16 or 17 years old and do not have a spouse or partner, you must use your parent or legal guardian as your next of kin referee.
If your referee lives overseas, you must also nominate an additional referee who lives in New Zealand and knows you well.
Your unrelated referee must:
- be aged 20 or over
- be living in New Zealand
- know you well enough to attest to your character and fitness to possess firearms – 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).
Your unrelated referee 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.
Note: We may request additional referees if we do not consider your nominated referees suitable.
Former spouses or partners
You must provide details of any former spouses or partners with whom you’ve had a ‘relationship akin to marriage’ at any time in the past 5 years.
Former spouses and partners know applicants and their domestic lives well. They may be affected by applicants having access to firearms. They may also have ongoing relationships with applicants through childcare and other domestic arrangements.
We know not all separations are friendly. We take this into account when we interview former spouses and partners, and when we consider your application.
Secure storage for firearms and ammunition
You must provide details of your firearms and ammunition secure storage at your home address and any additional addresses where you may store your firearms and ammunition.
Your home address could be a mobile home, campervan, or caravan. Even if it’s a temporary arrangement, if it’s your home, you must make sure it has secure storage.
Other addresses where you store firearms and ammunition could be a holiday home or a business premises.
We issue a firearms licence only when an applicant has secure storage for firearms and ammunition that we have inspected and meets requirements.
People who have access to your firearms storage locations
A firearms licence holder must consider all aspects of firearms safety, including the safety of people who may have access to locations where you store firearms.
Te Tari Pūreke cannot issue a firearms licence if another person who is not fit and proper to possess firearms is reasonably likely to obtain access to any of your firearms or airguns.
You must provide details of:
- people who live at your home address
- people who may have free or unsupervised access to your home address or any additional address you have listed as a firearms and ammunition storage location.
If you list your spouse or partner as a referee, you do not need to include them here.