What the New Zealand firearms licence allows

 

A New Zealand firearms licence allows you to have and use unsupervised:

  • non-prohibited firearms that do not require an endorsement
  • ammunition, 
  • especially dangerous airguns, including pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles.

A firearms licence holder can supervise someone without a licence using a non-prohibited firearm, unless we revoked that person’s licence.

The licence holder:

  • must be within reach of the firearm and able to control it
  • must not be using another firearm at the same time.

 

New Zealand firearms licence lifespan

A firearms licence lasts five or 10 years, depending on the circumstances of your application.

Your new licence lasts 10 years if you apply before your current licence expires.

Your new licence lasts five years if:

  • your firearms licence expires before you apply for a new one
  • your previous firearms licence was revoked or surrendered
  • you’ve never had a firearms licence

Endorsements

To have or use some classes of arms items, you must apply to Te Tari Pūreke to add to your firearms licence endorsements

Who can apply for a New Zealand firearms licence

To apply for a New Zealand firearms licence, you must:

be 16 years of age or older
not have had a firearms licence revoked in the last five years

Before you get a firearms licence, the authority must find:


Visitors to New Zealand

You need a visitor firearms licence, not a New Zealand firearms licence, if:

  • you are a visitor to New Zealand
  • you plan to use firearms during your visit
  • your visit is for less than a year.

Note
If your visit is for more than a year, you need a New Zealand firearms licence.

What you must tell us when you apply for a New Zealand firearms licence

Referees

In your firearms licence application, you must give names and contact details for referees.

Te Tari Pūreke interviews your referees to help us decide if you are a fit and proper person to have a firearms licence. In your application, you must give details for:

  • one next-of-kin referee
  • at least one unrelated referee, 20 years of age or older

These referees should not be related to each other or live together.

If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must:

  • use your parent or legal guardian as your next-of-kin referee, if you do not have a spouse or partner
  • give details for all your parents, stepparents, and legal guardians, or explain why you cannot.

Former spouses and partners

In your firearms licence application, you must give the names and contact details of anyone with whom, in the last five years, you've either:

  • been married, or
  • had a relationship like a marriage.

Te Tari Pūreke interviews former spouses and partners to confirm applicants are fit and proper to have and use firearms.

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.



Check out our helpful Video guides on secure storage and transport of firearms and ammunition

As a firearms licence holder, you must make sure your firearms:

  • cannot be accessed by young children
  • are stored separately from their ammunition
  • are secured against theft

Secure storage addresses
You must have secure storage for firearms and ammunition at:

  • your home address
  • the other addresses where you store your firearms and ammunition

Your home address can be, for example, a mobile home, campervan, or caravan. Even if it’s a temporary arrangement, if it is your home, you must make sure it has secure storage.

Other addresses where you store firearms and ammunition can be, for example, a holiday home, a business premises.

We issue a firearms licence only when an applicant has secure storage for firearms and ammunition that we have inspected and found meets requirements.


Secure firearm storage
To keep your firearms secured against theft, you must keep on your premises at least one type of lockable firearm storage:

  • a cabinet, container, or strongly made receptacle
  • a steel and concrete strongroom
  • a display cabinet or rack in which firearms are immobilised and cannot be fired

You must:

  • securely fix to your premises all lockable firearm storage
  • keep every firearm* on your premises locked, or immobilised and locked, in firearm storage

Before Te Tari Pūreke issues or renews your firearms licence, we carry out an inspection of your secure firearm storage.

We must approve your secure storage for your licence application to succeed.

*Every firearm not in the immediate possession of a firearms licence holder.


Secure ammunition storage
You must store your ammunition in either:

  • a secure storage container, like a cash box or an ammunition box in secure storage
  • a lock box in a gun safe cabinet
  • a locked room or storage area on your premises

Your secure storage container for ammunition must have a locking mechanism, or a padlock, with a different key or combination number from your firearms container.

Your lock box for ammunition in a gun safe cabinet must have a different key from the gun safe cabinet, and you must store these keys separately.

Your locked room or storage area for ammunition must be strongly enough made to stop the theft of the ammunition, and have been inspected and approved by New Zealand Police.
 


People with access
As a licence holder, you must think of the safety of people who have access to locations where you store arms items and ammunition.

Te Tari Pūreke cannot issue a New Zealand firearms licence or dealer licence to you if someone else has access to your arms items and ammunition, who either:

  • has had their firearms licence revoked
  • is disqualified from holding a firearms licence, or
  • is not a fit and proper person to have and use firearms

In your firearms licence application, you must give details of everyone who lives or works at your home address and the other addresses where you store arms items and ammunition.

You also must give details of everyone who has free or unsupervised access to these addresses.

If you give the details of your spouse, partner, or parent as a referee, do not also give their details as people with access.


Healthcare practitioner
In your licence application, you must give details of your primary


Health history
To understand if you and others will be safe if you have access to firearms, Te Tari Pūreke asks questions in your licence application about your

If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we will probably have more questions.
 


Criminal history
In your licence application, Te Tari Pūreke asks questions to understand if you are a:

If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we will probably have more questions.


If you have a criminal record when making an application under the Arms Act, you are required to say so under the clean slate scheme
 


Immigration status

In your licence application, if you're not a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, Te Tari Pūreke asks questions to understand why you are in this country and how long you can stay here.

When to apply for a firearms licence

Applying for the first time

If you have not applied before, we recommend you allow 6 months for your application to be processed.


Renewing your licence

We recommend you apply 4 months before the expiry date on your current firearms licence.

If you have not applied to renew your licence before this date, your licence will expire. This means it will not be valid, and you will not be able to buy firearms or ammunition. You must also transfer possession of your firearms to a person with the appropriate licence.


If you apply early

You can apply for a firearms licence at any time. If you choose to apply earlier than our recommended time frames, we may ask you to resupply some details before we issue your licence. This is to make sure we have the most recent information to consider when deciding on the outcome of your application.

 

Steps to applying online with MyFirearms logo

 

1.Before you begin

To access MyFirearms you'll need a RealMe®login and your mobile phone.

The fees for New Zealand licence applications are:
  • for a first-time licence is $126.50
  • before the end of the previous licence is $126.50
  • when the previous licence has expired is $241.50

These fees include GST and are not refundable. Applying online using MyFirearms will also incur a small card payment fee.


 

tick-icon good that is a good likeness of you

 

tick-icon scanned copies or digital photos of documents that prove your

 

tick-icon from your healthcare provider.

 


Overseas firearms licences 

The authority asks if you have been granted, or refused, a firearms licence or equivalent certification to have and use firearms in another country.

We also ask if you've had an overseas firearms licence or equivalent suspended, revoked, or cancelled.

You must include in your application scanned copies or digital photos of your firearms licences or equivalents from other countries.

You must include these whether they are current or have been suspended, revoked, or cancelled.


Overseas criminal record checks

In your firearms licence application, Te Tari Pūreke asks if you have stayed in another country for more than six months in total in the last 10 years.

You must include in your application a scanned copy or digital photo of a criminal record check for each country you've stayed in for that long.

The criminal record check must be no more than two months old when you submit your application.

Immigration New Zealand has guidance about criminal record checks, also known as police certificates, from other countries. Go to Immigration New Zealand to see how to get a police certificate

If you were posted or deployed to another country as part of your work for the New Zealand government, you can use a signed letter from your commanding officer or a senior manager instead of a police certificate.

The letter is to confirm you were not charged with or convicted of a criminal offence in that country while deployed there.

Secure storage photos (Optional)

You can, if you want to, include digital photos of your secure storage to support your application.

2.Login via RealMe®

 

Follow these steps:

 

tick-icon have your mobile phone handy and go to RealMe®

tick-iconfollow the steps to Create a RealMe® login

tick-icon you'll be asked to verify your email address

tick-icon you can log out of RealMe® now

tick-iconwhen you're ready to start your MyFirearms application come back to this page

 


 

 

If you do have a RealMe® login but can't remember your username or password, you can reset it by following these steps:

tick-icon go to RealMe®

tick-icon select Forgot Username or Forgot Password?

tick-icon You will be asked to verify your email address or your mobile phone number as part of the process.

tick-iconwhen you're ready to start your MyFirearms application come back to this page

 


 

 

Your privacy is important to us. For security reasons you only have five minutes to complete the RealMe® login to MyFirearms. RealMe® has a . We recommend you use the mobile option as its quicker.

 

Go to MyFirearms to login


If you have any issues or questions about applying online using MyFirearms please check:

You can still complete the forms by hand and pay at NZ post shop. Go to Tools and Forms

 

 

 

Next Steps

Once you have submitted your application:

  • Te Tari Pūreke assesses if you are a fit and proper person to have and use firearms
  • If you are applying for your licence for the first time or Te Tari Pūreke requires you to, you must attend a course on firearm safety
  • It is recommended that you study the Firearms safety code BEFORE you attend the Firearms Safety Course to help with the written part of the course.
  • If you are applying before the end of your current licence, at your interview you must take a multi-choice safety test based on the Firearms safety code
  • You must attend an in-person interview with Te Tari Pūreke, to help us decide if you are a fit and proper person to have and use firearms 
  • Te Tari Pūreke arranges interviews with your referees. We may ask your referees to complete and return questionnaires before their interviews.
  • Te Tari Pūreke arranges an inspection of your secure storage at all addresses where you store firearms and ammunition

 


 

Disqualified person

If you are a disqualified person from holding a firearms licence:

  • you cannot apply for a licence
  • Te Tari Pūreke can’t consider your application

You are disqualified from holding a firearms licence if in the last 10 years you have had a protection order, other than a temporary order, made against you under the Family Violence Act 2018 or the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

You are disqualified from holding a firearms licence if in the last 10 years you have been convicted or released from custody after being convicted of offences under the:

  • Sentencing Act 2002
  • Arms Act 1983
  • Crimes Act 1961

You may be disqualified from holding a firearms licence if you have been convicted overseas for an offence involving violence, drugs, or alcohol.


Sentencing Act 2002

Any serious violent offence as defined in the Sentencing Act disqualifies you from holding a firearms licence.


Arms Act 1983

Offences under the Arms Act that disqualify people from holding a licence include:

  • importing a firearm or other arms item without a permit
  • importing prohibited ammunition
  • selling or supplying a prohibited firearm or magazine
  • unlawfully possessing a prohibited firearm
  • unlawfully carrying or possessing a prohibited firearm in a public place
  • presenting a prohibited firearm at another person
  • using or attempting to use a prohibited firearm, airgun, or other arms item to resist or prevent arrest, or to commit an offence
  • carrying a prohibited firearm, or other arms item with criminal intent assembling a prohibited firearm
  • illegally manufacturing arms items
  • illegally trafficking firearms, parts, or ammunition falsifying firearm markings

Crimes Act 1961

Offences under the Crimes Act that disqualify people from holding a licence include:

  • piracy
  • slave dealing
  • participation in an organised criminal group
  • strangulation or suffocation
  • acid throwing
  • assault with a weapon
  • blackmail
  • arson
  • intentional damage
  • threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm

A fit and proper person:

  • is a person of good conduct and character
  • possesses and uses firearms responsibly
  • stores firearms securely
  • abides by the laws of New Zealand

When Te Tari Pūreke assesses if you are a fit and proper person, we consider:

  • your overall character and conduct
  • information provided by you and your referees
  • information we hold or receive from any source

The Arms Act 1983 gives some circumstances in which Te Tari Pūreke may find you are not a fit and proper person to have and use firearms.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we will probably have more questions.

  • You have been charged with or convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment.
  • You have been charged with or convicted of an offence under the Arms Act 1983, against section 231A of the Crimes Act 1961, or against the Game Animal Council Act 2013, the Wildlife Act 1953, or the Wild Animal Control Act 1977.
  • You have had a temporary protection order made against you under section 79 of the Family Violence Act 2018, or section 14 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
  • You have given grounds for a protection order under the Family Violence Act 2018.
  • You have had a restraining order made against you under the Harassment Act 1997.
  • You have not complied with the requirements of the Arms Act, regulations made under the Arms Act, or the conditions of a permit, licence, or endorsement issued to you under the Arms Act.
  • You have been a member or affiliated with a gang or organised criminal group.
  • You have exhibited, encouraged, or promoted violence, hatred, or extremism.
  • You have been assessed as a risk to national security.
  • You have a mental or physical illness or injury that affects your ability to safely possess firearms.
  • You have abused alcohol or been dependent on alcohol.
  • You have used drugs that affect your judgement or behaviour.

If Te Tari Pūreke has a reason to find you are not a fit and proper person, we tell you the reason (some exemptions apply) and give you an opportunity to refute or comment on it.

People with access

As a licence holder, you must think of the safety of people who have access to locations where you store arms items and ammunition.

Te Tari Pūreke cannot issue a New Zealand firearms licence or dealer licence to you if someone else has access to your arms items and ammunition, who either:

  • has had their firearms licence revoked
  • is disqualified from holding a firearms licence, or
  • is not a fit and proper person to have and use firearms

In your firearms licence application, you must give details of everyone who lives or works at your home address and the other addresses where you store arms items and ammunition.

You also must give details of everyone who has free or unsupervised access to these addresses.

If you give the details of your spouse, partner, or parent as a referee, do not also give their details as people with access.

Referees

All referees In your application, you must give names and contact details for referees.

Te Tari Pūreke interviews your referees to help us decide if you are a fit and proper person to have either a:

  • firearms licence
  • dealer licence,
  • or endorsement to your licence

Your referees must:

  • know you well enough to vouch for your character and fitness to possess or use firearms, or to deal in firearms
  • be available for an in-person interview with Te Tari Pūreke

Your referees may need to complete and return a questionnaire before the interview.

Te Tari Pūreke may use information it holds about them to assess their suitability to be your referees.


Next-of-kin referee

Your next-of-kin referee is your spouse or partner, if you have one.

If you don’t have a spouse or partner, your next-of-kin referee is a near relative who knows you well, like a parent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin, or sibling.

If you don’t have a spouse or partner, or a near relative who knows you well, your next-of-kin referee is a close associate who knows you well.

If your next-of-kin referee lives overseas or has an overseas address, you must:

  • still provide their details
  • also provide details of an additional referee who lives in New Zealand and knows you well

Unrelated referee

Your unrelated referee is not:

  • your spouse or partner, or a former spouse or partner from the past five years
  • a relative, like a parent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin, sibling, or in-law

Your unrelated referee should:

  • be someone you have regular face to face contact with
  • have known you well for a significant period of your life, at least 3 years

Your unrelated referee must not be:

  • your employee
  • employed by New Zealand Police

Your unrelated referee must:

  • live in New Zealand
  • not live at the same address as you, like a flatmate, lodger, or boarder

Endorsement referee

In your application for an endorsement to your firearms licence, you must give the name and contact details of an endorsement referee.

This endorsement referee is in addition to the referees in your firearms licence application.

Your endorsement 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

Secure storage and locations

As a firearms licence holder, you must make sure your firearms: 

  • cannot be accessed by young children 
  • are stored separately from their ammunition 
  • are secured against theft 

Secure storage addresses 

You must have secure storage at your home address and at the other addresses where you store your firearms and ammunition, like a holiday home, a business premises, or another licence holder's address. 

A mobile home, campervan, or caravan can be your home address, even if it’s a temporary arrangement. If it is your home, you must make sure it has secure storage. 

We issue a firearms licence only when an applicant has secure storage for firearms and ammunition that we have inspected and found meets requirements. 


Secure firearm storage 

To keep your firearms secured against theft, you must keep on your premises at least one type of lockable firearm storage: 

  • a cabinet, container, or strongly made receptacle 
  • a steel and concrete strongroom 
  • a display cabinet or rack in which firearms are immobilised and cannot be fired 

You must: 

  • securely fix to your premises all lockable firearm storage 
  • keep every firearm* on your premises locked, or immobilised and locked, in firearm storage 

Before Te Tari Pūreke issues or renews your firearms licence, we carry out an inspection of your secure firearm storage. 

We must approve your secure storage for your licence application to succeed. 

*Every firearm not in the immediate possession of a firearms licence holder. 

Secure ammunition storage

You must store your ammunition in either:

  • a secure storage container, like a cash box or an ammunition box in secure storage
  • a lock box in a gun safe cabinet
  • a locked room or storage area on your premises

Your secure storage container for ammunition must have a locking mechanism, or a padlock, with a different key or combination number from your firearms container.

Your lock box for ammunition in a gun safe cabinet must have a different key from the gun safe cabinet, and you must store these keys separately.

Your locked room or storage area for ammunition must be strongly enough made to stop the theft of the ammunition, and have been inspected and approved by New Zealand Police.

Health practitioner

In your licence application, you must give the name and email address of your primary healthcare provider.

If you can, give the name of the person you usually see, like your doctor, not the practice.

If you don’t usually see the same person, let us know why not. If your application is successful, Te Tari Pūreke notifies your healthcare practitioner that you have a firearms licence.

Your healthcare practitioner must be either:

  • registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand
  • a nurse practitioner registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand
  • a psychologist registered with the New Zealand psychologists board, or
  • an authorised officer under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

A good quality digital photo

The photo must meet the minimum requirements as set out in the Arms Regulations 1992, regulation 30, Photographs

The photo must:

  • have been taken no more than 12 months before you submit your application
  • be a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders, with your head filling most of the photo
  • be of you without a hat or head covering (unless your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering)
  • have a plain, light-coloured background
  • be a colour photo 

Te Tari Pureke requires the original photograph file to be provided. We cannot accept a scanned copy of a photo.


Passport photos from commercial outlets typically meet these requirements.

A digital photo must be:

  • a portrait photo, with a 4:3 aspect ratio
  • in jpg or jpeg format
  • between 25KB and 10MB
  • between 900 and 4500 pixels wide, and 1200 and 6000 pixels high

We do not accept photos that do not meet these standards.

If you are submitting a paper application, you must provide two identical prints of your photo, measuring 45mm by 35mm untrimmed on good quality photo paper.

Identity documents and proof of address

You must include in your application scanned copies or digital photos of documents that prove your identity and address.

All identity documents must be current.

Your proof of address must be less than 3 months old

Your proof of address is a letter or statement from an organisation like:

  • your bank
  • your power company
  • the Electoral Commission

The letter is addressed to you by name at your home address.

Choose option 1 or option 2 to prove your identity and address.


Option 1

If you have a current New Zealand firearms licence or dealer licence

Include scanned copies or digital photos of both:

  • your firearms or dealer licence
  • your proof of address 

Option 2

If you don't have a current New Zealand firearms licence or dealer licence

1.Include a scanned copy or digital photo of one of:

  • New Zealand passport
  • overseas passport
  • New Zealand driver licence
  • New Zealand Police identity card
  • New Zealand Defence Force photo identification
  • Kiwi Access card, 18+
  • identity document issued by the New Zealand government

2.Also include a scanned copy or digital photo of one of:

  • 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

3.Include a scanned copy or digital photo of your proof of address.

If you are 16 or 17 and do not have the identity documents we ask for, your parent or guardian can give a written declaration to support your application.

Otherwise, if you do not have the identity documents we ask for, call the firearms enquiry team. If you want to submit a paper application, include copies of your original identity documents with your application. Do not send original documents.

 

How to apply with downloaded PDF forms

To complete a downloaded PDF form, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your laptop, tablet, or mobile.

If you do not have Acrobat Reader, download and install it from the Adobe website

1. Complete the forms.

  • Open the application form and save it on your laptop, tablet, or mobile, before you start to enter answers on it.
  • Enter your answers on the form with care. An incomplete form takes Te Tari Pūreke longer to reply to.
  • Save your work as you go, and when you’ve completed the form.
  • If you are applying for endorsements on your firearms licence at the same time as the licence, repeat these steps for their application forms.

2. Pay the fees.

  • You need to find a NZ Post Shop local to you that offers the 'pay a bill' service. Post Centres do not accept payments. Find a NZ Post Shop
  • When you make the payment, you need to tell Post Shop staff:
    • the licence you're applying for
    • if you are applying for endorsements on your firearms licence
    • the amounts you must pay for each
  • Pay for your licence and endorsement applications.
  • Keep the receipts.

3. Upload your documents.

  • Check you have completed the application forms.
  • Check you have scanned copies or digital photos of your supporting documents ready to upload.

Every licence and endorsement application made with downloaded forms* must include:

Depending on the details of your application, you may also need scanned copies or digital photos of supporting documents:

  • New Zealand firearms licence
  • proof of business address
  • medical certificate
  • overseas firearm licence
  • overseas criminal record check
  • accountant's letter
  • employer's letter
  • secure storage photos

Click ‘Upload application documents’ and follow the guidance.

*Except first-time endorsement applications by firearms licence holders, which must include the receipt for endorsement fee only.

Health history
In your licence application, Te Tari Pūreke asks questions to understand if you and others will be safe if you have access to firearms. If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we may have more questions.

We ask if in the last two years you have experienced or been treated for:

  • mental illness
  • decline in mental function
  • substance abuse or dependency
  • behaviour suggesting anger or violence, including family harm
  • drowsiness, or problems with memory and thinking, caused by illness or medication
  • seizures, dizziness, or blackouts
  • serious head injury or neurological disorder
  • thoughts, threats, or attempts of suicide or self-harm

We also ask:

  • if in the last two years you have experienced significant life events
  • questions about your use of alcohol and recreational drugs
     

Medical certificate
If you answer ‘yes’ in your application to any of the questions about health conditions and treatment, you must include with your application a scanned copy or digital photo of a certificate from your healthcare practitioner.

The certificate should say:

  • what the health condition is
  • whether it has been resolved
  • any ongoing treatment
  • if your healthcare practitioner believes you are a suitable person to possess and use a firearm
     

Second-factor authentication

Second-factor authentication verifies your identity by using:

  • your username and password (something you know),
  • your mobile phone (something you have). RealMe® will text a code number to you.

This makes your account more secure.

 

 

 

Need help?

phone Call 0800 844 431 (09 302 6500) for MyFirearms Support
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