6 November 2018

In October, the Arms Act Service Delivery Group met with over 300 firearms community members in six locations across the country to test an envisioned future state of a person using firearms processes, such as applying for a firearms licence. This showed the intended business process and technology improvements.

The session presented a non-exhaustive list of potential improvements that align with the current challenges across the licensing process that were identified during the June roadshow. Attendees were then asked to vote on each improvement (like it/not sure/don’t like it) and a discussion followed for comments, questions and suggestions.

The image below is a snapshot of the future journey presented at the general community sessions.


Attendee data for each location:


Firearms Dealers

General Community




Palmerston North























Overall themes that emerged from these meetings included:

  • The firearms community sees the intended improvements as positive and are in agreement on the general direction of the Firearms Administration Modernisation Programme. 
  • Encouraged by what they saw, the community is eager to see the changes take effect. The community members also understood that the firearms modernisation journey is an iterative one and the intention is to focus on the fundamental and high value aspects first and then broaden the scope to the next set of priorities.
  • We heard several times how the ongoing engagement has been reassuring for the firearms community. However, communication for these sessions still needs to be wider, using suitable channels and community networks.

In our sessions with dealers, we discussed specific improvements such as:

  • In the future, a dealer should have the ability to scan the barcode on a firearms licence to verify status/validity, reducing the scope for any errors in licence number verification.
  • To improve the applicant experience pre-application, some suggestions were to provide examples of permits upfront, to state common reasons for refusal for an application, and provide information on licences needed by gunsmiths.
  • A suggestion offered was for Police to organise an annual conference or forum for firearms dealers and Police to engage on firearms processes and policies.
  • While the rationale for the suggested improvements were clearly understood, areas that require further analysis and discussion include the ability for firearms dealers to have electronic audits of their dealer books and simplifying the Permit to Procure processes by electronic submission at a dealer site. 

With our general firearms community, we talked about key areas of an improved experience:

  • The firearms community is keen on seeing data security and user-friendliness as key elements for a good experience across all intended improvements.
  • Most attendees were in favour of a multi-channel, tiered support model that gives an opportunity to speak to a local contact (Arms Officer) who is knowledgeable in firearms legislation and the process for non-routine or complex issues.
  • Guidance on the Firearms Safety Programme for first time applicants should be multi-lingual and accessible via multiple channels (online and offline).
  • There was some divergence of views on the possibility of bringing in some flexibility in completing referee interviews (face-to-face and/or phone/web form) for subsequent applications based on an assessment criteria. The key message was to ensure that we do not lose the benefits of a face-to-face verification during the referee interview stage.

These sessions have been immensely helpful for us and we’d like to thank our community members for taking the time to attend the sessions and contribute to the discussion.


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