4 July 2018

The Arms Act Service Delivery Group has completed visits to Greymouth, Christchurch, Timaru, Hamilton, Nelson, Blenheim, Invercargill, and Dunedin over the past two weeks, meeting with Police staff and the firearms community. The project team met with around 200 staff and over 500 firearms community members during the roadshow. They gathered feedback and insights from across the country on the current processes, helping identify key areas that offer opportunities for improvement.

The top three themes for the firearms community are:

  • The need for consistency in how the Arms Act and associated processes are administered across districts.
  • Better and more frequent communication and engagement between Police and firearms community.
  • The introduction of online services including licence application and payment to meet the changing needs of the community while retaining paper-based application options.

We also discussed some specific ways to improve current processes. The following key points were discussed:

  • The need to bring in simplicity in the process while also maintaining rigour across it. The intention would be to make the process easier for low risk, responsible firearms licence holders.
  • Building in some proactive measures in the process to improve the overall service experience for applicants – examples include mobile-based alerts, and track and trace options for applications.
  • Clarity and consistency in the interpretation of the Arms Act across districts to make it easy for the licence holders to comply.
  • Supporting a wide variety of information needs of the community – via multiple channels and mediums (e.g. a Frequently Asked Questions document).
  • Utilising Police staff time in the best way possible to provide and maintain face-to-face interaction in the right parts of the process.
  • Building nationwide awareness and knowledge on the safe use and storage of firearms and supporting the firearms community to be seen as responsible sport and recreational members.

Other out of scope subjects raised by the firearms community were penalties for firearms offending and the public potentially not being clear when statements are made about the firearms environment whether it is a position from the New Zealand Police, or an individual, or organisation.

The project team will now work internally to prioritise and focus on addressing the areas for improvement and in-scope opportunities that will deliver the most value and benefit.

Lastly, a big thanks to the firearms community for attending and contributing to the discussions. We will continue to keep the firearms community informed and involved as we develop our thinking further.


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