Law change to enable firearm licence holders applying for a new licence to continue to lawfully possess arms.
New legislation coming into effect today means existing firearms licence holders who applied for a new licence before their previous licence expired will be able to continue to use and possess firearms while they wait for their application for a new licence to be processed. This includes all activities associated with their licence such as purchasing firearms, ammunition and the continuation of endorsements.
The law change enables law abiding citizens to continue to be able to use and possess firearms without increasing risk to public safety. The new law also enables the Police to issue electronic notices, if the recipient chooses.
The use of the online firearms Licence Checker is essential. The licence checker will provide dealers, licence holders, and other agencies confirmation of the licence status a person who has presented a firearms licence in support of their activities. The licence checker only shows the validity of the firearms licence and not endorsements. If the licence checker says the licence is valid then the endorsement is also valid. The exception to this is the pest control endorsement. When this endorsement expires during the term of the licence it is important an application for a new pest control endorsement is made well before the endorsement expires.
FAQs licence holder
How does the law change help existing firearms licence holders?
The recent legislative changes mean that existing firearms licence holders can continue to lawfully use and possess firearms, provided they applied for a new licence before their previous licence expired. This includes all activities associated with their licence such as purchasing firearms, ammunition and the continuation of endorsements.
What is the status of licences already in the pipeline?
The recent legislative amendments ensure that all licence holders who have applied for a new licence before their previous licence expired, will continue to be current until Police determine the outcome of their new application. This includes licence holders who applied before the legislative changes were made.
For those licence holders who applied for a new firearms licence before their current licence expired and are currently holding an expired licence, their licences will become current on the 29 November.
The status of your licence can be checked at the online firearms Licence Checker
Will the licence checker show the status of my pest control endorsement while it's being processed?
The licence checker only shows the validity of a standard firearms licence. There is no change to the pest control endorsement duration (it is for two and a half years) or to the application process for the endorsement, so we encourage you to apply 6 months prior to the endorsement expiry date (every 2.5 years). For any enquiries relating to the processing of your pest control endorsement, please contact our endorsement team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I applied prior to my expiry date for a target pistol shooting, bona fide collector, heirloom/memento, or theatrical endorsement renewal at the same time as my licence application, will my prior endorsement remain current even past the expiry date?
Yes, as long as you have previously held the endorsement, and submitted the application for your new licence and endorsement prior to the expiry date on your licence card, your endorsement will also remain valid until your entire application has been processed. This does not apply to pest control endorsements – the duration for those remains at 2 and a half years.
How will this new initiative impact on processing times for firearms licence?
This initiative will enable a firearms licence to remain current while they are waiting for a new licence so that they can continue to use and possess firearms, provided the application for a new licence was made before their previous licence expired.
The processing time for a new firearms licence will vary depending on how applications are triaged. Some licences may be processed faster than current wait times, while others may be deprioritised as they are assessed as presenting no known risk of unsafe or non-compliant behaviour.
The recent legislative amendments have no direct impact on those making an application for a first-time licence. However, once the new intelligence based triaging system is operational, Police will be able to plan and allocate time for other regulator activities such as processing first-time applications.
What would happen if the new licence application is issued before the previous licence has expired?
If a new licence is issued before the previous licence expires the commencement date of the subsequent licence is the expiry date of the previous licence. This is to ensure that the duration of the current licence is not shortened.
How can people check licences in remote areas?
Police encourage licence holders, sellers, and clubs to pre-check licence details prior to travelling to out-of-coverage areas. If the internet is not available individuals can call on this number: 0800 844 431.
Police has considered paper-based letters, but these options could be subject to fraudulent behaviour by criminals, or those holding a previously revoked licence. The on-line Licence Checker and the 0800 number will help mitigate the risk of fraudulent behaviour and deliver the benefit of not relying on a paper-based system.
For dealers, Police does not anticipate demand for accessing the Licence Checker in remote areas will be high, given that most dealers are likely to have internet coverage. Police and other agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Fish and Game New Zealand have access to the licence checker when in remote areas outside of internet coverage. Please contact Police on 0800 844 431 to discuss any barriers to checking the Licence Checker in remote areas.
How is Police treating the processing of dealer’s licences?
Provided you apply for a new dealer’s licence before your previous licence expires, your dealer’s licence continues in force until Police determine the outcome of your new application. For a new dealer’s licence issued after the 29 November, the commencement date for your new dealer’s licence will be the date that it is issued, when it is issued after the expiry date of the previous dealer’s licence.
How do you determine whether my customer’s licence is still current?
Dealers have responsibilities under the Arms Act to ensure that they only sell firearms to licensed firearms holders. The online checker is available to confirm whether a licence holder is current under the new provisions in the Act.
|Phone 0800 844 431 (04 499 2870)
8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday