Changes to legislation have impacted the legal obligations of firearms licence holders. This page gives an overview of the changes made to the Arms Regulations that came into effect on 1 February 2022, and what you need to know as a firearms licence holder.

In June 2020, the Arms Act 1983 was significantly amended. Some of the changes to the Arms Act came into effect immediately. Others came into force in December 2020June 2021 and June 2022. Further changes relating to the establishment of a firearms registry will come into force in June 2023.

On 1 February 2022, the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 came into force and caused the Arms Regulations 1992 to be updated. These new regulations support the amendments in the Arms Legislation Act 2020 that are now in force. The information on this page focuses primarily on these changes to the Arms Regulations 1992 and what you need to know today.

Previous or later legislation changes can be found on the relevant changes pages (as listed in the navigation of this page). These pages will be updated over time so that the most recent information is available. 

Overview of Arms Regulation changes - February 2022

The updated Arms Regulations:

  • improve the regulatory oversight of the full range of dealer activities specified in the Arms Legislation Act 2020 which took effect in June 2021
  • strengthen rules for the secure storage and carriage of firearms and ammunition
  • support the vetting process for firearms licence applicants.

What changes have been made?

Key updates to the Arms Regulations 1992, as introduced in the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021, are detailed below.

Licence applications

  • Further information must be supplied by applicants for a firearms licence, including a list of countries travelled to or visited in the previous 5 years involving stays of 14 days or more, and the length of stay in each country, and in cases of applicants residing in an overseas country for over 6 months in the previous 10 years the provision of criminal history checks from those countries.

Additional requirements and condition for dealers

  • An applicant for a dealer’s licence is required to provide additional information. This includes the name and firearm licence number of each employee who will be handling any arms item or ammunition in their capacity as an employee, and who has access to the premises where the applicant intends to carry on business as a licensed dealer.
  • A commissioned officer of Police may amend a dealer’s licence upon application to change the dealer activities that a dealer may engage in, the arms items in relation to which a dealer may carry on dealer activities, and the place of business that a dealer is authorised to operate from.
  • The record-keeping requirements have expanded in relation to the items received, manufactured, and delivered by dealers, according to the specific dealer activities being carried out.
  • Tighter conditions on a dealer’s licence relating to the security requirements for the display and storage of arms items and ammunition at a dealer’s place of business.
  • Further conditions on a dealer’s licence, including the condition that a dealer must, on receiving 7 days’ notice of a proposed inspection, permit a member of the Police to inspect all non-prohibited firearms, non-prohibited magazines, prohibited parts, airguns, and air pistol carbine conversion kits that the dealer holds and the place where the items are kept.
  • Clarity around the type of conditions that the Commissioner of Police may prescribe on a dealer’s licence for each type of dealer activity that the licence authorises a dealer to carry on.


Persons who intend to be an ammunition seller are required to notify the Police, have appropriate security arrangements, and keep records of all sales.

Identification of arms items

  • Importers of  pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part that does not have an identification number are required to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item.
  • Dealers who receive a firearm, pistol, pistol carbine conversion kit, prohibited firearm, prohibited magazine, restricted airgun, blank-firing gun, restricted weapon, or major firearm part that does not have an identification number are required to stamp or engrave an identification number on the item within 30 days of its receipt.


Manufacturers of a pistol carbine conversion kit, blank-firing gun, or major firearms part are required to stamp, cast, or engrave an identifying number on the item at the time of manufacture.



Helpful information
warning Arms Regulations 1992
Arms Amendment Regulations 2021


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.



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