Recent changes to the Arms Act require any operators in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors who offer an activity involving the supply of firearms to obtain a dealer’s licence.

This follows Arms Act amendments on 24 June 2021, which expand the types of activities requiring a firearms dealer’s licence to include those in the business of hiring, lending or otherwise supplying arms items.

This includes commercial activity or experience operators where firearms are supplied for use in hospitality, tourism or other leisure business activities.

Police says the intent of this new licensing regime is to bring all parties in the business of supplying firearms into an enhanced regulatory framework. This is to ensure New Zealand is a safer place for all and that firearms harm is reduced, and safety is improved.

Police is conscious that, due to COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent business operation challenges, many operators may not be aware of these new requirements and are yet to comply.

Therefore, Police will work with all operators to understand the changes and where appropriate submit a dealer’s licence application.

There are further Arms Act amendments taking effect in June 2022, which will require some to certify land they use for shooting as a shooting range. Operators will have 12 months, until June 2023, to make a range certification application. Further details on these criteria will be provided in early 2022.

Under the new firearms regime, operators:

  • May be required to obtain a dealer’s licence.
  • May also need to be obtain certification of a shooting range they use. This requirement takes effect in June 2022, and operators will have 12 months, until June 2023, to be compliant. Further details on this requirement will be provided in early 2022.
  • Can use the Police self-assessment tool here (PDF, 264KB) to work out if they are required to obtain a dealer’s licence, and/or obtain certification of a shooting range.
  • Should take note that, while shooting club or commercial hunting activities are exempt from requiring a dealer’s licence, any operators which also provide other shooting experience activities are required to obtain one. See the self-assessment tool (PDF, 264KB) for clarity.

For further explanation, see Frequently Asked Questions here (PDF, 181KB), or contact  for any queries.



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