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Arms Act Consultation

April 12th 2021

The TSNZ Executive has provided the following information to assist Members to navigate the Proposed Regulation changes and how to make a submission:

More changes to the Firearms Arms Act 1983 are now being proposed by the NZ Police, and all TSNZ Members, Clubs, and Associations are strongly encouraged to become involved in the consultation process that is now open.   Click here for information on the proposals:

Proposals for new Regulations under the Arms Act 1983 (Phase One)

Submissions can be sent in by post or email, or can be completed through the online form.  Click here for details on how to submit:

Consultation on regulations to enable firearms law changes – How to Submit

Submissions close on 25th April 2021

Of course, you are more than welcome to make comments on all or any of the proposed changes, however there are some areas that will affect TSNZ Members to a greater extent than others.  These key areas of change are the ones you should definitely comment on if you are making a submission, and they are outlined below.


First, some important definitions:

A Shooting Club is a voluntary association of people who
                (a) act in accordance with a set of written rules, and
                (b) participate in, or intend to participate in, shooting activities on a regular basis.   

TSNZ Clubs, Associations, and TSNZ itself, all fall under this definition.


A Shooting Club must be an Incorporated Society if ammunition or firearms are sold on its behalf.  Therefore, if your Club DOES NOT sell ammunition or firearms it does not need to be an Incorporated Society.


A Dealers Licence is NOT required for the selling, hiring, lending, or supplying of firearms by a member of a Shooting Club, if the member  
                 (i) sells, hires, lends, or supplies firearms to a club member, or on club premises, with the approval  of the management committee of the club or a majority vote of club members; and   
                (ii) the revenue from the sale, hire, lending, or supply of the firearms is used for the benefit of the club.


Ammunition seller - a person who is responsible for the day-to-day management of a business that includes selling or supplying ammunition, but does not include a licensed dealer (as they are covered by separate requirements) or members of shooting clubs selling ammunition on club premises to obtain revenue for the club.  TSNZ Ammunition Agents are not classified as Ammunition Sellers or Dealers as all their activities are managed through TSNZ Trading, they are only providing a delivery service.


Key areas of proposed change:


5.3   General security of firearms – a licence holder’s security measures are to be approved in writing by a member of the Police, following an inspection, on a case-by-case basis.  All storage boxes, cabinets, safes, racks etc and how they are secured to the building containing them would be inspected and standards set out in the Police’s Secure Standard Guidance would become enforceable.

Some issues to consider -  would allowable storage systems become more complicated?  Would you need to upgrade YOUR storage?  What would happen if Police didn’t inspect you in good time?  Would you have to advise of changes and get them confirmed in writing too?


5.4   Storage of Ammunition – that all ammunition would have to be kept in its own storage metal/steel container with a locking mechanism or padlock or in a lock box in a gun safe cabinet with a different key stored in a different place to the key for the safe cabinet.

Some issues to consider – target shooters buy and use a considerable amount of ammunition - could you fit YOURS in a locked box?  How big would it need to be?  Where would it be stored?  Would this actually identify it as a target for theft more than it is now?  What about Club ammunition?


5.5   Firearms in vehicles - that firearms in vehicles must be made inoperable, be not visible from outside, be not loaded, and be carried in a locked hard case that is secured to an anchor point in the vehicle or in a soft case that is locked to an anchor point in the vehicle with a security cable passing through the firearm and the bag, or in a locked container secured/bolted to a structural part of the vehicle. 

Some issues to consider - Is this possible in YOUR vehicle?  How might it affect carpooling?  What happens if you rent a vehicle?  What constitutes “not visible”?  Would travelling like this on short trips to/from your home range be reasonable?


5.6   Carriage of firearms in public places or on public transport – that all firearms carried in public places or on public transport must be rendered inoperable and carried in a locked carrying container that does not identify the contents.

Some issues to consider – how would gun cases and bags with manufacturer logos on them be managed?  Soft gun cases in particular are easily identifiable by their shape – would this mean you can’t use them.  Would this include when carrying in short trips to and from your vehicle at your home and/or range?


5.7    Further guidance on security precaution best practice – that the Commissioner can issue Guidance Notes on securing firearms to supplement what is in regulations, to be developed in consultation with FCAF and the Minister’s Arms Advisory Group, and published or notified in the Gazette.

Some issues to consider – changes could be made at any time, how would YOU keep up with the changes?  Would this allow for more and more rigorous storage conditions to creep in?


7    Marking of firearms and part – that more “major firearm parts” would need to be marked with an identifiable stamp or engraving and records kept of these by Dealers in addition to the firearms marking already required.  These parts could include pistol grips, folding or telescoping stocks, barrels, bolts, etc.

Some issues to consider – how could marking be done if it hasn’t already happened at manufacture?  Could this affect or damage the parts? How would marks stay unique and identifiable if marking is being done by multiple people?  Is it only Dealers who would keep records, or would licence holders also have to?  What happens to items that are on-sold?  What happens if items are modified or changed (eg pistol grips)?


10.2    Amendments to Regulation 15 (supply of particulars for firearms licence) – that further information will be required on a licence application including: a list of countries travelled to or lived in over the previous 10 years and total time there; name and address and contact details of any ex-spouse or ex-partner from 5 years immediately preceding the application; name and address and contact details of a close associate if the applicant does not have a spouse, partner or near relative in NZ.

Some issues to consider – do YOU know where you’ve been in the past 10 years and for how long?  Will someone have (or even want to have) contact details of ex-spouses or ex-partners?  What happens if the breakup was toxic – could this mean a toxic reference being given?  Could people be pressured into giving references for those they don’t know well?


12.8    New regulation regarding the inspection provisions in section 24B – that every inspection carried out by a member of Police under the Arms Act 1983 can include Police recording the number and types of firearms in the licence holder’s possession.

Some issues to consider – this is in advance of the new Firearms Register.  Could/would the records actually be kept securely before the new Register is developed?  Would licence holders have to advise the Police of any changes as they happened?  Who would they advise?  Is “possession” actually ownership or control?




Please remember you can make a submission on any or all of the proposed changes, the ones highlighted above are just those which will have the greatest effect on TSNZ members.

And there are a number of further important clauses relating to Dealers that the TSNZ Executive will be considering in light of TSNZ Trading and Ammunition Agent activities when they make their submission.


It is important that we target shooters step forward and present our opinions on these proposed changes.  We hold more ammunition than many other shooters and our equipment can be more complicated and expensive than that of others, however we shoot in safe environments in a sport that is enjoyed by many.  Transporting our “sporting equipment” is no different to us than golfers or hockey players carrying their gear around.  Please take the time to add your voice and make a submission.


Submissions can be sent in by post or email, or can be completed through the online form.  Click here for details on how to submit:

Consultation on regulations to enable firearms law changes – How to Submit


Submissions close on 25th April 2021