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Getting a New Zealand Firearms Licence

Now we live in the country and have small four legged pests, I decided to apply for a firearms licence. I believe in the past obtaining a gun licence in NZ was not too onerous, more of a right but things have changed and probably for the better. I have documented the process below:

There are general instructions for getting your licence on the police website here Police website, but it misses out a lot of the detail involved.

The first step is to get an application form from the post office or download from here:Firearms application form. You will need to go the post office and pay the admin. fee of $126.50. At this point the application form is not required.

Fill out the form, and with your passport photos and fee receipt, plus proof of ID, I took my passport, drivers licence and a utility bill (to prove I lived at stated address) then tootle down to your local police station and hand in all the paperwork to the firearms officer. On the form is the requirement to name a referee who is not a relative. This person will be interviewed by the police, and can last up to an hour!

The next stage is to arrange through the firearms officer to go on a firearms safety course, this is run by the “NZ Mountain Safety Council”, all their instructors are volunteers and this course is free, and worth it just for the knowledge. Ensure you have a copy of the booklet on firearms safety from the police, you will need to study this otherwise you are unlikely to pass the test at the end of the course, 28 out of 30 questions have to be answered correctly, if not a repeat will be required.

Soon after your application is in, the police will contact you and arrange a visit to your house to check your security arrangements (Get Advice) for firearms and to interview yourself and partner. This interview is friendly but thorough, so do not try to hide anything. You will need to have a reason to get a licence, not because you just fancy one, so if living in the suburbs, a gun club membership would be advisable. Your partner will be interviewed separately to check on your character and ensure you do not have temper or control problems

Assuming all the above is in order you should get your licence in about a month after the interview, this lasts for ten years. The interview's and checks are still carried out if just reapplying.

The licence covers you for rifles and shotguns, there are endorsements that can be added to cover military style semi-automatics (MSSA), target pistols, collectors and dealers.

Update Oct 2011

I still have not bought a gun, but have been loaned an air rifle and a .22 rifle by a farmer friend. I have looked at buying, one of the best shops is Hunting and Fishing, there is a comprehensive store in Botany, Auckland. http://www.huntingandfishing.co.nz/index.php/pi_pageid/4

A .22 rifle with sights start at about $399, as does a air rifle. Shotguns around $2000. Silencers are legal in NZ!

Update Nov. 2011. Bought a .22 airgun

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