Firearms Licensing

Here at the Outdoorsman Headquarters, we have firearms safety instructors on site most of the time.

If you need any help, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

How to apply for a new or renew a standard firearms licence

Please note: this process will be changing as of July 1st 2018.

Step 1

Get a Arms Code. We have them at the Outdoorsman Headquarters, or you can find it online here: 

This is under review and there is a new copy expected late 2018.

Attend a firearms safety course and sit the safety test. 

Safety courses are held every two weeks on a Tuesday at 7.30pm at the Rotorua Deerstalkers rooms at Neil Hunt Park (just next door to Outdoorsman Headquarters) Find the dates here.

This focuses on the 7 basic rules of firearm safety. 

If you are renewing your licence, miss out Step 1.

Step 2

Fill in the form at the back of the Arms Code booklet given to you before the safety course.

Or print and fill in the application for a New Zealand firearms licence form (PDF, 30KB).

Do not fill in the test on the back of the form at this stage.

Step 3

Take the application form to a PostShop and pay the application fee. Keep the receipt.
You could get two passport photos, needed in Step 4, while at the PostShop.

Fees (including GST):

  • standard licence (valid for 10 years), new or renewed before expiry - $126.50
    (Note: any current endorsements held at the time of renewal may be transferred without charge to the new licence)
  • standard licence expired (previous licence expired) - $241.50
    (Note: any endorsements upon an expired licence must be reapplied for and the endorsement fee paid)
  • standard licence endorsement(s) - $204.00

    For one or more endorsements (when applied for at the same time), allowing you to have: 
    • target pistols (B endorsement)
    • military-style semi-automatic rifles or shotguns (E endorsement)
    • a collection of pistols or restricted weapons (C Collectors or Museum endorsement)
    • pistols or restricted weapons for performing a play/film/re-enactment (C Theatrical endorsement)
    • pistols or restricted weapons for hire or sale (F endorsement - dealers).

Step 4

Take your application to your nearest Police station. Take with you:

  • your application form
  • your old licence (if you have one)
  • proof that you have completed the safety course
  • two recent passport style photos (for rules concerning passport photos visit the Department of Internal Affairs website (link is external))
  • three documents that prove your identity (passport, birth certificate, driver licence, photo ID, credit card/bank card)
  • contact details of two character referees. One referee must be your spouse or next of kin, the other must be someone who is over 20 years old and not related to you
  • PostShop receipt for fees.

Step 5

Someone will arrange to visit you. They will interview you and check your firearms security arrangements. They will arrange to interview your referees.

You will have difficulty being deemed 'fit and proper' to possess or use firearms if you have:

  • a history of violence
  • repeated involvement with drugs
  • been irresponsible with alcohol
  • a personal or social relationship with people deemed to be unsuitable to be given access to firearms
  • indicated an intent to use a firearm for self-defence.

Firearms storage
You will need to show that firearms will be stored in the manner set out in the Arms Regulations - if you can't, you may not get a licence or your current one will be revoked. All licence holders must install security at their home, even if they don't actually have any firearms. Security requirements are particularly strict for dealers and for licence holders who possess pistols, restricted weapons or MSSAs.

  • You must never put a firearm where a child could reach it.
  • You must store firearms and ammunition separately or disable the firearms, or both.
  • You must keep your firearms unloaded and locked away in a rack, stout cabinet, steel cabinet or strongroom.

Step 6

After vetting has been completed, you will be told if your application has been successful. If it was, you will be issued with a licence.

From 1 July firearms safety training is changing.

Police has been working with the firearms community to improve safety outcomes by delivering an enhanced firearms safety training programme for first-time firearms licence applicants.

The theory test is a computer-based multi-choice test which will be delivered by Police using the same system used for computerised driver licence theory tests. Firearm licence applicants will be able to sit the firearms theory test at all Automobile Association (AA) driver licensing outlets; including all AA Centres, AA Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agents and the AA’s Rural Mobile Units, as well as all Vehicle Testing New Zealand branches that offer driver licensing throughout the country.

Applicants must pass the theory test before they can attend the firearms practical training course.

The practical course and training on safe-handling of firearms will be delivered by firearms instructors from the Mountain Safety Council across the country.

Police is also working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand around the potential use of volunteer fire stations in some locations. In addition, the Whakatupato course will continue to provide firearms safety training in remote and isolated communities.

The firearms theory test and practical training require applicants to show that they have a strong understanding of the Arms Code and how to stay safe with firearms.

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