Update on changes to the Arms Act 1983
01.32pm 11 September 2019
There have been a number of changes to New Zealand’s firearms laws this year.
The New Zealand Police is the lead agency for firearm policy and makes the decisions on what does and does not require a permit to import.
There is no change to the law regarding:
- Single shot firearms (e.g. bolt or lever action)
- Semi-automatic rifles .22 calibre and under, provided the magazine holds 10 rounds or less
- Pistol magazines
- Restricted weapons
There is a new definition for ‘part’. Any component that is exclusively designed to be, or is intended to be, an integral part of the firearm or restricted weapon (for example, a butt, stock, magazine, or other component that feeds or contributes to feeding ammunition to the firearm or restricted weapon).
Items such as telescopic sights, slings or bipods do not require a permit to import. However, some generic items that could be used with firearms or for other purposes, such as screws and springs may require a permit to import.
- Semi-automatic rifles over .22 calibre, that can take a detachable magazine
- Semi-automatic rifles .22 calibre and under, with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds
- Semi-automatic or pump-action shotguns that can take a detachable magazine
- Semi-automatic or pump-action shotguns with a tubular magazine that holds more than 5 rounds
- Any part of any of the above firearms
- Any shotgun magazine that can hold more than 5 rounds
- Any rifle or shotgun magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds (whether detachable or not)
- Any part that can be added to a firearm to make it fire with (or near to) semi-automatic or automatic action
These prohibited items can only be imported by a limited number of people who are exempt from the prohibition. Those people will require a permit to import these items.
The Arms (Prohibited Ammunition) Order 2019 prohibits some types of ammunition:
- Tracer ammunition
- Enhanced-penetration ammunition
- Armour-piercing ammunition
- Incendiary ammunition (excluding flares for flare guns)
- Explosive ammunition
- Multi-purpose ammunition
- Discarding-sabot ammunition (excluding shotgun cartridges)
- Multi-projectile ammunition (excluding shotgun ammunition)
- Chemical or biological carrier ammunition (excluding projectiles for any device designed and intended solely for any medical, surgical, veterinary, scientific, agricultural, industrial, or other similar lawful purpose)
- Flechettes (excluding projectiles designed and intended solely for any bolt gun, stud gun, humane killer, deer net gun, nail gun, or a pistol that is part of rocket-throwing or line-throwing equipment).
These types of ammunition are prohibited and cannot be imported. There is no ability to obtain a permit to import these items.
Dated: 11 September 2019