Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

New Zealand. 2007 ‘Questionnaire on the Implementation of the Programme of Action.’ United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA). New York, NY: Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations. 1 April

Relevant contents

Responses from New Zealand

The primary focus of firearms control in New Zealand is on the lawful possession and use of firearms through licensing individuals. No civilian is allowed to possess a firearm unless he or she is over the age of 16 years, is fit and proper, and has a firearms licence issued by the Police.

A person wishing to hold a firearms licence is required to go through a vetting process that includes, but is not limited to, a criminal record and Police intelligence information check, interviews with the applicant, their spouse/partner/next of kin, an unrelated referee and any other inquiries Police consider required.

Licence holders are required to secure firearms, and the physical inspection of security is a key part of the vetting process. Those wishing to possess pistols [in New Zealand this category also includes revolvers and other handguns], restricted weapons [primarily fully automatic firearms] or MSSAs [Military-Style Semi-Automatic weapons] undergo additional vetting processes, must hold a higher level of security, and may only use these particular firearms under prescribed circumstances.

In order to lawfully possess pistols, MSSA firearms and restricted weapons an endorsement on a firearms licence is required. Such endorsements set conditions on possessing these firearms and require the holder to demonstrate specific cause to own. Civilian ownership of pistols, MSSA firearms and restricted weapons must be registered. These special categories of weapons [the only ones subject to registration] amount to around 4% of New Zealand's estimated total stocks of firearms.

ID: Q3013

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