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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

New Zealand — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in New Zealand is 1,200,0001 2 3 to 1,500,0004

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in New Zealand is 26.405 1 2 3 to 33.004

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In New Zealand, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 460,000.6 In the absence of registration for most rifles, only an approximation is possible

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In New Zealand, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 300,000.6 In the absence of registration for most shotguns, only an approximation is possible

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

ChartIn New Zealand, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2019: 40,3877
2018: 41,2638
2017: 40,6059
2010: 36,00010

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, New Zealand ranked at No. 5411

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, New Zealand ranked at No. 2212

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn New Zealand, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2005: 16.6%13
1994: 24.4%13
1992: 22.3%14

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In New Zealand, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

1992: 18.2%14

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In New Zealand, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

1992: 14.0%14

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn New Zealand, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 0.6%13
1994: 1.6%13 14

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in New Zealand is reported to be

2019: 244,4257
2018: 248,76415
2017: 238,70016
2016: 250,00017
2015: 242,05618
2013: 237,68419
2010: 223,00010

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in New Zealand is

2019: 5.345
2018: 5.47
2017: 5.29
2016: 5.59
2015: 5.68
2013: 5.45
2010: 5.24

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in New Zealand is reported to be

2019: 59,8737
2018: 66,0858
2017: 60,0319
2010: 43,800 10

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in New Zealand is

2019: 1.315
2018: 1.45
2017: 1.33
2010: 1.03

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,20 but in New Zealand there are estimated to be 1,200,0001 2 3 to 1,500,0004

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of New Zealand are reported to have 38,28021 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In New Zealand, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm22 23

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in New Zealand are reported to have 13,00024 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 5525
2014: 52
2013: 6126
2012: 5326
2011: 45
2010: 5127 28
2009: 7127
2008: 56
2007: 55
2006: 58
2005: 55
2004: 48
2003: 55
2002: 60
2001: 60
2000: 52
1999: 54
1998: 84
1997: 70
1996: 66
1995: 80
1994: 92
1993: 92
1992: 122
1991: 106
1990: 108
1989: 90
1988: 140

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.2429
2014: 1.18
2013: 1.4026
2012: 1.22
2011: 1.05
2010: 1.20
2009: 1.69
2008: 1.34
2007: 1.33
2006: 1.40
2005: 1.30
2004: 1.20
2003: 1.40
2002: 1.50
2001: 1.50
2000: 1.30
1999: 1.40
1998: 2.20
1997: 1.90
1996: 1.80
1995: 2.20
1994: 2.50
1993: 2.60
1992: 3.50
1991: 3.00
1990: 3.10
1989: 2.60
1988: 4.10

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 5025
2014: 46
2013: 5726
2012: 5026
2011: 39
2010: 46
2009: 67
2008: 50
2007: 49

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.135
2014: 1.04
2013: 2.6226
2012: 2.32
2011: 1.83
2010: 2.17
2009: 3.20
2008: 2.41
2007: 2.38

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 525
2014: 6
2013: 4
2012: 326
2011: 6
2010: 5
2009: 4
2008: 6
2007: 6

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.115
2014: 0.14
2013: 0.1826
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.28
2010: 0.23
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.29
2007: 0.29

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 5830
2015: 64
2014: 62
2013: 64
2012: 68
2011: 61
2010: 77
2009: 94
2008: 70
2007: 68
2006: 66
2005: 72
2004: 49
2003: 58
2002: 70
2001: 53
2000: 56
1999: 5131 32 33
1998: 57
1997: 69
1996: 69
1995: 47
1994: 7031 33
1993: 5131
1992: 82
1991: 66
1990: 78
1989: 72
1988: 58

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2016: 1.305
2015: 1.44
2014: 1.41
2013: 1.47
2012: 1.57
2011: 1.42
2010: 1.81
2009: 2.23
2008: 1.68
2007: 1.65
2006: 1.60
2005: 1.70
2004: 1.20
2003: 1.40
2002: 1.80
2001: 1.40
2000: 1.50
1999: 1.3031 34 32
1998: 1.50
1997: 1.80
1996: 1.80
1995: 1.30
1994: 1.9031
1993: 1.40
1992: 2.30
1991: 1.90
1990: 2.30
1989: 2.10
1988: 1.70

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 3130
2015: 42
2014: 41
2013: 50
2012: 36
2011: 40
2010: 43
2009: 63
2008: 42
2007: 38

Rate of Male Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of male homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2016: 0.695
2015: 0.95
2014: 0.93
2013: 1.15
2012: 0.83
2011: 0.93
2010: 1.01
2009: 1.50
2008: 1.01
2007: 0.92

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 2730
2015: 22
2014: 21
2013: 1426
2012: 32
2011: 21
2010: 33
2009: 31
2008: 28
2007: 30

Rate of Female Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of female homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2016: 0.605
2015: 0.50
2014: 0.48
2013: 0.32
2012: 0.74
2011: 0.49
2010: 0.78
2009: 0.74
2008: 0.67
2007: 0.73

Gun Homicides

ChartIn New Zealand, annual firearm homicides total

2016: 930
2015: 9
2014: 6
2013: 10
2012: 4
2011: 3
2010: 8
2009: 1235 36 37
2008: 735 36 32 37
2007: 5
2006: 8
2005: 8
2004: 635 37
2003: 6
2002: 935 32 37
2001: 7
2000: 8
1999: 6
1998: 4
1997: 11
1996: 9
1995: 8
1994: 1735 37
1993: 635
1992: 15
1991: 11
1990: 24
1989: 18
1988: 18

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2016: 0.205
2015: 0.20
2014: 0.14
2013: 0.23
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.19
2009: 0.28
2008: 0.17
2007: 0.12
2006: 0.20
2005: 0.20
2004: 0.1035
2003: 0.10
2002: 0.2035 32
2001: 0.20
2000: 0.20
1999: 0.20
1997: 0.30
1996: 0.20
1995: 0.20
1994: 0.5035
1993: 0.20
1992: 0.40
1991: 0.30
1990: 0.70
1989: 0.50
1988: 0.50

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn New Zealand, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2012: 7%36
2011: 8%
2010: 16%36 38
2009: 16%36
2008: 14%
2007: 13%
2006: 18%
2005: 15%
2002: 16.7%32
2001: 11.8%
2000: 13.5%
1999: 10.0%
1998: 7.5%
1997: 19.7%
1996: 16.4%
1995: 22.5%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 625
2014: 4
2013: 8
2012: 226
2011: 0
2010: 5
2009: 8
2008: 4
2007: 3

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.145
2014: 0.09
2013: 0.3726
2012: 0.09
2010: 0.24
2009: 0.38
2008: 0.19
2007: 0.15

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 225
2014: 3
2013: 2
2012: 126
2011: 4
2010: 2
2009: 4
2008: 3
2007: 2

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.055
2014: 0.07
2013: 0.0926
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.19
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.14
2007: 0.10

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual suicides by any means total

2015: 52525
2014: 510
2013: 51326
2012: 54926
2011: 493
2010: 535
2009: 512
2008: 520
2007: 493
2006: 527
2005: 515
2004: 495
2003: 521
2002: 467
2001: 508
2000: 458
1999: 515
1998: 577
1997: 561
1996: 540
1995: 543
1994: 512
1993: 443
1992: 493
1991: 474
1990: 455
1989: 465
1988: 484

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 11.835
2014: 11.59
2013: 11.7526
2012: 12.69
2011: 11.49
2010: 12.58
2009: 12.15
2008: 12.46
2007: 11.93
2006: 12.60
2005: 12.50
2004: 12.10
2003: 12.90
2002: 11.80
2001: 13.10
2000: 11.90
1999: 13.40
1998: 15.10
1997: 14.80
1996: 14.50
1995: 14.80
1994: 14.10
1993: 12.40
1992: 14.00
1991: 13.60
1990: 13.20
1989: 13.60
1988: 14.30

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male suicides by any means total

2015: 38325
2014: 380
2013: 36626
2012: 40426
2011: 377
2010: 387
2009: 394
2008: 381
2007: 375

Rate of Male Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of male suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 8.635
2014: 8.63
2013: 16.8526
2012: 18.76
2011: 17.66
2010: 18.29
2009: 18.79
2008: 18.35
2007: 18.25

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female suicides by any means total

2015: 14225
2014: 130
2013: 14726
2012: 14526
2011: 116
2010: 148
2009: 118
2008: 139
2007: 118

Rate of Female Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of female suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 3.205
2014: 2.95
2013: 6.7026
2012: 6.67
2011: 5.38
2010: 6.93
2009: 5.57
2008: 6.63
2007: 5.68

Gun Suicides

ChartIn New Zealand, annual firearm suicides total

2015: 4125
2014: 42
2013: 48
2012: 4726
2011: 3639
2010: 4240 39 28
2009: 5340 39
2008: 43
2007: 48
2006: 48
2005: 44
2004: 39
2003: 41
2002: 49
2001: 51
2000: 36
1999: 46
1998: 72
1997: 56
1996: 4740
1995: 64
1994: 71
1993: 73
1992: 91
1991: 84
1990: 72
1989: 64
1988: 102

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.925
2014: 0.95
2013: 1.1026
2012: 1.09
2011: 0.84
2010: 0.99
2009: 1.26
2008: 1.03
2007: 1.16
2006: 1.10
2005: 1.10
2004: 1.00
2003: 1.00
2002: 1.20
2001: 1.30
2000: 0.90
1999: 1.20
1998: 1.90
1997: 1.50
1996: 1.30
1995: 1.70
1994: 2.00
1993: 2.00
1992: 2.60
1991: 2.40
1990: 2.10
1989: 1.90
1988: 3.00

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male firearm suicides total

2015: 3825
2014: 39
2013: 46
2012: 4526
2011: 34
2010: 40
2009: 53
2008: 41
2007: 44

Rate of Male Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of male firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.865
2014: 0.89
2013: 2.1226
2012: 2.09
2011: 1.59
2010: 1.89
2009: 2.53
2008: 1.97
2007: 2.14

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female firearm suicides total

2015: 325
2014: 3
2013: 2
2012: 226
2011: 2
2010: 2
2008: 2
2007: 4

Rate of Female Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of female firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.075
2014: 0.07
2013: 0.0926
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.09
2010: 0.09
2008: 0.10
2007: 0.19

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2015: 625
2014: 2
2013: 0
2012: 326
2011: 3
2010: 241 28
2009: 441
2008: 5
2007: 1
2006: 2
2005: 2
2004: 2
2003: 7
2002: 2
2001: 2
2000: 4
1999: 1
1998: 641 42
1997: 0
1996: 6
1995: 4
1994: 4
1993: 3
1992: 10
1991: 8
1990: 8
1989: 6
1988: 18

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.145
2014: 0.05
2012: 0.0726
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.05
2009: 0.09
2008: 0.12
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.05
2004: 0.05
2003: 0.2041
2002: 0.055
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.11
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.2041
1997: 0.005
1996: 0.2041
1995: 0.115
1994: 0.11
1993: 0.08
1992: 0.3041
1991: 0.20
1990: 0.20
1989: 0.20
1988: 0.50

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2015: 625
2014: 2
2013: 0
2012: 326
2011: 3
2010: 1
2009: 4
2008: 5
2007: 1

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.145
2014: 0.05
2012: 0.1426
2011: 0.14
2010: 0.05
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.24
2007: 0.05

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn New Zealand, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2015: 025
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 026
2011: 0
2010: 1

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

In New Zealand, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0526

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn New Zealand, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 025
2014: 1
2013: 1
2012: 026
2011: 0
2010: 043
2009: 2
2008: 2
2007: 1
2006: 0
2005: 1
2004: 1
2003: 1
2002: 0
2001: 0
2000: 4
1999: 1
1998: 2
1997: 3
1996: 4
1995: 4
1994: 0
1993: 10
1992: 6
1991: 3
1990: 4
1989: 2
1988: 2

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2014: 0.025
2013: 0.0226
2010: 0.005
2009: 0.05
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.11
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.05
1997: 0.08
1996: 0.11
1995: 0.11
1994: 0.00
1993: 0.343
1992: 0.2
1991: 0.095
1990: 0.12
1989: 0.06
1988: 0.06

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn New Zealand, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 025
2014: 1
2013: 1
2012: 026
2011: 0
2010: 0

Rate of Male Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In New Zealand, the annual rate of unknown-cause male shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0526

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn New Zealand, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 025
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 026
2011: 0
2010: 0

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

ChartIn New Zealand, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2013: 226
2011: 2
2009: 2
2008: 1
2007: 1

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual number of non-fatal firearm injuries is

2012: 5944
2011: 61
2010: 80
2009: 77
2008: 92
2007: 69
2006: 77
2005: 60
2004: 62
2003: 88
2002: 65
2001: 59
2000: 54
1999: 45
1998: 51
1997: 59
1996: 64
1995: 56
1994: 60
1993: 70
1992: 72
1991: 91
1990: 92
1989: 89
1988: 97

Rate of Non-fatal Gun Injury per 100,000 People

ChartIn New Zealand, the annual rate of non-fatal firearm injury per 100,000 population is

2012: 1.3044
2011: 1.40
2010: 1.80
2009: 1.80
2008: 2.20
2007: 1.60
2006: 1.80
2005: 1.50
2004: 1.50
2003: 2.20
2002: 1.60
2001: 1.50
2000: 1.40
1999: 1.20
1998: 1.30
1997: 1.60
1996: 1.70
1995: 1.50
1994: 1.70
1993: 2.00
1992: 2.00
1991: 2.60
1990: 2.70
1989: 2.60
1988: 2.90

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In New Zealand, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence45 46

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, New Zealand was ranked 'small'47 46

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In New Zealand, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law48 49 50 51 52

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from New Zealand is reported by manufacturers to be

2018: 1,57753
2017: 1,10054
2016: 1,365
2015: 1,430
2008: 2055
2007: 82
2006: 59

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from New Zealand is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 23,744,64356
2015: 8,345,001
2014: 10,219,672
2013: 8,162,073
2012: 11,523,861
2011: 3,556,66457

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, New Zealand was categorized as 'minor'58

Firearm Imports

In New Zealand, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law59 60 61 62 48 50 51 63 64

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to New Zealand is reported to be

2018: 52,62765
2017: 44,663
2016: 43,312
2015: 60,353
2014: 55,909
2008: 11855
2007: 323
2006: 348

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to New Zealand is reported by Customs to be US$

2018: 22,805,39965
2017: 36,201,911
2016: 23,999,318
2015: 24,044,327
2014: 22,499,210
2013: 58,302,824
2012: 66,664,94856 66 67
2011: 3,807,60357 68
2010: 19,000,00069

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in New Zealand is low70 71 72 73

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In New Zealand, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law74

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in New Zealand include50 49 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in New Zealand is categorised as restrictive75

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in New Zealand includes the Arms Act 1983,76 the Arms Amendment Act 1992,77 the Arms Regulations 1992,78 the Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms) Order 2019,79 and the Customs Export Prohibition Order49

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in New Zealand are regulated by the Commissioner of Police80 81

Right to Possess Firearms

In New Zealand, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law82 83 84 85

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In New Zealand, civilians are not allowed to possess handguns, military-style semi-automatic weapons or fully automatic firearms without a permit to purchase and a relevant firearm licence endorsement86 87 88 89 90 91 92

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In New Zealand, private possession of fully automatic weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘collector' licence endorsement.86 88 89 38 Each automatic or restricted weapon must be registered to its owner, and disabled when not in use93

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In New Zealand, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a Military-Style Semi Automatic (MSSA) licence endorsement.94 87 86 89 90 91 Each MSSA must be registered to its owner and securely stored when not in use93

Regulation of Handguns

In New Zealand, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘pistol’ licence endorsement.88 87 86 95 90 91 38 Each handgun must be registered to its owner and securely stored93

Law Regulates Long Guns

In New Zealand, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law38

Gun Ownership and Possession

In New Zealand, only licensed gun owners90 96 86 97 98 99 91 88 38 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in New Zealand are not legally required to establish a genuine reason to possess a standard hunting or sports shooting firearm, but specific reasoning is required for special licence endorsements for pistols, restricted firearms, and Military Style Semi-Automatic weapons, including sports shooting, hunting, and collection.98 92 Owning a firearm for self-defence is specifically excluded, and prohibited85

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in New Zealand is 16 years,86 100 96 18 years for military style semi-automatic firearms,94 or any age while shooting an unrestricted firearm (shotgun, rifle, or airgun) under the immediate supervision of an appropriately qualified licence holder101

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in New Zealand must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, medical, addiction and domestic violence102 103 104 90 91 105 38 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In New Zealand, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required102 90 91 106 107

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In New Zealand, licensing authorities are required102 90 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in New Zealand stipulates103 108 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In New Zealand, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required109 110 111 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In New Zealand, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every ten years112 113

Licensing Records

In New Zealand, authorities maintain a record91 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in New Zealand are permitted to possess any number of sporting type shotguns or rifles114

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in New Zealand are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition115 116 117

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In New Zealand, the law does not require (except for handguns, military-style semi-automatic and restricted firearms)118 90 91 119 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In New Zealand, licensed firearm dealers are required120 121 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In New Zealand, licensed gun makers are required45 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In New Zealand, State agencies are required122 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In New Zealand, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a valid firearms licence123 124

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In New Zealand, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful125 126 98

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in New Zealand is obliged124 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in New Zealand is obliged124 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In New Zealand, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to one pistol, military style semi-automatic firearm, or restricted firearm per acquisition permit87 127

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In New Zealand, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined115 116 117

Regulation of Gun Shows

In New Zealand, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated128 129 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in New Zealand include102 93 90 91 130 131 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in New Zealand include132 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in New Zealand include122 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in New Zealand include133 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In New Zealand, a unique identifying mark on each firearm only in the handgun, military-style semi-automatic and restricted weapon categories is required by law134 135 45 46 136 137 138 139

Firearm Tracing

In New Zealand, state authorities carry out140 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In New Zealand, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not115 116 117 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In New Zealand, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited141 142 143 38

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In New Zealand, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited142 143 141 38

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In New Zealand, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm144 is three months to three years in prison and/or a fine86 145 96

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn New Zealand, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2018: 1,598146 7
2017: 1,353147
2016: 1,467
2015: 1,181
2014: 1,191
2013: 1,178
2012: 1,855
2011: 1,720
2010: 1,742
2009: 801
2008: 619

Small Arms Destroyed

In New Zealand, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2015: 3,500148

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In New Zealand, it is state policy149 150 111 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arm-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum151 152

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 2006153 by New Zealand.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified154 by New Zealand

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed155 by New Zealand

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, New Zealand committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects156

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored New Zealand against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 83157 158 159 160 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, New Zealand has submitted one or more national reports161 139 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In New Zealand, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated162 139

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In New Zealand, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated162

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of New Zealand submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent162 139

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated163 164 165 139 by New Zealand to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, New Zealand has declared166 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, New Zealand has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945167

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists168 New Zealand as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in New Zealand, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where New Zealand ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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