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Tokelau — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

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

2020: 222,0001
2019: 35,000
2018: 104,000
2017: 5,000
2016: 4,000
2015: 35,000
2014: 1,267,000
2013: 53,000
2012: 42,000
2011: 75,000
2010: 20,000
2009: 219,000
2008: 209,000
2007: 1,378,000
2006: 297,000
2005: 143,000
2004: 63,000
2003: 15,000

Firearm Imports

In Tokelau, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law2 3 4

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

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

2017: 665,0005
2007: 14,000
2006: 233,000
2005: 50,000
2004: 80,000

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Tokelau is categorised as restrictive6

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Tokelau includes the New Zealand Arms Act 1983,7 the Arms Amendment Act 1992,8 the Arms Regulations 1992,9 under the Tokelau Act 194810 11

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Tokelau are regulated by the New Zealand Commissioner of Police12 13

Right to Possess Firearms

In Tokelau, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law14 15 16 17

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Tokelau, 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 endorsement18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Tokelau, private possession of fully automatic weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘collector' licence endorsement.18 20 21 Each automatic or restricted weapon must be registered to its owner, and disabled when not in use25

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Tokelau, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a Military-Style Semi Automatic (MSSA) licence endorsement.26 19 18 21 22 23 Each MSSA must be registered to its owner and securely stored when not in use25

Regulation of Handguns

In Tokelau, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘pistol’ licence endorsement.20 19 18 27 22 23 Each handgun must be registered to its owner and securely stored25

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Tokelau, only licensed gun owners22 28 18 29 30 31 23 20 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Tokelau are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example target shooting, hunting, collection.30 24 Owning a firearm for self-defence is specifically excluded, and prohibited17

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Tokelau is 16 years,18 32 28 18 years for military style semi-automatic firearms,26 or any age while shooting an unrestricted firearm (shotgun, rifle, and airgun) under the immediate supervision of an appropriately qualified licence holder33

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Tokelau must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, medical, addiction and domestic violence34 35 36 22 23 37 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Tokelau, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required34 22 23 38 39

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Tokelau, licensing authorities are required34 22 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 Tokelau stipulates35 40 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Tokelau, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required41 42 43 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Tokelau, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every ten years44

Licensing Records

In Tokelau, authorities maintain a record23 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Tokelau are permitted to possess any number of sporting type shotguns or rifles45

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Tokelau are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition46 47 48

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Tokelau, the law does not require (except for handguns, military-style semi-automatic and restricted firearms)49 22 23 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 Tokelau, licensed firearm dealers are required50 51 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Tokelau, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited52 53

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Tokelau, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful54 55 30

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Tokelau, 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 permit19 56

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Tokelau, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined46 47 48

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Tokelau, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated57 58 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Tokelau include34 25 22 23 59 60 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Tokelau include61 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Tokelau, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited62 63 64

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Tokelau, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited63 64 62

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Tokelau, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm65 is three months to three years in prison and/or a fine18 66 28

MeasuresInternational Controls

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided67 to Tokelau by other UN Member States

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Tokelau is not a Member State of the United Nations68

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list69 Tokelau as a Participating State

BackgroundSustainable Development Goal Profile

About SDG 16

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to be implemented by all member states by 2030. Adopted in 2015, they outline a vision of development in which peace and security are an integral part. SDG 16,70 which seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,” includes targets and indicators focused on reducing violence (Target 16.1) and the proliferation of illicit arms (Target 16.4). The indicators – or measurement criteria – of these targets include the number of victims of intentional homicide (Indicator 16.1.1), the number of conflict-related deaths (Indicator 16.1.2), and the number of illicit firearms collected and traced (Indicator 16.4.2). In light of these targets and indicators, GunPolicy.org provides granular national data pertaining to homicides, gun homicides, conflict deaths, disarmament efforts, and marking and tracing.

Disarmament

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Tokelau, it is state policy71 43 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Global Peace Index

To see where Tokelau ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index, and then click on Tokelau on the map or in the "Select Country" menu on the right of the web page


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