The law surrounding the ownership and possession of firearms has been reformed following the Christchurch mosque massacre. The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019 has introduced changes to ban the ownership and possession of most semi-automatic firearms and pump-action shotguns (known as ‘prohibited firearms’), some large capacity magazines (‘prohibited magazines’), and parts (‘prohibited parts’). New offences have also been created, such as importing a prohibited item, unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm and supplying or selling a prohibited firearm or magazine.
If you own any of these newly-prohibited items, they should be surrendered to police by completing a notification form and attending one of the scheduled collection events. Another option is to hand over the prohibited items to approved gun dealers or at your nearest police station. A buy-back scheme is in place which aims to compensate owners of prohibited firearms and prohibited parts. To receive compensation, people surrendering a prohibited firearm must hold a valid firearms licence. A valid firearms licence is not required when handing in prohibited parts and compensation will still be provided. The buy-back scheme runs from 20 June – 20 December 2019. An amnesty is in place throughout the collection period.
Additional reforms are likely and further proposed amendments include establishing a firearms register, increasing police powers to seize firearms, reducing the 10-year licence expiry period, requiring a licence to buy ammunition and parts, requiring gun clubs to be registered and banning any overseas visitor to New Zealand from purchasing firearms.
To read more about the changes to firearms laws, please click here.
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