Chris Bishop holds firearms forums across the country

National Party police spokesperson Chris Bishop is holding a series of 'firearms forums' across the country over the next six months.

He told Newshub the forums are part of a "comprehensive policy process" engaging with New Zealand's 250,000 firearms owners leading up to the 2020 election.

He's planning 30 forums across the country over the next six months.

"It's literally just engagement to hear what people think," Mr Bishop told Newshub. "Simon [Bridges has] made it clear he wants good, detailed policy for 2020, so that's what I'm doing."

The cost of the forums comes out of a Parliamentary budget - it's taxpayer money. Mr Bishop said the forums are "exactly what the Parliamentary fund is there for".

The first forum was held in Ashburton on Tuesday night. Mr Bishop said he was travelling to the area anyway, and plans to hold other forums to coincide with work around the country.

He said there was discussion around the tahr cull, and suggestions of a national firearms register.

The Government is currently reviewing the Arms Act. Mr Bishop anticipates the Minister will propose changes, and the forums will allow response to proposed changes to the Arms Act.

In May, Mr Bishop introduced an amendment which would have given police more power over gangs with firearms while also "not putting unnecessary restrictions on legal gun owners".

The Member's Bill failed its first reading in early September.

The next firearms forum has not yet been scheduled.