Second tranche of gun law changes: Firearms register, tighter licencing

The second tranche of proposed gun law changes has been announced which will include a firearms register and a tighter licencing system. 

The next Arms Amendment Bill - following the ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles - will include establishing a firearms register and requiring licences to be renewed every five years.  

It will also "enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege and comes with an obligation to demonstrate a high level of safety and responsibility". 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement alongside Police Minister Stuart Nash on Monday. It's the second set of gun law changes following the terror attack on 15 March.

"The changes announced today have been decades in the making. It is now up to this Parliament to deliver in the interests of public and personal safety," Ardern said. 

Nash said the vast majority of our gun owners are law-abiding and responsible, but emphasised that owning a gun is a "privilege, not a right". 

"The law changes will reinforce the positive behaviour that is required of all gun owners," he said. 

The legislation is being drafted and is due for introduction in late August. It will spend three months at select committee for public feedback. 

The second tranche of legislation will include:

  • Establishing a firearms register
  • Make owning a gun a "privilege" that comes with obligations
  • Tighten the rules to obtain and keep a gun licence
  • Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence
  • Require licences to be renewed every five years
  • Not allow visitors to purchase guns in New Zealand
  • Introduce a new warning system for police so they can intervene if they have concerns about a licence holder's behaviour
  • Introduce a licencing system for shooting clubs and ranges
  • Set up an expert group to advise the police on firearms
  • Introduce new advertising standards around guns
  • Require licences to buy magazines, parts and ammunition
  • Increase penalties and introduce new offences