Firearms licensing process to change

Police are making a change to the way the firearms safety programme is offered after a trial period last year.

Safety training is required to secure a gun license, and the changes will see a "one session" approach.

"We have decided to combine the theory test and practical training into the same session, meaning applicants won't have to make two trips; one for the theory test and one for their practical training," said Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith.

He said this means if people successfully complete the one firearms safety course, they will have met their testing and training requirements under the Arms Act as part of their firearms licence application process.  

"We also received feedback that additional training locations are needed across the country and we've taken that on board, and police are now happy to advise there will be 66 locations progressively coming on line for 2019," he said.

The current firearms safety programme will remain in place until the end of February 2019. 

Theory tests can continue to be carried out at participating AA and VTNZ sites and the Mountain Safety Council will continue to offer practical training sessions across the country. 

The firearms safety programme will require:

  • Applicants to undertake self-directed study before attending the course
  • The start of the course will be an unassisted theory test (with exceptions such as reading support)
  • At the completion of the theory test all course attendees will take part in the practical training. 
  • At the end of the practical training, any course attendee who failed the theory test first up will be given a second and final attempt at the theory test.