New gun laws proposed

The Law and Order Committee of Parliament has recommended:

Sale and supply of firearms and ammunition

  • 1 that the law be amended so that a firearms licence is required to possess ammunition, unless the person in possession of the ammunition is under the immediate supervision of a firearms licence holder (page 7).
  • 2 that the law be amended so that a firearms dealer’s licence be required to sell or supply ammunition by way of a business (page 7).
  • 3 that the law be amended so that dealers be required to keep records of sales of ammunition (page 8).
  • 4 that it create a Police registration process for websites that wish to facilitate the buying, selling, or trading of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition online. It would be an offence to operate such a website without current registration (page 8).
  • 5 that the permit to procure process be extended to cover the sale or transfer of all firearms (page 9). Definition of military-style semi-automatics
  • 6 that the Police investigate the creation of a category of restricted semi-automatic firearm (rifle and shotgun) to replace the MSSA firearm endorsement category (page 10). Effectiveness of licensing, training, and registering firearms
  • 7 that firearms prohibition orders be implemented in New Zealand (page 12).
  • 8 that the Police Arms Manual guidelines on determining who is fit and proper to possess firearms be codified within the Arms Act 1983, with any necessary modifications, to improve the overall certainty and consistency of the licensing process (page 13).
  • 9 that it implement a stand-down period after revocation of a licence, before a new application for a firearms licence can be made (page 13).
  • 10 that the Arms Act 1983 be amended to clearly state that a gang member or prospect must not be considered a fit and proper person to possess firearms and therefore must not hold a firearms licence (page 15).
  • 11 that the law be amended to require the Police to record the serial numbers of all firearms possessed by licence holders upon renewal of their licence or inspection of their premises (page 16).

Criminal offending with firearms

  • 12 that it review the penalties in the Arms Act 1983 (page 18).
  • 13 that the law be amended so that where a dealer has committed an offence under the Arms Act 1983, the court must treat this as an aggravating factor at sentencing (page 18).
  • 14 that the Police undertake further work to determine appropriate security standards for “A” category firearms (page 19).
  • 15 that the law be amended to make it clear that the secure storage requirements must be met to the satisfaction of the Police, before a licence or endorsement can be issued (page 19).
  • 16 that it extend the power under regulation 29 to allow the Police to enter premises to inspect the security of “A” category firearms (page 19).
  • 17 that the Arms Act 1983 be amended so that failure to comply with the storage regulations must result in revocation of a firearms licence (page 19).

Reducing the number of grey firearms

  • 18 that it clarify the amnesty in section 10 of the Arms Act 1983 and extend it to include MSSAs, “A” category firearms, and the handing in of firearms to the Police (page 21).
  • 19 that the Police develop policy guidance so that, under the amnesty, when people hand in firearms that are unlawfully in their possession, or report firearms lost, stolen, or destroyed, the Police will have the discretion not to prosecute for the possession offence, subject to police inquiries not revealing offending other than breach of lawful possession of firearms(s) under the Arms Act 1983 (page 21).

Importing firearms into New Zealand

  • 20 that it ensure that visitors who have imported firearms and have been in the country for up to twelve months for a sporting holiday or competition should have the export of the firearms checked by the Police when they leave New Zealand (page 24).

The recommendations were backed in full by the National, Labour and Green MPs on the committee, and in part by NZ First.

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