Parliament is currently sitting under urgency as the Government pushes through 24 bills over four days. Late last night the Arms (Licence Holders’ Applications for New Licences) Amendment Bill was heard in the House of Representatives under urgency. We debated all remaining stages of the Bill which passed unanimously.
Once the Bill has been given Royal Assent from the Governor General, those with expired licences that applied for renewal before the expiry will be given an extension. That extension will be valid until determination of their application is made by the current arms administrators, New Zealand Police.
Last night we had it clarified that the extensions should be operational on or by 29 November 2022, a mere four days away.
The best way to check validity will be by using the NZ Police online licence checker
or calling NZ Police directly for validation (yeah, good luck with that).
This is a big victory for firearms owners, and it is satisfying to see it finally come into effect. It has been many years of advocacy to get to this moment.
The details are:
- The thousands of people who are already in the system and meet the criteria of having applied for renewal before expiry, are retrospectively covered by this legislation from 29th November 2022.
- All endorsements that are on those licences are also covered.
- The ability to buy, sell, trade and use firearms, ammunition and parts will need to be validated by those you are dealing with. Keep an eye on the NZ Police website for how to access this validation process.
- Police will “triage” those that require a closer look as to their fit and proper status over those that have not come to Police attention. That means, some could be waiting longer than others to be processed – Police advise that they are still aiming to process all within their 90-day target.
- Police will advise airlines and ferry services of the online licence checker details when it is available to access.
- All licenced owners will eventually need to provide an email address to Police for contact. Be aware, if you confirm that the email address is where you can be contacted, it can also be used to serve documents on you too. If you are a member of a club or run a range, improvement notices may be emailed to you with time frames such as 28 days to complete a required improvement. The Minister advised in the House last night that Police will take a pragmatic approach to how this change will be utilised.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of the ACT Party. My thanks also to the individuals and organisations who submitted with only 24 hours notice. All organisations did your members proud.
This battle is won, but there are more to come.