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Further Delays on FAL Application Processing Affects Hunters

Firearms Licence Application Processing Time Frame Pushed Way Out- Now a Year Long Wait

9 December 2021

Update from Police

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NZDA have been notified by New Zealand Police that there are extended delays for firearms license processing. Newly indicated time frames have been updated online.

If you know someone who plans to start hunting in 2022, this might mean 2023! NZDA urges you to spread awareness, for those who are yet to get their application in or are due to renew.

In line with changes to legislation, the Police have adopted new processes and training. These changes have been set in place to ensure that only people who are fit and proper are able to access, possess, and use firearms.

Hunters are being directly affected by the backlog these changes have created. Fit and proper hunters that aren’t aware of these delays might be caught out and face lifestyle changes.

We urge you to get your application in as soon as possible to avoid further disappointment.

The good news is that NZDA is an organisation that supports and encourages new hunters. Joining a club, getting involved and buddying up with a currently licensed hunter is a great gateway into the sport amidst delays. NZDA educates and promotes safe hunting practices, firearms safety is key.

To join us click: here.

Existing firearms licence holder applying to renew your licence:

Existing firearms licence holders are strongly encouraged to apply for a licence renewal a minimum of 6 months before the expiry of your current licence. This will enable the processing and outcome of your licence renewal application to occur before your current licence expires.

If at any point during the application renewal process your existing licence expires, before you have received your new licence, you will not be able to lawfully possess or use (unless you are under the immediate supervision of a valid firearms licence holder) your firearms, magazines, parts or ammunition. During this time, you should give your arms items to a current firearms licence holder to store on your behalf, until your firearms licence renewal application is approved.

Applying for a licence for the first time:

If you are applying for a firearms licence for the first time, your new application may now take up to 12 months to process.

Until you have an approved licence you will be unable to purchase, possess, or use a firearm, magazines, parts, or ammunition (unless you are under the direct supervision of a firearms licence holder).

Join NZDA and get connected in the meantime!

To join us click: here.

Applying for a visitor firearms licence:

Due to COVID-19 impacts, Police are focused on processing New Zealand-based applications. The benefits of this is to “ensure that we continue to enable sport, business, recreation and food gathering for our citizens and residents.”

We are advised that anyone seeking a visitor licence will need will need to apply a minimum of four months before intended arrival in NZ. This will ensure applications are resolved by the time of an applicant’s arrival in New Zealand.

In line with changes to legislation and processes, additional information will be also sought from any applicant for a visitor licence in 2022. Details on this will be made available on the NZ Police website early in 2022. Police will keep applicants informed of any update to the application time frame requirement of four months. For those who can’t obtain a visitor licence in the required time frame, visitors can use a firearm as long as they are under the immediate supervision of a New Zealand licence firearms holder.

Click here to read more.

Avoid Further Licensing Delays

Points to help your application move smoothly through the system:

  • Ensure your application is fully completed so Police won’t need to follow up on, or clarify, information.
  • Ensure your referees are available for reference checking.
  • If appropriate, the vetting interview process can be completed most efficiently if vetting staff are able to interview the applicant, the related referee, and non-related referee in one visit at the applicant’s home. This means three separate interviews (in separate rooms) can be conducted during one visit, as well as the required check of the applicant’s firearms security arrangements.

To see the full details, check the Police website here.

Don't Delay

If you intend to continue participating activities that involve firearms you need to ensure your licence is valid.

The Christmas break will hopefully allow those a bit more time to catch up on tedious but important tasks like renewing your licence.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your local arms officer (this is also a reminder to update your primary contact and address details with Police, if they have changed).

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