Bringing Firearms into NZ

Outdoors Taupo

If you’re thinking of travelling to NZ from further afield, and want to bring your firearms and ammunition, here’s a quick overview of what you need to know to be legal and safe!

Carrying Firearms

To carry a firearm and/or ammunition in New Zealand, you must hold:

  • A current Firearms/Visitor Firearms Licence
  • OR a Law Enforcement ID
  • AND
  • A valid Import Permit

In NZ, carrying and using firearms is subject to the Arms Act 1983 –  The law generally relates to being reasonable and safe with your firearms.

Offences can include:

  • Careless use of a firearm, airgun, pistol or restricted weapon
  • Discharging a firearm, airgun, pistol or restricted weapon in or near a dwelling house or public place to endanger property or to endanger, annoy or frighten any person
  • Carrying a loaded firearm (whether in its breech, barrel, chamber or magazine) in or on a motor vehicle on a road or in any place to which members of the public have a right of access.

New Zealand does not allow on-person open or concealed carry. When travelling with a firearm, you need to:

  • fully unload the chamber, breech and magazine
  • make it inoperable by removing the bolt/other vital part, or by fitting a trigger/cable lock, and/or store it in a locked case
  • conceal it from view in your vehicle
  • store and secure ammunition separately

Learn more about how to safety store and transport your firearms and ammo

NZ Firearms Safety Authority – Te Tari Pūreke 

In New Zealand, firearms safety is maintained by Te Tari Pūreke Firearms Safety Authority. All information for visiting New Zealand with firearms, and possessing and using firearms while in New Zealand can be found on their website here.

Applying for a Visitors Firearms Licence

You need a visitor’s firearms licence if you want to hunt in New Zealand without the supervision of a New Zealand firearms licence holder. We recommend first reading “Before you apply for a visitor’s firearms licence” for all information you need before applying. 

To apply for your visitors firearms licence, visit Apply for a visitor’s firearms licence. To apply, you will need a RealMe account.

The instructions for what to do when arriving and leaving New Zealand are included on the application info page.

Bringing firearms and/or ammunition when you visit New Zealand

When you have a visitor’s firearms licence, you may only bring:

  • non-prohibited rifles and shotguns
  • pistols for pistol competitions
  • ammunition for the firearms you’re bringing
  • In some situations, you may be able to bring semi-automatic firearms to New Zealand

We recommend reading “Bringing arms items when you visit New Zealand” for detailed information. Ammunition must be transported separately to your firearms, and in a locked container if practical.

The Arms Act 1983 has more detail about the firearms, magazines and parts that are prohibited or restricted in New Zealand.

Firearms, major firearm parts and pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCKs) you bring into New Zealand need to be registered. Te Tari Pūreke Firearms Safety Authority will register them on your behalf when you apply for your visitor’s firearms licence and permit to import. If they need more information about the items, they will contact you.

There are further requirements for the type of shot you can use, but this applies to game bird hunting near water.

If you need assistance with your visitors firearms licence application, contact us.


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