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COLFO Newsletter Jul 2020: Arms Legislation Act 2020


The Arms Legislation Bill, passed its third reading on 18 June by 63 votes to 50 after some minor changes were introduced by NZ First and received Royal ascent a few days later. 


Despite spirited opposition from National and Act MPs the new Act contains all the features that COLFO has opposed, full firearm registration, registration and certification of clubs and ranges, and the removal of Doctor/Patient confidentiality among many other restrictions.


This new Act which has yet to be incorporated in to the Arms Act 1983 makes New Zealand’s firearm legislation extremely complex and almost impossible for the layman to comprehend. Various provisions will be introduced in stages over the next 3 years as Police develop the policies for its administration.


If you want to find out how these law changes affect you we recommend that you consult the firearm section of the Police website, in part reproduced here:


The immediate changes are:

A small group of firearms has been added to the definition of prohibited firearm, including:

  1. Short semi-automatic firearms (for example, because they have a short barrel or have a folding stock). This prohibition does not apply to collectors, curators of museums or employees of film companies. “Small semi-automatic pistols” are excluded so that pistols commonly used for target pistol shooting disciplines are not prohibited; and
  2. Centrefire pump-action rifles which are capable of being used with a detachable magazine or that have 1 or more non-detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges.
  3. Any firearm containing a centrefire lower receiver that is capable of functioning.
  • The duration of a firearms licence for first-time firearms licence applicants will be for five years, rather than 10 years. This will also be the case if you are applying after your previously held licence expires, or is revoked or surrendered. Otherwise the duration of a firearms licence remains at 10 years.
  • Endorsements granted for controlling wild animal or animal pests will have a changed duration and will need to be renewed before the firearms licence does.
  • Requiring an endorsed firearms or dealer’s licence enabling the person to possess a pistol in order to lawfully possess a pistol carbine conversion kit (which converts a pistol into a shoulder-fired firearm).
  • Additional regulation-making powers have been included to enable the Governor General to make regulations specifying the security requirements for pistol carbine conversion kits, and for ammunition sellers.
  • Import permits will now be required to import ammunition, pistol carbine conversion kits, air pistol carbine conversion kits and all blank-firing firearms.
  • Changes to the penalties for many offences, eg the penalty for possessing a non-prohibited firearm without a firearms licence is now up to 1 year imprisonment or a fine up to $15,000.
  • A Minister’s arms advisory group to be established with members from the firearm-owning and non-firearm-owning community.
  • Those who come to New Zealand who are issued a licence for up to a year (a ‘Visitors’ licence) will no longer be able to purchase firearms for possession or use in New Zealand. Those with a ‘Visitors’ licence can import their own firearm, lease, hire or borrow a firearm, or purchase a firearm for immediate export.



On the 25 June the judgement of our High Court Challenge was made public. Although Justice Cooke agreed that there was a common law right to compensation, and that the decision to not compensate was contrary to this right he declined to uphold COLFOs claim on the basis that the decision not to pay compensation had been made by Parliament. A court cannot over-rule Parliament.


The judge also found that the decision to ban certain types of ammunition bore no connection to the Christchurch mosque attacks or any criminal activity, but was consistent with the purposes of the Arms Act to provide for firearm control.


COLFO has lodged an appeal on this decision



COLFOs Secretary and Spokesperson Nicole Mc Kee has resigned from these positions in order to stand as an Act Party candidate in the coming election. Nicole is ranked No 3 on the Act party list.


In undertaking this career change Nicole has the full support of the COLFO Board of Management.


Steve Goodman a keen Service Rifle shooter has taken on the Secretary role until the position can be filled at the AGM in August.



Last year COLFO assisted a number of licensed firearm owners who had been subject to aggressive police raids, following the Christchurch attack, to make formal complaints to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.


The IPCA has now released its decision on three such raids, finding that the Police’s actions were unlawful.


The Authority ruled that Police misused Section 18, which says Police may search, seize, and detain without warrant if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a breach of the Arms Act or an intention to kill or injure.


No such situations existed at the time of the raids. 



To be held at the New Zealand Deerstalkers Head office.

3 Collina Terrace, Thorndon

Saturday, 15th August 2020



RSVP to so that adequate seating can be arranged. 

There is a limit on maximum numbers at the venue, so RSVP essential.


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