“Relentless pressure from ACT has seen the Government make much needed changes to firearms licensing in New Zealand,” says ACT’s Firearms Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“ACT pressured the Government into applying an extension to existing firearms licence holders in October 2021, now we have compelled them to find an enduring solution to the issue.

“I have questioned three different Police Ministers on the subject over the past few years and relentlessly advocated for a solution.

“Finally, the Government has listened. Licensed firearms owners who have been waiting so long for renewals that their existing licenses run out, will now be relieved to know their license will remain in effect until their new application is fully processed.

“Renewed licences will also take effect from the date of issue rather than the date of expiry. This will go a long way to gradually crushing the bell curve that exists from the shift from lifetime to 10 yearly firearms licences in 1992. Dealers will also be pleased to know that this new extension will also apply to them.

“The amendment also means police can issue notices and documents electronically. ACT is supportive of this on the condition that receipt must be acknowledged.

“In July this year Police Minister Chris Hipkins said in response to my questioning in Parliament that he would consider changes to the Arms Act. In August he replied to a letter I sent him saying “I have taken advice on how the Arms Act might be amended to provide the outcome we are both seeking.”

“Now we’re seeing some results. It is fantastic that our dogged advocacy for licensed firearms owners has led to real change. I hope this will be a weight off many peoples’ shoulders who were stressed about the expiration of their licence.

“People who are applying and paying for licences are not criminals, they just want to gather food for their families, carry out pest control or participate in sport.

“This will create a safer regime where people aren’t forced to relocate firearms when their licences expire, and will mean law-abiding New Zealanders aren’t inconvenienced while trying to do the right thing.

“The ACT Party is here to make a difference and bring about real change. We are proud to stand up for New Zealand’s law-abiding firearms community.”

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Nicole McKee