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Improving as we go – firearms safety programme

Police is making a change to the way the firearms safety programme is offered.

“When we announced the new firearms safety programme in May 2018, we recognised that as a trial programme, we may make tweaks and changes as the trial progresses,” says Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith.

“We have decided to combine the theory test and practical training into the same session, meaning applicants won’t have to make two trips; one for the theory test and one for their practical training.

“The “one session” approach means if people successfully complete the one firearms safety course, they will have met their testing and training requirements under the Arms Act as part of their firearms licence application process.

“We also received feedback that additional training locations are needed across the country and we’ve taken that on board. Police is now happy to advise there will be 66 locations progressively coming on line for 2019.”

The attached table shows the locations where the Mountain Safety Council, as the Police course provider, will offer the firearms safety course.

“I would like to particularly thank our partners the NZ Transport Agency, the Automobile Association (AA), and Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) for the support they have provided in offering the theory testing component of our firearms safety programme.

“Their service provision has been excellent and Police is grateful for the support and effort put in by each of the providers.

We have simply found in practice, that firearms licence applicants appreciate a “one session” approach.”

The current firearms safety programme will remain in place until the end of February 2019. Theory tests can continue to be undertaken at participating AA and VTNZ sites and the Mountain Safety Council will continue to offer practical training sessions across the country.

Firearms safety courses can be booked on the current Mountain Safety Council practical course booking site (www.firearmsafety.org.nz).

Firearms safety courses offered from 1 March 2019 will be a combined theory test and practical training delivered together at the one location.

For more information on the firearms safety course refer to the Police website which provides additional information about transition requirements for any firearms licence applicant who is already part way through the current firearms safety programme.

The firearms safety programme will require:

· Applicants to undertake self-directed study before attending the course

· The start of the course will be an unassisted theory test (with exceptions such as reading support)

· At the completion of the theory test all course attendees will take part in the practical training.

· Note: At the end of the practical training, any course attendee who failed the theory test first up will be given a second and final attempt at the theory test.


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