NOTE: Information is correct as at time of writing this article (15th May 2020) – I will endeavour to keep it updated and advise when/if I do so.
We live in interesting times, that is for sure. No activity seems to have been unaffected by the Covid19 Viral Pandemic, and this includes the New Zealand Firearms Licencing Process.
Of particular interest is the renewal of exisiting licences as well as the new licence application process (of which I am directly a part of). Due to a multitude of reasons, these have been put on hold.
In short – if your licence is due to expire December 2019 and 25 September 2020 and you start the renewal process, you will continue to have a valid licence until the Police have completed the process – whenever that may be.
At the moment there is a little uncertainty how the required interview and vetting activity will be conducted. The idea of video meetings was put forward, but for some reasons in our recent history in Firearms Licencing in New Zealand – this concept will come with issues and concern.
For the moment though – if you have applied for your renewal (you still need to start the process) you are covered legally. This includes dealer licence renewals.
First Time Applicants
The new licence application process has also been put on hold. Part due to the vetting process, and in addition, due to the recent lockdown, we were unable to hold the practical courses due to a limitation of physical contact between groups. While Level 2, in theory would allow the courses to start up again, there are details to be worked out, and, some venues internally still have limitations in place that forego their use. It needs to be remembered that it is not as simple as ‘blaming the Police’ for the holdups – all areas of the community have had disruptions to their workings and it will take time for them to be resolved.
So, be patient, it will happen, in the greater scheme of things it’s only a short time. I personally am looking forward to get back to doing the courses as it is a great opportunity to interact with people just getting into their firearms ownership journey – and I always enjoy them.
As well as the licencing program, there are other firearms licence related activites that are on ‘hold’.
- Processing permits to import.
- Processing new dealer licence applications.
- Dealer premises visits.
- Existing endorsement holder (collectors, pistol shooters, and pest controller) security checks and holdings audits.
- Pistol endorsement holder minimum annual shoot requirements.
Anything requiring a physical inspection or interaction are understandably delayed – I would suggest the result are simply a case of available resources needing to be directed elsewhere at this time.