How do I renew my firearms license?

A person who is the holder of a firearms licence may, before the expiration of that firearms licence, apply for a new firearms licence.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘how do I renew my firearms license’ – unsurprisingly, it’s right up there with – ‘how do I get my firearms license‘.

Well, I already have an article on that, but, there is a little confusion about the process out there at the moment, especially with the changes in the application process and the incorporation of a new practical element.

Renew or Reapply?

(3) A person who is the holder of a firearms licence may, before the expiration of that firearms licence, apply for a new firearms licence.1

So, technically, there is no such thing as a renewal. You are reapplying for a licence.

As such, much of the process is the same.

  • Download and fill in the form – available here
  • Pay the application fee at a local postshop ($126.50)
  • Get two mugshots of yourself
  • Deliver all this to the police (I would suggest your local arms-office) – make sure you take:
    • Your application
    • Proof of payment
    • Two recent passport style photos
    • Three documents to prove your identity
    • Your existing firearms licence
  • Once this is lodged, the AO will contact you to organise an interview and security check
  • An AO will come out, interview you, and your references (just like the first time) and check your security is still in place
  • While the AO is there, when reapplying, you will get asked a series of questions, that you can find on the back page of the application form

 

The theory test and the new practical training

The biggest question I get asked – is, ‘when I ‘renew’ my licence – do I need to go through the practical training?’

No – there is currently no requirement to do so, nor do you have to sit the theory test.

When reapplying for the license – you instead have to answer the questions on the back of the application with an AO.

So. The process is very similar to a new application, however, instead of the theory and practical test, you answer the questions for the AO during the interview.

Worth Noting

This is the process if you have a current firearms licence, and want to ‘renew’ or reapply for a new one, while the existing one is still valid2 – if you let the licence expire, or, you have the licence taken away from you – you may be required to go through the full process.


  1. <span class="amended-provision">Section 23(3)</span>: <span class="amending-operation">added</span>, on <span class="amendment-date">1 November 1992</span>, by <a target="_blank" id="DLM1846121" class="amending-provision" href="http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1983/0044/latest/link.aspx?id=DLM278379" name="DLM278379">section 8</a> of the <span class="amending-leg">Arms Amendment Act 1992</span> (1992 No 95). 

  2. get in early folks! 

Shoot straight(er).

Get your rifle sorted - proper zero, basic ballistics and confirmed to distance.

Popular articles

Matching twist rate and bullet weight in rifles.

The are many benefits to understanding and matching the twist rate of your barrel with the projectile weight you are using. Primarily, accuracy.

T-Bone Steaks

I have fallen for T-Bones recently. What isn't to like about them? They are great value for money, full of taste, and have a bonus feature - the Missus will generally not be able to finish all of hers so I get to eat one and a half T-bone steaks.

Three ways you are probably zeroing your hunting rifle wrong.

Clickbait title aside - there are a couple of reoccurring problems I see when people discuss zeroing a rifle. Are you doing any of them?

Getting your New Zealand Firearms Licence – the definitive guide (2019)

The process of applying for your New Zealand Firearms Licence is easy. Learn the steps, get started here and get shooting!

Cartridge Selection for Long Range Hunting pt. 1

A bit of a meandering post about ballistics and cartridges in the short action side of things. Some interesting finds though.

A Single Stage Trigger Vs Two Stage Trigger

Oh, if only it was that easy - the question of Single Stage Trigger Vs Two Stage Trigger comes up quite often - here are my thoughts on it...
Kerry Adams
Kerry Adamshttps://thebloke.co.nz
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created Precision Shooter as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by. Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

Get your rifle sorted.

Send us your rifle, or come out and do it with us. For a session, for a day. Come get the most out of your firearm. We can take your through the whole process.

I know. We all hate popups.
But, the fact remains that eMails are the best way for us to keep you up to date with what is going on at The Bloke. Join over 19650 others who are part of The Bloke community - every week you will get a short update from me. Be the first to know about new resources, upcoming events, courses and more.
We respect your privacy. No SPAM. Ever. Hit escape to make this go away. Apologises if you see this more than once. That's what cookies are for... ;)
It's easy: complete this form and click the button to get the targets.
Get our range of sighting in, testing and fun targets - calibrated for both meters and yards, MIL and MOA.
As well as sending out the targets, we will add you to the shooter's newsletter - updates on articles, events and news relevant to the NZ shooter.