New Zealand’s new digital Firearms Registry is now operational, with close to a quarter of a million firearms licence holders in New Zealand set to begin entering their firearms and arms items into the new Firearms Registry.
Police Minister, Ginny Andersen says the new registry fulfils a promise the Government made in 2019 and is another milestone in the improvement of firearms safety and oversight in New Zealand.
“Until now, there has been no complete picture of where all the lawfully held firearms in our community are, and no visibility of how firearms are moving around the community – when people are buying, selling, or passing firearms on to other people,” Ms Andersen said.
“That changes from now. As licence holders fill in the new Firearms Registry, it will give a much clearer picture and this transparency will help stop firearms being transferred into criminal hands.
“We’ve listened throughout this period and made common sense changes.”
For each arms item a licence holder possesses, the register will record such things as the make, model and the serial number, the Minister said.
“Ongoing, licence holders will need to record in the Registry whenever they sell, purchase, modify, or notify the theft or loss of their firearms,” she said.
“By licence holders doing the right thing and filling in the new Registry New Zealand will be a safer place.”
People in possession of firearms have up to five years to complete the Registry, however when undertaking certain activities, like buying or selling a firearm, they will need to enter their details into the Registry sooner. There is no cost to enter their arms items in the Registry.
“The privacy of licence holders’ information is critical. I know that security and privacy has been a top priority for Police throughout the build of the Registry System,” said Ms Andersen.
She said the online platform has been through multiple security assessments by independent security experts.
The new digital Firearms Registry is one of the final firearms reforms following the March 2019 terror attack in Christchurch.
“We’ve taken a long journey since March 2019. We immediately moved to ban military style semi-automatic firearms.”
“This was followed with legislative change to fix the gaps in our laws. And now we have an established regulator who will oversee, for the first time in New Zealand, a comprehensive firearms registry.
“This is an important milestone for our country and for our firearms community.
“I know that both Government and Police have appreciated the input of the Firearms Community Advisory Forum, the Arms Engagement Group, and the Minister’s Arms Advisory Group in getting us to where we are today,” Ms Andersen said.