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Saturday, April 17, 2021

New firearms licence targets gun safety

NZ Police has today launched new firearms licence cards with additional security features.

“Police has been working hard modernising our processes around firearms and becoming an effective regulator of the Arms Act. A key component of this is safety and security,” said Acting Superintendent Michael McIlraith.

“These cards will help deliver on that. The purpose of the updated licence card and the new features is to bring firearms licencing in line with other modern identification and licence cards that have an increased level of security,” he said.

He said the additional security features would support firearms licence holders, dealers, and dealer employees.

The main new features are:

• A three-digit version number.

• A barcode and magnetic strip to support future point of sale transactions.

• The licence holder’s date of birth embossed under their photo.

• Endorsements written in full, as opposed to acronyms.

“The three-digit version number is a key feature because it ensures that only one version of the firearms licence in circulation is valid,” Acting Superintendent McIlraith said.

“For example, if a licence is expired, lost, or stolen and the licence holder applies for a replacement, the new licence will have an updated version number, and the previous card becomes invalid preventing any unlawful use.

He said NZ Police was also in the process of developing an online compliance tool that will be released later this year.

“This tool will validate the details on any firearms licence, including the new version number, assisting licence holders to meet their obligation by ensuring they only buy and sell from people who hold a firearms licence. The online licence checker portal can be used by both the buyer and the seller in any over the counter, or in-person transaction, where both parties can input the details of the respective firearms licence to ensure that they are current.”

“It is through the introduction of these improved procedures and supporting compliance tools, that Police can endeavour to keep firearms only in the hands of people who have shown themselves responsible enough to have them,” he said.

The launch of the updated firearms licence will only impact those applying for, or renewing, their licence. All existing firearms licence holders can continue to use their current licence.

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