NZ police opens consultation on changes to firearms fees

A consultation process regarding firearms licencing fees, which haven’t changed in more than 20 years despite rising costs, opens today.

Other than GST adjustments, firearms licencing fees have remained static since 1999.

The cost of delivering arms regulatory services has risen substantially during that time.

Deputy Commissioner Jevon McSkimming says a greater contribution toward the cost of providing regulatory services (licences, endorsements, permits, approvals) is being sought.

This contribution will be sought from licence holders whether they use firearms for business, employment, or recreation.

“At the moment, licence holders are paying less than 15 percent of the true cost of a licence,” Deputy Commissioner McSkimming says.

“Even if the current firearms licence fee was doubled, it would fall well short of the actual cost.

“Increasing the fee for a firearms licence from $126.50 to $242.50 still requires a Crown contribution of 75 percent.

“This review is about exploring different levels of Crown funding and fees for those who use the services of licensing, permitting and approvals.

“We want to make it more equitable for all.”

Some services of direct commercial and private benefit, such as applications for import permits, are currently delivered for free.

Deputy Commissioner McSkimming says firearms applications are being processed faster, with the average time for a second or subsequent firearms licence application having reduced from nine months in May 2022, to seven months in October.

“We expect to see this downward trend continue.

“With 35 percent more licence applications completed this year, our pipeline of applications is reducing each month.”

The discussion document Arms Regulations Review of Fees invites public submissions until 16 February 2023.

It can be found here on the Police website.

All submissions will be assessed and considered by Cabinet.

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