Proposed regulations threaten the survival of shooting clubs and ranges

Shooting clubs and ranges have long been the home of firearms training and safe shooting practices for hunters and competitive shooters in New Zealand.

NZ Police has recently announced proposed amendments to the Arms Regulations 1992, that will introduce regulations requiring mandatory shooting range and club registration and certification and associated fees. The proposal was drafted without any engagement of the hunting sector or shooting club community.

If enacted, these regulations will impose prohibitive restrictions on these volunteer run clubs and community facilities and the volunteer committees that oversee their operation for no added safety benefits. These restrictions will see many of these facilities discontinued.

Amongst the proposed suite of regulatory restrictions, a particularly alarming proposal is a ban on under 16’s from shooting on ranges and banning all family members and unlicensed people from being part of any hunting or shooting clubs activities including helping out on their committees.

The consequence will be that range shooting will be diverted away from these controlled environments where there is an ethos firearms safety and training, and into the backcountry or un-monitored makeshift ranges. This means NZ Police’s attempts to improve national firearms safety will have the opposite effect.

It is no coincidence that this proposal has opened for consultation at the busiest time of year for hunters over the Roar period, Easter holidays and duck shooting opening. This makes it even more important for hunters to make submissions and let NZ Police know that they have overlooked the critical role that shooting clubs and ranges play in fostering safe firearms practices in New Zealand communities.

More information on the proposal, and details on how to submit can be found here:

Submissions Now Open 23rd March to 4th May 2022

What else can you do?  Tell people.

Email your local MPs. Email the Minster of Police, Poto Williams and tell her your feelings in a clear and respectful way –  [email protected]

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