Supplementary Order Paper No 201

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) amends the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill (the Bill).

This note explains the substantive amendments. Other amendments set out in this SOP are minor and technical, for example, to make further consequential amendments, improve clarity, or correct errors.

Clause 5: new section 2D, which relates to the meaning of prohibited ammunition, is amended to clarify that the declaration of prohibited ammunition is made by Order in Council under new section 74A.

Clause 8: new section 4A is amended to add 2 limited classes of persons who may possess or use prohibited items in accordance with the provisions of the Arms Act 1983 (the principal Act), being—

  • persons to whom a prohibited item has special significance as an heirloom or a memento (new section 4A(1)(ba)):

  • persons whose sole business, or a substantial part of whose business, is providing services to control any prescribed wild animals or animal pests or a person employed or engaged by that person for that purpose (new section 4A(1)(h)).

New clause 9A: new section 6A is inserted to impose conditions on a dealer’s licence that correspond to the conditions of endorsements on firearm licence holders set out in clause 29: new section 31A.

Clause 19: new section 18(2B) is amended to clarify that a permit to import a prohibited item may be issued to a person other than a licensed dealer only if the Commissioner of Police is satisfied that there are special reasons why the item should be allowed in New Zealand and the person is a holder of a firearms licence that bears an endorsement permitting the person to possess the prohibited item.

Clause 22 is amended to insert new section 19(2), which provides that a member of the Police or Customs officer may seize prohibited ammunition that, without reasonable excuse, has been brought into New Zealand.

New clause 24A amends section 28 to provide that the holder of a firearms licence that has been revoked or surrendered must deliver to the Police every prohibited magazine and prohibited part in their possession, as well as every firearm, pistol, or restricted weapon in their possession.

Clause 27 is amended to insert new section 30B(1A), which provides that an exempt person who applies for an endorsement in respect of a prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine that has special significance to them as an heirloom or a memento must satisfy the following 2 criteria:

  • that they are a fit and proper person to possess the prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine; and

  • that in all the circumstances it is reasonable that they be granted the endorsement.

Clause 31: new section 33A(1)(a)(iii) and (2) is amended to provide that it is a condition of an endorsement made under new section 30B on a firearms licence held by an exempt person described in new section 4A(1)(b), (ba), (c), or (d) that not only the prohibited firearm be rendered inoperable by the removal of a vital part, but that the vital part be kept at a separate address approved by the Police.

Clause 36: new section 35A(2) is amended to clarify the criteria applying to an application for a permit to possess a prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine made by a licensed dealer or by other persons.

Clause 42: new section 43AA is amended to provide that the penalty for possessing, selling, or supplying prohibited ammunition without reasonable excuse is a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years (rather than 5 years) to better align with other offences.

Clause 49: new section 50C is amended to better align with other offences relating to prohibited parts and to provide that a person is only guilty of the offence provision relating to the unlawful possession of a prohibited part if they do not have a reasonable excuse.

Clause 61 amends section 66 so that the reverse onus of proof in that section does not apply to the offence relating to the unlawful possession of prohibited parts.

Clause 65, which amends section 74, is amended to insert 2 new regulation-making powers into section 74 to support the exemptions in new section 4A. New section 74(1)(lb) provides for regulations prescribing limits for the exemptions relating to wild animal and animal pest control set out in new section 4A(1)(e) to (h) and new section 74(1)(lc) provides for regulations prescribing wild animals and animal pests for the purposes of the exemption set out in new section 4A(1)(h). New section 74(1)(ra) provides for transitional exemptions and other matters if an Order in Council is made under new section 74A.

Clause 66 is amended—

  • to provide that an Order in Council made under new section 74A may only amend a definition of a prohibited firearm in new section 2A or prohibited magazine in new section 2B, rather than amend or replace those definitions:

  • to insert new section 74C, which authorises regulations to be made providing for transitional and savings provisions concerning the coming into force of the Bill that are necessary or desirable for the orderly implementation of the Bill. This section is repealed, and any regulations made under this section are revoked, on 31 December 2020. This power would enable limited relief to be granted on a transitional basis to enable the more orderly implementation of the Bill (for example, see new regulation 28F inserted by Schedule 3).

New Schedule 1, which sets out transitional, savings, and related provisions relating to the enactment of the Bill, is amended to include the following transitional provisions that apply on the commencement of this Bill (commencement):

  • permits to import issued prior to commencement are revoked to the extent that those permits authorise the importation of firearms or magazines that, when they arrive in New Zealand after commencement, will be prohibited items:

  • prohibited items that are subject to the control of the New Zealand Customs Service at commencement will be treated as prohibited goods and may be delivered to the Police, after which those items cease to be subject to the control of the New Zealand Customs Service:

  • prohibited items delivered or otherwise surrendered to the Police on or after 3 pm on 21 March 2019 become the property of the Crown and compensation for those items may be paid in accordance with any regulations made under clause 5 of Schedule 1:

  • regulations may be made under clause 5 of Schedule 1 on the recommendation of the Minister of Police establishing 1 or more schemes for the purpose of paying compensation in respect of prohibited items that are delivered to or otherwise surrendered to a member of the Police during the amnesty period or any specified period or periods:

  • the regulations may—

    • apply to 1 or more classes of licence holders or other persons lawfully in possession of prohibited items:

    • apply to 1 or more classes of prohibited items:

    • specify criteria or conditions that must be satisfied for entitlement to compensation:

    • limit the right of compensation in specified circumstances:

    • provide for the Commissioner of Police to determine the amount of compensation to be paid for a prohibited item, including by issuing a schedule of compensation amounts or determining the method by which the amount of compensation to be paid for a prohibited item is calculated:

    • impose conditions on any payment of compensation:

    • specify the criteria that may be applied by the Commissioner when determining or assessing the compensation payable in respect of a prohibited item:

    • confer rights of review and appeal against any compensation, determination, or assessment.

Schedule 3 of the Bill, which consequentially amends the Arms Regulations 1992, is amended to insert new regulations 2C, 28E, and 28F into those regulations. New regulation 2C prescribes wild animals and animal pests for the purposes of new section 4A(1)(h) of the principal Act. New regulations 28E and 28F are transitional regulations. They enable existing businesses involved in the manufacture or supply of prohibited magazines or prohibited parts to continue to do so (and to use prohibited firearms for testing and demonstration purposes) as long as the supply is to the Crown, for permitted export purposes, or to other exempt persons.

Departmental disclosure statement

The New Zealand Police are required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Supplementary Order Paper. It provides access to information about any material policy changes to the Bill and identifies any new significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill as amended.

The Honourable Stuart Nash, in Committee, to propose the amendments shown in the following document.