Anyone 18 years of age or older can possess and use an airgun.
A gun license is not required to purchase an air rifle.
Anyone under 18 years of age may use an airgun if:
- They hold a New Zealand Firearms License* or they are under the ‘immediate supervision’ of a firearms license holder or a person 18 years of age or older.
- Anyone under 16 years of age must always be under the ‘immediate supervision’ of a firearms license holder or a person 18 years of age or
- Note: You must be 16 years of age or older to apply for a New Zealand Firearms License.
‘Immediate supervision’ means that the licensed or older person is within reach and in control of the person using the airgun. The person providing the supervision must be able to take control of the airgun. They cannot be in possession or control of another firearm or airgun. On a range or paintball field: the rules in place, fenced field and supervision of umpires, referees or Range Officer go toward immediate supervision.
Young airgun owners:
If you are 16 or 17 you can see the Arms Officer at a Police station about getting a firearms licence. The Arms Officer will give you a free copy of the Arms Code for you to study. You will be asked to give the names of 2 people, one a close relative. The Police will ask these people if you are a suitable person to use and possess firearms.
You will also be asked to attend a firearms safety lecture run by the NZMSC. Next, you sit a written test and are issued a certificate when you pass. The results of your test will be passed on to the Arms Officer. If the Arms Officer considers you a fit and proper person you will be issued with a firearms license.
NB: You can be arrested and fined and/or imprisoned:
- If you possess or carry an airgun without a lawful purpose.
- If you carelessly use an airgun.
- For firing an airgun in a way that may endanger, annoy or frighten anyone or harm property.
- For unlawfully pointing an airgun at someone.
- If you sell or supply an airgun to an unlicensed person under 18. This could happen if an adult buys an airgun as a gift for a child.
There is a very good pamphlet available from any NZ Police Arms Office called ’Beginning with Airguns’, describing the Police requirements around airguns.