2 August 2021
Our Reference: IR-01-21-22227
Email: [FYI request #16104 email]
Tēnā koe Duncan
I am writing in response to your request dated 16 July 2021. You wrote:
I'm writing to enquire about the number of guns which are found by police that
have been found to have been smuggled across the border without being
detected by Customs.
New Zealand Customs Service delivers on the provisions contained in the Customs and
Excise Act 2018 and the Arms Act 1983. New Zealand Police issues import permits for
firearms and certain parts and the Customs Service checks to ensure that firearms and
parts entering New Zealand are clearly identified and match the description on each
permit. Should there be a discrepancy, the Customs Service may seize and impound the
article at the border. The Customs Service does not retain a record of the identifying
information of all the firearms imported into New Zealand.
Only prohibited firearms, restricted weapons, and pistols need to be recorded in the
Police systems. Where this type of firearm is seized or found by Police and the serial
number is legible, Police will check its records to identify the last known licence holder.
However, majority of firearms held by licence holders in New Zealand are not yet required
to be listed with Police, so it is not possible to know whether they have entered New
Zealand legally or illegally.
Therefore, your request is refused under with section 18(g) of the Official Information Act
1982 as the requested information is not held. You have the right to seek an investigation
and review by the Ombudsman of this decision.
Superintendent Mike McIlraith
Arms Safety and Control
Police National Headquarters
180 Molesworth Street. PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.
Telephone: 04 474 9499. Fax: 04 498 7400. www.police.govt.nz