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Thread: New Firearms Licence Practical Training

  1. #1
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    New Firearms Licence Practical Training

    I will be going for my firearms license next year, and I am wondering about the new practical training. Does anyone know about what it will involve? Also will we have to cover all types of firearms (I am only wanting to get a .22 rifle). And how much does it cost?
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  2. #2
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    No idea what the practical training might involve, but most basic questions, including how much it will cost, can be answered here:

    Firearms and Safety | New Zealand Police
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  3. #3
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    I see there are ads out with MSC to become an instructor.

  4. #4
    Member aetchell's Avatar
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    Some info here buried in the news section

    -------------------------

    Police gearing up for new firearms safety training for first time licence applicants

    [23 May 2018] From 1 July firearms safety training is changing.

    Police has been working with the firearms community to improve safety outcomes by delivering an enhanced firearms safety training programme for first-time firearms licence applicants.

    “Much like the process for obtaining a driver licence, first-time applicants will need to pass a theory test and undergo practical training to obtain a firearms licence,” says Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith.

    “For many years the current theory-only programme has provided new firearms users with a solid start. But over recent years Police and the firearms community identified the opportunity to build on this and provide first-time applicants with a practical hands-on component to complement the theoretical.”

    The theory test is a computer-based multi-choice test which will be delivered by Police using the same system used for computerised driver licence theory tests. Firearm licence applicants will be able to sit the firearms theory test at all Automobile Association (AA) driver licensing outlets; including all AA Centres, AA Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agents and the AA’s Rural Mobile Units, as well as all Vehicle Testing New Zealand branches that offer driver licensing throughout the country.

    Applicants must pass the theory test before they can attend the firearms practical training course.

    The practical course and training on safe-handling of firearms will be delivered by firearms instructors from the Mountain Safety Council across the country.

    Police is also working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand around the potential use of volunteer fire stations in some locations. In addition, the Whakatupato course will continue to provide firearms safety training in remote and isolated communities.

    The firearms theory test and practical training require applicants to show that they have a strong understanding of the Arms Code and how to stay safe with firearms.

    “As pleased as Police is to deliver the new firearms safety programme, new firearms users will still need to gain experience using firearms safely in a variety of settings.

    “Tapping into clubs with experienced firearms users who can pass on that valuable knowledge and experience is a vital part of being a responsible firearms user.

    “We want the firearms community to continue to support new firearms users. Police is seeking help from firearms clubs, and the volunteer instructors from the programme ending 30 June, to provide community-based mentoring and to partner with new firearms users.

    “Imagine a person getting their firearms licence because they want to go hunting but they don’t know any hunters. Clubs play a vital role in bringing new firearms users together with experienced users.

    “Having a new practical component and a community of people keen to coach and mentor new firearms users will contribute significantly to improved safety outcomes. And that is what Police wants.”



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  5. #5
    Member stretch's Avatar
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    Where is the data to support this move? It SEEMS common sense that we should have a practical component to the test, but will there be a cost to this service?

    Are newly licenced FAL holders more likely than anyone else to injure or kill others through their inexperience and/or negligence? I asked MSC if they have this data (since they authored A Hunter's Tale https://mountainsafety.org.nz/insights/a-hunters-tale/), and they said they don't have that data.

    I can see a future where everyone is required to pass a practical refresher upon every licence renewal. When hunter-on-hunter shootings still happen at their low rate, Police will scratch their heads and push for club membership to be a compulsory requirement for retaining a FAL.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch View Post
    Where is the data to support this move? It SEEMS common sense that we should have a practical component to the test, but will there be a cost to this service?

    Are newly licenced FAL holders more likely than anyone else to injure or kill others through their inexperience and/or negligence? I asked MSC if they have this data (since they authored A Hunter's Tale https://mountainsafety.org.nz/insights/a-hunters-tale/), and they said they don't have that data.

    I can see a future where everyone is required to pass a practical refresher upon every licence renewal. When hunter-on-hunter shootings still happen at their low rate, Police will scratch their heads and push for club membership to be a compulsory requirement for retaining a FAL.

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    Yup, as the police and MSC admit themselves though, middle aged white males (50+) perpetrate the large majority of accidental shootings in the bush with all having many years experience hunting in the bush.
    Perceived problems often perceived by the people mentioned above seem to always get the most attention. The police however are happy to support it as it makes obtaining a license harder and cost more which then fuels their argument to increase the fees for licensing thus making it harder again. Mark my words, firearm licensing fees will go up in the next 12 months.
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  7. #7
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasmine View Post
    I will be going for my firearms license next year, and I am wondering about the new practical training. Does anyone know about what it will involve? Also will we have to cover all types of firearms (I am only wanting to get a .22 rifle). And how much does it cost?
    Welcome @jasmine

    Yes, it covers shotguns and full powered rifles too, bolt/break open/pump/semi, as your FAL will entitle you to own such.

    The principles are simple: it's not nuclear physics, just safety, safety, safety. You won't learn much that is of no use to you even if you only ever own a .22 rifle. The .22 needs the same safe handling as other kind of gun, really (no child's gun as it has ten times the power of a spring air rifle).

    Good luck with your license next year!
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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch View Post
    Where is the data to support this move? It SEEMS common sense that we should have a practical component to the test, but will there be a cost to this service?

    Are newly licenced FAL holders more likely than anyone else to injure or kill others through their inexperience and/or negligence? I asked MSC if they have this data (since they authored A Hunter's Tale https://mountainsafety.org.nz/insights/a-hunters-tale/), and they said they don't have that data.

    I can see a future where everyone is required to pass a practical refresher upon every licence renewal. When hunter-on-hunter shootings still happen at their low rate, Police will scratch their heads and push for club membership to be a compulsory requirement for retaining a FAL.

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
    I don't know that the practical component is going to be the answer to a safer shooting community - as jexla pointed out it is the 50+ community who seem to be over represented in firearm incidents in the bush - but it has to be a good start. My recent experience of obtaining a firearms licence after 25 years without one was rather sobering or be it frightening. I was in a room with possibly thirty people, 80 percent of them who I would be wary of being beside at a shooting booth at the fairground let alone being in the same piece of bush with hunting rifles. Just from some of the questions asked and the absolute lack or knowledge or experience of firearms displayed, it was rather frightening to think that these people, on getting the questions right and further with their vetting completed they could walk on down to a gunshop and purchase just about anything they please, within the relevant Cat. And I don't believe a lot of gunshops have any real interest in the purchaser other than selling them more goods.

    I'm a choosy old bugger when it comes to who I share my hunting area with. Thursday week ago I trekked 9km into the bush to work a small area that I had my eye on. I stopped by the hut close to the area and found that there were two people staying there over night and hunting in this same general area. From the way they had left the hut, plus the comments that had been placed in the hut logbook I decided to myself that I didn't want to be anywhere near where they were hunting. There was no mention in the logbook as to what there intentions were for that day other than they were out there somewhere. I debated it for a while and then decided to press onto the area that I had wanted to look at. I left my intentions in the logbook and carried on. Fifteen minutes later I came across the tracks of the other two hunters, they were obviously in the same immediate area. I just turned around and walked back out. I didn't choose to look at another area as I had left my intentions for the day with my family and didn't think it wise to change. At the end of that day I got to have a 20km walk which is always good exercise and I came back safely. This way at least there is going to be another day and another deer, hopefully in an area and circumstance that I would feel safe in hunting.

    A bit of a long winded deviation there, but I believe the new practical component to firearms licensing, while may not be perfect, is probably a step in the right direction. And I agree with the comment that Police may one day insist that as a part of having a licence one must belong to a club. And would that be a bad thing? For some years I used to own and shoot pistols and part of being a licensed pistol owner/shooter I had to belong to, and participate at an approved club. Definitely seemed to cut down the number of applicants that wanted to own pistols for purposes other than participating in the sport.
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    Phil, I agree with 99% of your post, however if a farmer uses firearms for pest control, should he have to belong to a firearms club ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogfeatures View Post
    Phil, I agree with 99% of your post, however if a farmer uses firearms for pest control, should he have to belong to a firearms club ?
    Point taken and can't argue that logic.
    I am sure that there could be exceptions in terms of class of use as in back to when I was shooting pistols. Policemen and soldiers, who carried/used pistols as part of their job weren't required to belong to a club.

    I guess I would like to see something that
    1/. shows the real intent of a person wanting to own a firearm - currently you just get a piece of paper or plastic card and you can have firearms, and any number of them.
    2/. ensures that such person has some practical experience before being allowed out there in a bush covered, visually challenging area with a powerful hunting rifle while sharing it with other day trippers, picnic-ers, nature lovers, trampers, hunters and bush users in general.
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  11. #11
    SiB
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    Remembering that this is a hypothetical discussion of course;

    I agree re farmers and pest control; with their frequency of use, and existingH&S plans they’re required to have in place, they’re well ahead of the occasional hunter who may venture out only occasionally

    None of us can afford to be complacent. But I suggest the criteria needs to be broad enough to recognise frequency of use and environment.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_H View Post
    Point taken and can't argue that logic.
    I am sure that there could be exceptions in terms of class of use as in back to when I was shooting pistols. Policemen and soldiers, who carried/used pistols as part of their job weren't required to belong to a club.

    I guess I would like to see something that
    1/. shows the real intent of a person wanting to own a firearm - currently you just get a piece of paper or plastic card and you can have firearms, and any number of them.
    2/. ensures that such person has some practical experience before being allowed out there in a bush covered, visually challenging area with a powerful hunting rifle while sharing it with other day trippers, picnic-ers, nature lovers, trampers, hunters and bush users in general.
    Phil_H agree with the sentiments, but let us look at driving licenses. On the road I see evidence of people's natural propensity to be either safe or unsafe, but they supposedly all at sometime passed a theory and practical test. The evidence is maybe not there for a practical test, although it is of course a good idea on the face of it.

    But it is more a matter of perpetuating good gun culture, and clubs are avenues for doing this. Even going to a well-run range will cause any newbie to absorb some healthy gun culture. We learn more from watching people do than from hearing people say.

    I'd not be opposed to having a limited probational license for a year, conditional on attending six shooting club events during that year, and then be signed off by a club chair on basis of attendance and "no safety concerns". It will instill some common sense and culture, get the new shooter some contacts, etc.
    Last edited by Cordite; 20-06-2018 at 02:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordite View Post
    I'd not be opposed to having a limited probational license for a year, conditional on attending six shooting club events during that year, and then be signed off by a club chair on basis of attendance and "no safety concerns". It will instill some common sense and culture, get the new shooter some contacts, etc.
    That is one of the best ideas/proposal I have heard. Totally agree with you that people have a "natural propensity to be either safe or unsafe", as you have so rightly pointed out in terms of road users. Whilst I feel that we can never change or stop that attitude, ensuring that a new firearm user's shooting activity, especially their first six months, is wrapped inside the framework of a club, gives that opportunity for osmosis of good gun culture and it also allows other firearm users, who will in effect be sharing the same shooting spaces with these people, a window of opportunity to have a closer look at them and their attitudes.

    It would also have to be a deterrent factor for people who wish to obtain access to firearms for the wrong or nefarious reasons. Having to spend six months interfacing with a club and its members as well as participating in club activities would certainly dissuade many of the wrong people I would think.
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    Although I agree with the practical handling component proposed, I can't say I can agree with compulsory club membership.

    Some of us have such limited time to even hunt or live too far as reasonable from any clubs, should we then be denied ability to own firearms/partake in hunting or shooting sports?

    To be perfectly honest there doesn't appear to be a real and immediate reason for the changes as it is, as stated before it's people that should already know better consistently featuring in incidents.

    However one "accident" is always one too many and safety should always be paramount. In saying that, the unlicensed clowns messing around with stolen firearms still won't care.
    Jexla and csmiffy like this.

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    Don't get me wrong, I agree with what has been mentioned above around the benefits of belonging to a club, just not as a legal requirement.
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