1 Feb 2019

New law introduces strict controls on brokering firearms

4:36 pm on 1 February 2019

Laws come in to force today that will make it harder for guns and other military equipment to fall into the wrong hands.

Winston Peters speaks to the media as acting Prime Minister

The Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Winston Peters Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Winston Peters is welcoming the Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Act 2018, which introduces strict controls around the brokering of arms by New Zealanders and New Zealand-based entities.

"Too many communities in our region and around the world have felt the devastating impacts of weapons - in terms of lives lost, crime and conflict, and the crippling effect on development and prosperity," said Mr Peters.

Brokering is when arms and other military equiment is transfered from one foreign country to another. The new Act covers anyone acting as an agent or as an intermediary for people involved in the transaction.

It complements the rules that are already in place around import, export or internal movement of such items.

Any foreign brokering activities will now need a permit, and any broker must be registered with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 1 June.

Failure to comply could mean up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual or $1 million for an organisation.