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Keep firearms locked up and out of sight during transport, left, ensure ammunition is stored separately, top, and use a basic cable lock system. Photo: SUPPLIED

Ensure firearm safety over summer

The Firearms Safety Authority is urging gun owners to ensure firearms are safe and secure over the summer break.
Te Tari Pūreke Firearms Safety Authority director of partnerships Mike McIlraith said getting ready to head away for holidays could be a stressful time.
“It’s important to take time to consider how firearms and ammunition will be transported, stored, and used safely during your holidays,” he said.
“There are a few top safety and security tips to have in mind over your holidays.”
When travelling with firearms, the authority says firearms can never be left in a vehicle overnight.
“So, if you pack the vehicle the night before, for an early start in the morning, make sure you leave time and space, and pack your firearm just before you travel,” he said.
Firearms must also be transported out of sight. It’s recommended gun owners dedicate a spot in the vehicle where they can’t be seen if someone looks through the window.
Firearms must either be inoperable (bolt out or trigger lock in) or in a locked container when travelling.
“Do both where you can. Ammunition must be transported separately to the firearm, and in a locked container if practical. This will make it more difficult to access both the firearm and ammunition if someone breaks into your vehicle.”

Firearms can only be left unattended in a locked vehicle for 60 minutes while the owner is nearby, “so, plan your meal and rest breaks accordingly”.
It was also important to store firearms so they didn’t get into the wrong hands, Mike said.
“Think about what you’ll do with your firearm once you get to your holiday destination. If you’re staying with friends and family who own firearms, ask to use their storage.
“If you use a regular hut or bach, install a gun safe, a firearm rack or secure cable system. Steel cables and padlocks can help secure your firearm to the framing of a building, pipes or built in furniture. Store ammunition separately to your firearm.”
The Firearms Safety Code is as important to New Zealand’s 230,000 firearms licence holders, as the Road Code is to New Zealand drivers, and it’s recently been overhauled and republished.
To brush up on firearms safety over the summer holidays, download a copy free from, or pick one up from any good bookstore, specialist retailer or from your local library.
Te Tari Pūreke is the Firearm Safety Authority within NZ Police whose purpose is to effectively regulate the legitimate possession and use of firearms to help keep all New Zealand communities safe.