Changes to Arms Act and their meaning for Health Practitioners*

Arms Legislation Act 2020 changes to the Arms Act 1983 come into effect from 24 December 2020.

The changes aim to reduce harm from firearms.

The December 2020 amendments will mean:

  1. Health practitioners must consider notifying Police of health concerns related to their patient’s firearms access.
  2. Police will notify health practitioners when their patient has been issued with a firearms license.

The Council recommends reading the recently published Arms Act 1983 Information for Health Practitioners to understand:

  • when health practitioners* need to consider notifying Police
  • how to notify Police and what information to provide
  • protection for health practitioners who notify the Police
  • how health practitioners know if a patient is a firearms license holder
  • Police responses to notifications of concern.

Please use this link to read the Arms Act 1983 Information for Health Practitioners.

 *Health practitioner means a health practitioner registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand, a nurse practitioner registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, a psychologist registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board, or a duly authorised officer under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.