New Zealand has thousands of firearm collectors. You seldom hear about them because the are almost never an issue to the well-being of their communities. They are VERY highly vetted and invariably have high end security for their expensive investments.

Most are very social and enjoy memberships in organisations like IMAS and the Antique Arms society.

But there are two frustrating rules to owning an automatic weapon in this country.

Firstly the gun must be stored in a deactivated condition. In order to encourage parts to be lost.

Secondly, the weapon may not be fired.

There is no logic to this. It is just the way of things.

There are exceptions to those who hold a theatrical license. Then blanks can be fired for movies and reenactment events. New Zealand armorers are very well thought of in the film industry and boast some impressive international credits.

We understand that dealers can also ‘Test’ weapons under certain circumstances. There is also a grey area of law concerning military land where their rules apply….. A great chance for our elite special forces to learn about the irregular weapons they may encounter.

But for the average collector, they can but dream.

The US Experience

Check out ‘The Big Sandy Shoot‘. The biggest machine gun shoot in the US. Hundreds of shooters attend. Likewise Knob Creek is also a massive event.

These are hugely popular shows. With drone targets and competitions.

Of course every kiwi visiting Las Vegas is sure to take selfies at a machine gun rental range. Safe and fun. Other states offer the tourist trap as well.

Some at the Kiwi Gun Blog seem to remember an entrepreneur trying to open a tourist range in Auckland. Only to have the Police quickly dismiss the idea.

It is also great for overseas firearm historians to be able to really learn about the function of an arm. Often to the delight of an audience.

But not in New Zealand.

The Bottom Line

If shooting these guns can be done with absolute safety – We can demonstrate that it CAN – then why not allow it?

Our army do so routinely with no issue.

The normal range rules apply with the normal safety record resulting.

The Blog thinks that this should be one of the things that shooters ask for when the next Arms Bill raises it’s head.

After all – Why should the most highly vetted New Zelanders in the country not be trusted to do what any tourist can do in Vegas? Without issue.

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