Why did police only start to track serial numbers two years ago?!!
They have previously told media that they didn’t, then they told us that they did, now they say they didn’t. But now do.
Police National Headquarters
180 Molesworth Street. PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.
Telephone: 04 474 9499. Fax: 04 498 7400. http://www.police.govt.nz
11 May 2020
Our Reference: IR-01-20-10688
Tēnā koe Mike
I am writing to you in response to your request dated 16 April 2020. You asked:
How many firearms have been discovered by police in the last ten years – by
year – with serial numbers removed?
When Police officers seize firearms in accordance with s6 or s18 of the Search and
Surveillance Act 2012, they record a notification in the Firearms Search and Seizure
database. This contains the information about the people, vehicles, or buildings that were searched and the particulars of any firearms that were seized (such as make, model, and firearm type). However, the serial number field was added to this database relatively recently, in June 2018.
Additionally, this field is not compulsory since some firearms do not have serial numbers (they could have been removed or never existed, such as in the case of home-made or replica firearms), so it is impossible to differentiate whether the firearm had the serial number removed or it was not recorded.
Between 1 Jun 2018 and 22 Apr 2020, Police has seized 3,141 firearms in accordance
with s6 or s18 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Of these, 1,454 firearms had no
serial number recorded. This is shown by year, below.
The portion of your question that refers to years 2010 through to 31 May 2018 is refused
in accordance with section 18(g) of the Official Information Act 1982 as the information is not held. You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of
For your information, Police has developed a process for proactive release of information, so the anonymised response to your request may be publicly released on the New Zealand Police website.
Arms Act Service Delivery Group