Measuring of MSSAs: Measurement to Include Flash Suppressor

On the 13th of September the policy position below was distributed internally and externally.  Since then I have been asked to provide clarification as to the points to be measured from and to.  To determine overall length of the MSSA the measuring should start from the closed or folded stock position to the end of the flash suppressor, providing the flash suppressor is firmly fixed to the firearm in such a way that a tool is required to remove it.  

Mike McIlraith - Arms Act Service Delivery Group

Measuring and classifying firearms which have folding or telescopic stocks

Any firearm that is less than 762 millimetres in length falls within the definition of “pistol”.  Pistols may only be used on an approved range and by endorsement holders who are active pistol shooting club members. 

The policy rationale behind separating pistols out for different treatment  from other types of firearms under the Arms Act is that they can be readily concealed on a person.

Accordingly, for firearms that have a folding or telescopic stock, measurements will be taken when the stock is in the folded or closed position.

If the overall length is less than 762 millimetres in length, it will be a pistol (and therefore excluded from the definition of military style semi-automatic firearm).

If the overall length is 762 millimetres or more, then consideration will be given to whether it is a semi-automatic firearm; and, if so, whether it has one or more of the listed MSSA features.

New Zealand Police is aware that for some years a different measuring method was used which may have resulted in some firearms being classified as MSSA firearms rather than pistols.  Owners of semi-automatic firearms with a folding or telescoping stock which measure less than 762 millimetres in length when the stock is folded or telescoped and who lawfully held the firearm as a MSSA rather than a pistol while Police policy allowed for this, will be given suitable time to comply with the legal requirements for the firearm being a pistol.  The licence holder can:

  • Replace the folding or telescoping stock with a longer stock.
  • Dispose of the firearm lawfully to an appropriately licensed and endorsed person via a permit to procure.
  • If the owner is also a collector and the firearm fits in with their collection, apply to Police to hold the firearm in their capacity as a bona fide collector (transfer the firearm to their collector’s endorsement).  The endorsement in relation to that firearm will be subject to the condition that it will not be used with live ammunition (regulation 22(2)).
  • Hand the firearm to Police for destruction without compensation.

Posted: Thu 28 Sep 2017