Laws and Regulations for Airsoft Guns in New Zealand

With the rising popularity of airsoft guns in New Zealand, many are curious about the legalities surrounding their ownership and use. This article delves into the laws and regulations pertaining to airsoft guns in the country.

The Arms Act of 1983 is the primary legislation that governs the use and ownership of airsoft guns in New Zealand. It’s crucial for potential owners and users to familiarize themselves with this Act to ensure they’re in compliance.

Definition of an Airsoft Gun

In New Zealand, an airsoft gun is characterized as a non-firearm that utilizes gas, spring, or electric power to launch a projectile. This encompasses airsoft pistols, rifles, and shotguns designed to fire plastic pellets or BBs. Moreover, the Arms Act specifies an airsoft gun as any weapon with a muzzle velocity under 200 feet per second and a muzzle energy below 15 foot-pounds.

Legality of Buying and Selling

It’s legal to buy and sell airsoft guns in New Zealand, provided both parties adhere to the stipulations of the Arms Act. This includes obtaining the necessary permits and ensuring the airsoft gun isn’t classified as a prohibited item. However, the onus is on the buyer to ensure the airsoft gun’s legality and safe use.

Ownership Requirements

To legally own an airsoft gun in New Zealand:

  • You must possess a permit from the New Zealand Police.
  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Provide a valid address proof.
  • Ensure the airsoft gun is securely stored when not in use.

Usage Restrictions

The Arms Act prohibits the use of airsoft guns in public places, including parks and schools. They must solely be used for recreational purposes, excluding activities like hunting or target shooting that could harm individuals or property.

Penalties for Non-compliance

Illegal use of an airsoft gun can lead to severe consequences, including up to three years in prison and fines reaching $10,000. Additionally, individuals may be held accountable for any damage or injury caused by their airsoft gun.

Obtaining a Permit

To secure a permit for an airsoft gun, one must fill out an application form and submit it to the New Zealand Police. This can be done online or via post. Post submission, the police will evaluate the application, and if approved, a permit valid for three years will be issued.

Purchasing Airsoft Guns

Several retailers in New Zealand offer airsoft guns, including specialized airsoft shops, select sports goods stores, and online platforms. It’s imperative to ensure any purchased airsoft gun complies with the legal requirements set out in the Arms Act.

Definition of Airsoft GunNon-firearm using gas, spring, or electric power with muzzle velocity < 200 fps and muzzle energy < 15 foot-pounds.
Legal Age to Own18 years and above
Permit Validity3 years
Penalty for Non-complianceUp to 3 years in prison and fines up to $10,000


1. Can tourists use airsoft guns in New Zealand?

Yes, but they must adhere to the same regulations as residents, including obtaining the necessary permits.

2. Are there specific places designated for airsoft games?

Yes, there are designated airsoft fields and arenas where enthusiasts can play. Using airsoft guns outside these areas, especially in public places, is prohibited.

3. Can I transport my airsoft gun across regions in New Zealand?

Yes, but it must be securely stored and not easily accessible during transport. It’s also advisable to carry your permit and other relevant documentation.


Airsoft guns, while increasingly popular in New Zealand, come with a set of regulations that enthusiasts must adhere to. By understanding and following the laws outlined in the Arms Act of 1983, individuals can enjoy the sport while staying within the bounds of legality.

Harrison Baxter
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