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Staying gun smart this summer

MIKE McILRAITH, director of partnerships for Te Tari Pūreke – NZ Police’s Firearm Safety Authority, which regulates the legitimate possession and use of firearms – with some crucial tips for ensuring your firearms are safe and secure over the summer break.

Getting ready to head away for holidays can be a stressful time, but it’s important to take time to consider how firearms and ammunition will be transported, stored, and used safely during your holidays.

Here are a few top safety and security tips to have in mind over your holidays.

Travelling with firearms

Firearms can never be left in a vehicle overnight. So, if you pack the vehicle the night before for an early start in the morning, make sure you leave the time and space to allow you to pack your firearm just before you travel.

Firearms must be transported out of sight. Dedicate a spot in the vehicle where they can’t be seen if someone looks through the window.

Firearms must either be inoperable [bolt out or trigger lock in] or in a locked container when travelling. Do both where you can.

Ammunition must be transported separately to the firearm, and in a locked container if practical. This will make it more difficult to access both the firearm and ammunition if someone breaks into your vehicle.

Firearms can only be left unattended in a locked vehicle for 60 minutes [while you’re nearby]. So, plan your meal and rest breaks accordingly.

Storing firearms so
they don’t get into
the wrong hands

Think about what you’ll do with your firearm once you get to your holiday destination. If you’re staying with friends and family who own firearms, ask to use their storage.

If you use a regular hut or bach, install a gun safe, a firearm rack, or secure cable system.

Steel cables and padlocks can help secure your firearm to the framing of a building, pipes, or built-in furniture.

Store ammunition separately to your firearm.

Add safety to your essential summer reading list

The Firearms Safety Code is as important to New Zealand’s 230,000 firearms licence holders as the Road Code is to New Zealand drivers and it’s recently been overhauled and republished.

To brush up on your firearms safety over the summer holidays, you can download a copy free from firearmssafetyauthority.govt.nz.

Or pick one up from any good bookstore, specialist retailer like Gun City, online retailer like Fish Pond, or from your local library.

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