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Changes ahead . . . First-time firearms licence applicants will be able to sit their theory and practical tests at the same time from March, instead of on separate days. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Further changes are being made to the way the New Zealand firearms safety programme is offered.

A new firearms safety programme for first-time licence applicants was announced in May last year, which aimed to offer the usual theory-based test with a practical assessment within main centres.

The practical training, which takes two hours, is delivered by firearms instructors from the Mountain Safety Council.

A theory test of 30 questions takes up to 30 minutes to complete with various certified AA and VTNZ outlets.

Acting police superintendent Mike McIlraith, of Wellington, said both those tests would now be combined so it could be offered in the same session, which meant applicants would not have to make two trips, one for each test.

“The one-session approach means if people successfully complete the one firearms safety course, they will have met their testing and training requirements under the Arms Act as part of their firearms licence application process.

“We also received feedback that additional training locations are needed across the country and we’ve taken that on board.

“Police are now happy to advise there will be 66 locations progressively coming on line for 2019.”

The current firearms safety programme will remain in place until the end of next month.

The next firearms practical training session in Central Otago will be held in Alexandra on February 16 at the Alexandra Fire Station.