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How many firearms in Kiwi households?

8 Aug 23

How many firearms in Kiwi households?

The number of firearms New Zealanders have in their households isn't known. However, new research by Horizon is giving us some insights: It indicates nearly 390,00 adults have more than 1.177 million firearms.

Since June 2023 the Government has also introduced a firearms registry.

Most firearms owners could have up to five years to record all the firearms and other relevant arms items in their possession into the registry.

However, some licence holders would need to provide information for the registry in a shorter timeframe. If they buy a firearm, they need to register that and other firearms within 30 days.

Number of firearms in household

Horizon's July 2023 firearms policy survey asked how many firearms respondents in their household and found:

  • 87% of adults said they do not have any firearms in their household,
  • 0.3% were not sure how many,
  • 2.5% would rather not say.

These numbers equate to:

  • Around 389,000 adults have one or more firearms in the household,
  • Average of 3 firearms per adult,
  • Around 1,177,000 firearms in New Zealand.

These calculations are based on the numbers given by respondents and calculated as an average. It excludes people who said “don’t know” or “prefer not to say”.

Party supporters with firearms

To help report views based on gun ownership and party voted for, respondents were asked which political party they voted for in 2020 and which party they intend to vote for if an election were held tomorrow.

People who voted ACT in 2020 or intend to vote ACT in 2023 are more likely to have firearms in the household.

Green Party and New Zealand First supporters are least likely to have firearms. 

While ACT currently proposes repealing and replacing new gun control and registration policies, 53% of its voters support the registry. Other Survey results and full access to the survey report and data is here.