Trust & Safety

Trade Me's blog on Trust and Safety issues.

Selling Firearms on Trade Me

Update: As of 18 March 2019, Trade Me does not allow the sale of semi automatic rifles. Refer here for more information about this change.  

The purchase of guns on Trade me is often very topical so we thought it would be helpful to clarify how guns may be bought and sold on Trade Me.

Note that as of 23 October 2015, new rules have been put in place.

Those buying guns online will be required to supply the seller’s name, email address, firearm’s licence and address in addition to the buyer’s details to the NZ Police. Full details on this process can be found here

Licence required

If you want to bid, buy or ask a question on a firearms listing, you will need to supply us with your firearms licence. As a seller you are legally required to either:

  • sight the buyer’s firearms licence at the point of purchase; or
  • if the firearm is being sent to the buyer, sight a form signed by a police officer stating that the buyer has presented their firearms licence at a police station and that the licence holder is a fit and proper person to purchase a firearm.

We take the requirement to sight licences extremely seriously and will take action against any members who attempt to circumvent these requirements.

Category A firearms sales only

Trade Me only allows the sale of ‘A’ category (also known as sporting) firearms, as defined by the Arms Act 1983. Members are allowed to sell their trusty old bolt, break or pump action firearms on the site.

While we allow the sale of some semi-automatic firearms, there are a few features that can turn a standard ‘A’ category semi-automatic into a military style semi-automatic (MSSA).

Military Style Semi-automatic (MSSA)

The following features, when attached to a semi-automatic rifle, will class the firearm as an MSSA which means it no longer falls under the 'A' category firearm umbrella and cannot be sold on Trade Me:

  • high capacity magazine
  • free standing pistol grip
  • folding or telescopic butt
  • flash suppressor

High-capacity magazines

What does 'high capacity' mean?

The law deems a firearm as an MSSA when it has any magazine designed to hold more than 15 .22-inch rimfire cartridges, or more than 7 cartridges of any other size.

Trade Me has made the decision to put a blanket ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines that meet that definition.

These cannot be sold on the site regardless of whether you're looking to attach it to a bolt, break, pump action or semi-automatic firearm. 

What if it only looks like it holds more than 15 or 7 cartridges? 

In the case of non-rimfire magazines, they may have the appearance of holding up to 10 rounds but must not hold more than 7. 

In short, if your magazine holds more than 7 rounds or appears to hold more than 10 rounds it cannot be sold on our site. In the case of .22 rimfire cartridges, it must not hold or appear to hold more than 15 rounds.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, after careful consideration and feedback from the Trade Me community, the only high-capacity magazine we allow to be sold on site is the 10-shot .303 magazine when it's sold alongside its brother-in-arms, the Lee Enfield rifle.

While technically it is a high capacity magazine, it can only be attached to a Lee Enfield bolt action .303 which is not at risk of being classed as an MSSA.  

Free standing pistol grips 

To make our firearms policy consistent with a December 2013 law change, we do not allow the sale of free standing pistol grips or other stocks (such as folding or telescopic), that, when fitted to a semi-automatic rifle, would result in the firearm being classified as a MSSA. 

What if it only looks like it is freestanding? 

Due to the way the law is written, even if it has the appearance of being freestanding, it is classed as an MSSA, and therefore can't be sold on Trade Me. 

Pistol grips that are OK to list on Trade Me

 Pistol Grips

Pistol grips that are not OK to list on Trade Me

The following types of grips are considered under the law to be free standing pistol grips and can't be sold on Trade Me. 

 Free Standing Pistol Grips

Flash suppressors 

These are a no-go and can't be sold on the site. To own firearms with these attached, you need to hold an ‘E’ (endorsement) licence, and Trade Me only allows the sale of ‘A’ category firearms/parts. 

What about ammunition? 

We allow the sale of ammunition on the site, however it can't be re-loaded ammunition.

We understand that re-loading ammunition is legal, and a great way to cut down the cost of owning a firearm, but if done incorrectly it can do more harm than good.

Rather than run the risk of harming potential buyers in a dangerous and explosive way, we've made the decision to place a blanket ban on the sale of re-loaded ammo on the site.  

One per listing

You may only list one firearm per listing on Trade Me. 

I have an antique firearm, can I sell it on Trade Me?

The short version: yes, but it’s got to be in the right place.

The longer version: If it can't fire rimfire, or centrefire cartridge ammunition (e.g. like a musket) then it is okay to sell in the Antiques & collectables category on the site because the Arms Act 1983 exempts certain antique firearms from licensing.

If your firearm can fire rimfire or centrefire ammunition, regardless of its age, it needs to be listed in the Rifles category, and your buyer will need to hold a current firearms licence to purchase it.

Air Gun

People over the age of 18 do not need a firearms licence to own an airgun.

However those aged 16 and 17 years who wish to own an airgun must hold a firearms licence.

While we have a specific category for sellers to list their air rifles, in the interest of safety we ask that sellers don't assume that just because someone has a Trade Me membership that they are 18 or over must and seek verification of age.

Those trading air guns face-to-face should ensure that they sight the firearms licence or proof of age identification of the person they are trading with. 

Those trading air guns remotely should ensure that they sight the purchaser’s proof of age identification or a written order, signed by a police officer, stating that they have inspected the purchaser's firearms licence.

A standard letter for this purpose is available by presenting your firearms licence at any police station. 

Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air weapons

PCP air rifles (excluding airguns used in air soft and paintball sports) are defined under the Arms Act 1983 as a class of especially dangerous airguns.  

This means we need to treat them in the same way that we treat firearms. 

Our members’ safety is something we take very seriously so we require PCP air rifles, pistols and associated ammunition to be listed in the "rifles" and "ammunition" categories on the site. 

Where can I get more information?