Police are on the hunt for burglars who nicked firearms from South Canterbury properties and hold concerns for the safety of anyone who uses a defective gun among the loot.

Officers are probing two burglaries in Geraldine and Temuka over the last few months.

A defective firearm and fishing gear were stolen from a Geraldine property between August 6 and October 6, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested said.

The Temuka burglary happened between September 17 and October 10 and "a number of firearms", ammunition, a paintball gun and scuba driving gear were stolen.


"The firearm taken from Geraldine is understood to be defective and if used could result in the person holding the firearm to be seriously or fatally injured," Mr Quested said.

"Firearms are extremely dangerous in the wrong hands or when used by people who are not experienced in the correct safety procedures."

Mr Quested urged anyone offered the guns or who might have bought them to contact police.

"These burglaries are a timely reminder of the need to be vigilant and ensure all firearms and ammunitions are stored securely and in accordance with the firearms code.

"The consequences of breaching any of the regulation in the Arms Act 1983 may include the revocation of firearms licences and forfeiture of any firearms."