The Prime Minister and the Minister of Police are in favour of a nationwide gun register – something the Government may be considering in the next tranche of gun law reforms.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Breakfast this morning threw her weight behind a mandatory gun registry, following the terror attack in Christchurch where a gunman killed 50 people with a semi-automatic weapon.

"On the face of it, it absolutely makes sense," she said when asked about a registry.

"I'm leaning quite heavily on the police for advice because I think it sounds common sense to probably most of us."


Speaking to reporters after Cabinet met yesterday, Ardern revealed police had recommended extra work be done around issues of licensing and the question of a gun register.

She said the police would be looking at how such a register had worked overseas and if it had made a long-term difference.

At the moment, it is unknown how many firearms there are in New Zealand but the number is estimated to range between 1.2 million and 1.5 million.

There are 245,000 firearms licences in the country.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said on Q&A last night he was also in favour of such a register.

He said he has asked for more advice from police about some of the more specific details to make sure "we actually get it right".

Last Thursday, the Government announced its intentions to ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles.

Legislation giving effect to this is being rushed through Parliament under urgency and will most likely become law by April 11.


But Ardern has pointed out this was just the first tranche of gun law reforms.

"We will continue to develop stronger and more effective licensing rules, storage requirements and penalties for not complying with gun regulations. It is the Government's intention that these amendments will go through the full legislative process," she said last week.

Nash said a gun register was likely to be considered as well after Cabinet has received more detailed advice from police.

This time last year, the Police Association called for New Zealand to adopt a mandatory gun register after a survey revealed many police officers have been threatened with a firearm.