Police are working to clear a national backlog of firearms licence applications which they admit is "not acceptable", amid frustration from gun owners.
Whanganui forestry block owner Alex Allan first applied for his in December and is yet to be issued with one.
He said he had since met all individual requirements to be issued a licence, including passing the theory test, but is waiting for police to contact his referees and sign off his firearm storage before he receives his licence.
Chair of the New Zealand Council of Licensed Firearm Owners Michael Dowling said it was an issue of resources.
He said it was affecting regular hunters who were experiencing long delays in renewing their firearms licences.
"I've had people who have told me they're 10 months behind. Someone was telling me in December that they'd applied in February last year and they still hadn't heard anything."
Responding to the Chronicle's queries, police confirmed on Thursday there were 8,782 standard firearms licence applications in the pipeline to be reviewed, of which 3,194 were applications for renewal and 5,588 were new applications.
In a statement, Deputy Police Commissioner Jevon McSkimming said police acknowledged the frustration from applicants and they were working hard to clear through a backlog of applications.
"We know people are frustrated by the delays in firearms licensing applications, and we acknowledge that the current situation is not acceptable," McSkimming said.
According to police, the number of people working on firearms applications nationally has doubled in the last nine months. Police are also now more evenly sharing work across districts to ensure all applications are looked at.
"We appreciate people's patience and want to assure applicants we are working on solutions to reduce the pipeline of applications."
Meanwhile, Allan, who previously held a gun licence when he was in his teens, said he was trying to do things by the book.
"I've been really patient, but I just want to get the ball rolling," he said.
Allan owns a forestry block near Palmerston North, which is currently inhabited by a large group of deer, which Allan says cost him thousands of dollars every year.
"I don't want to go out and kill them all, but I'd like to knock a few and the rest are smart enough to move on. I just want a quick and humane way to move them along," he said.
"I have no issue with a stringent process to receive a licence but it's just taking too long. There's clearly a lack of resources there."
The firearms licence application process requires applicants to pay a $126 fee when they fill out their application form.
Applicants are then provided with a booklet on the legislation surrounding firearms use, which they must study in preparation for a firearms theory test.
After this test, police will then interview two nominated referees, including one who isn't a relation, to confirm whether the applicant is deemed fit and proper to own firearms.
Police then visit the applicant directly to ensure there are appropriate storage facilities for the weapons. Firearms owners must have a locked safe secured to two surfaces.
During the visit, the applicant is interviewed by the firearms licensing vetter, who asks why the applicant requires firearms, and gathers information on the applicant's background.