A man using forged firearm licences has bought guns and ammunition illegally from a Whanganui collector.

Police are investigating the matter and have been warning firearms dealers, gun clubs, collectors and other sellers about the fake licences.

Central District police said the person, going by the names of Trevor William Johns and James Michael Yates, recently bought a pistol and ammunition from a Whanganui collector and also made a similar purchase in Tauranga.

Detective Sergeant Glenn Toy of Whanganui police said the Whanganui purchase, from a licensed collector, was under the name Johns and the Tauranga cash purchase was under the name Yates.


"Police are interested in hearing from anyone who may have been approached by him using these identities, or who may have come across anyone acting suspiciously while trying to purchase firearms, and we encourage dealers, collectors or members of the public selling firearms legitimately to remain vigilant," Mr Toy said.

"If dealers or anyone else selling firearms has concerns about the legitimacy of someone who may approach them to buy firearms, they should contact police immediately.

"While at this stage there is nothing to suggest any wider threat to the public, we take any such illegal purchase seriously and will respond accordingly to ensure public safety."