This is an alarming report about current NZ police activities and their future intent for our sport. Please read and share.
Police and Government Policy 2017
I have been on the firearms advisory forum for the past two years and the information in this document is my interpretation of where Police and Government may be going with Policy.
• Universal Registration. At this stage the Police Policy Group have stated that Universal registration is not on the table. My take on this is that they are not confident in achieving a high enough compliance rate and are conscious of the failures of the Canadian system and the costs of administering the system.
• Registration of all Semi Automatic Firearms (E Category) is a real possibility. The Police Policy group are being very evasive on their position here, but as it was mentioned by them at an earlier meeting it is highly likely to be on the table. Whether this will include Rim Fire Rifles and Shotguns remains to be seen.
• Costs: Police are actively looking to generate more revenue for firearms as they believe their administration costs are not being met. This like all requests for increase must be justified. COLFO have done some good work here on estimation revenue and are arguing for the exact opposite; i.e. more arms officers.
• Police are trying very hard to deflect their poor performance in solving burglary and theft cases. One of the avenues they are using is firearms and you have all heard Greg O’Conner and latterly his replacement Chris Cahill go on about Police being armed and more restrictions on firearms including universal registration. The question of Police performance in executing their core role, catching thieves etc, still needs to be answered.
• Police Firearms at PNHQ level is understaffed; a point acknowledged by senior Police in our last FCAF meeting. However their response was that until they have undertaken a full review of Firearms management they will not add any more resource. The negative is that permit processing times were up to 6 months. That said a Sergeant from the Manawatu has been drafted into help. Still the performance and management of this area has been nothing short of poor. If you are so inclined a letter to your local MP or the Prime Minister would be appropriate, remember next year is election year and NZ First will support Firearms Owners.
• When speaking or writing to Politicians politeness is imperative, never threaten and never use abusive language. Use terms like disappointed and concerned and if it is appropriate let them know you have voted National in the past but feel that National is abandoning the shooting community by allowing Police to run roughshod over us.
• Police are looking to transition many of the processes handled by Arms Officers to some form of online system. As above if this reduces cost it needs to be reflected in any fee system. COLFO are asking some very good questions of Police over this process.
• A firearms dealer was recently raided by Police. The Warrant was issued under the new Search & Surveillance legislation. Make no mistake this legislation is powerful and allows Police a lot of latitude. You are being watched so be mindful of what you do, say and type.
• If your import permits are denied and you feel that it is unreasonable, you may wish to consider having your Lawyer file them on your behalf. Nicholas Taylor a Lawyer based in Auckland is doing this on a regular basis, he understands the process and you may wish toconsult him. This is a sad reflection of the position Police have taken in trying to interpret
the arms act to their own ends.
• If you are visited by Police and they wish to seize of remove your firearms ring your Lawyer immediately, or Ring Nicholas Taylor 021 362 0622 and he will advise you on your rights.
• Police are without doubt anti firearms; whatever goodwill you have with your local Arms Officer may evaporate in due course. This is not your local AO’s choice but what he or she is being asked to do by PNHQ.
• Please be aware Police are making Policy changes and you need to be aware of these two things: If you apply for an Import Permit and your AO asks for a Biography tell him/her that Police National HQ are saying this isn’t necessary, if you need evidence to that fact message me and I will provide proof.
Secondly Police have now decided to measure Overall length with butt stock’s folded or collapsed. This is in contradiction with what they have done previously. Note this: The Law says that if a firearm IS below 762mm then it is a pistol. If your rifle with the stock extended is above 762 mm then for it to be shorter Police must alter your firearm to make it shorter, the key word is IS, not can be or changed to but IS.
Now as you are all fit and proper people as per your licence then you would not have your rifle in a configuration where it would be below 762mm. If the Police visit you and alter your rifle so that it IS below 762mm then make sure you note, photograph or video such events. Also for your inspections it wouldn’t hurt to a have witness with you when the gun safe is opened.
These are challenging times the worst thing you can do is be apathetic.
NZSRA representative to Police and NZDF