Minutes of the latest FCAF meeting are linked below. Some of the contents is good and some is “less good”. Here are a few points that got our attention

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The good:

– Police aim to “improve user and stakeholder satisfaction with firearms management practice”.

– Police have realised that having a national manager of licensing and vetting who actually understands firearms and shooting sports is somewhat vital to gaining the respect of the shooting community.

– The select committee report is due March/April and there will be no movement on the Arms Act until after the report is out. This brings any proposals closer to the election.

FOUNZ Comment: It is noted in the minutes that some license holders “are losing trust and confidence” in Police’s handling of firearms issues. This should not come as a surprise. This is what happens when the firearm system is being managed by a fragmented department who seem to lack consistency and leadership.

Of course we lose confidence when those in charge seem to have little knowledge of their subject. Of course we lose trust when we are constantly assaulted with arrogant, or just plain stupid, attempts to manipulate the law to suit somebody’s agenda. When the president of the Police Association literally begins his term by announcing a “clampdown” on gun ownership amidst a flurry of lies we start to question the motivations of the Police leadership.

If Police leaders want to restore our faith and trust in them, then they need to extend the same to us. Believe us, we want nothing more than to be on the same side!

The bad:

– It seems that PNHQ are dead set on their MSSA measurement policy. The wording “can be fired” is not a track they should go down.

– Police identified “the Arms Act keeping pace with the changing environment” as a key issue. This could be both good or bad…

FOUNZ comment: Hopefully Police are not so stupid as to use the words “can be fired” in their “policy”. This opens up a raft of exceptions and what-ifs. Most firearms can be fired with parts removed to make them less than 762mm long. To this may not require any tools, or might only require a single screw to be removed. Alternatively a hacksaw can be taken to the barrel/stock. This is the kind of wooly, vague nonsense that just makes us cringe.

The part about “the Arms Act keeping pace” makes us a little suspicious. This could just be an attempt to remove some ambiguity or to bring some laws regarding permits etc into the digital age. This would be welcomed.

The reason we get suspicious is that many a ban/restriction is sold to the general public worldwide as “keeping up with technology”. You know, like lever actions from the 19th century or 60 year old semi-autos or “plastic pistols that don’t show up on airport metal detectors”.

The gun that was “just your dad’s hunting rifle” yesterday becomes a “high powered rapid fire weapon” tomorrow. The laws suddenly need to be changed for the sake of public safety. Give it a few years and the goalposts shift again.

We will be watching developments on this very closely.

http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/firearms-community-advisory-forum-december-2016-minutes.pdf

firearms-community-advisory-forum-december-2016-minutes

EDIT:
Police link updated and backup link included