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COLFO Update: IPCA finds Police raids unlawful

By Michael Dowling, COLFO

You may recall emails from Nicole last year expressing concerns about a series of Police raids of the homes of licenced firearms owners following the Mosque shootings, apparently associated with social media postings.

 

Earlier today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority released its decision on three such raids, finding that the Police’s actions were unlawful.

 

The Authority ruled that Police misused Section 18, which says Police may search, seize, and detain without warrant if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a breach of the Arms Act or an intention to kill or injure.

 

“Earlier today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority released its decision on three such raids, finding that the Police’s actions were unlawful.”

 

We’ve always thought this to be the case. The events in Christchurch heightened emotions and warped the judgement at senior levels of the Police, and unfortunately revealed bias and antipathy toward firearm licence holders.

 

There is also a degree of vindication - that we were right to object about the Police’s heavy-handedness and unlawful actions. Hopefully with the Royal Commission Report out soon, there will be more to come.

 

My quotes just provided to the media were:

Senior Police made major mistakes, broke the law and endangered lives because they let emotions get the better of them.

 

These were not actions made with the best of intentions, but the basest of intentions - hostility toward a specific group of people.

 

Their raids unnecessarily created highly volatile and aggressive situations involving ordinary citizens who had no connection to the Mosque shootings and posed no imminent danger to society.

 

These weren’t just mistakes of the moment – these were raids organised and conducted by senior Police detectives mainly based on Facebook comments of their targets. In one case, the comments simply indicated opposition to the Government’s new firearm ban.

 

“We’re hearing reports of Police in the Waikato and Canterbury regions in particular being overly aggressive. We would like to understand the extent of the problem.”

 

COLFO helped bring these cases, and many others, to the attention of the Police Deputy Commissioner and Area Managers.

 

Although the Authority noted that Police had subsequently apologised, we are still receiving complaints about Police conduct toward firearm licence holders - even as recently as yesterday.

 

If you’ve been searched by the Police, or otherwise harassed due to owning a firearm, please contact me by reply email. We’re hearing reports of Police in the Waikato and Canterbury regions in particular being overly aggressive. We would like to understand the extent of the problem.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Michael Dowling

Chairman

Council of Licenced Firearms Owners

(on behalf of the Fair and Reasonable Campaign)

 

Keep up with Fair and Reasonable on Facebook.

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