Fair and Reasonable Update: Developments on a number of frontsBy Nicole McKee, COLFO
- 21st Nov, 2019 Nov 21, 2019, 12:00 AM
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There’s been some developments on a number of fronts over the last seven days.
ROYAL COMMISSION DELAY GOOD REASON TO DELAY ARMS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL
The Royal Commission into the Christchurch terror attack has a four month extension so it now won’t be reporting back until the end of April 2020.
It means the Commission is taking its time to work through all of the 1,100 submissions. 800 of those were via our Fair and Reasonable campaign.
We say that if the Commission needs more time to unravel the failings that lead to the mosque attack, then the Government needs more time to work out if its Arms Legislation addresses the errors that allowed the mosque attacks. We’re calling on the Government to at least slow down the passage of the Arms Legislation Bill and wait until the Commission has reported back before it is voted on in Parliament. After all, the law changes are apparently about stopping a repeat of Christchurch, so let’s wait and see what the Inquiry says.
You can read my comments to media here.
RETAILER COLLECTIONS COMING TO AN END ON 30 NOVEMBER
Last week the Police announced that participating firearm dealers running a collection service from their premises as part of the prohibited firearms and parts amnesty and collection scheme will cease doing so at the end of the month. If you wish to avoid the Police run events, we strongly encourage you to use this channel before 30 November or encourage your local club to host an event for its members.
You can read the announcement on the Police’s website here.
A list of participating retailers is here.
BUT AMNESTY BEING EXTENDED
Yesterday morning the Police announced that the amnesty on prosecution will continue (for those who subsequently hand in newly illegal arms) into next year – but that no compensation will be paid for firearms handed-in after 20 December.
In short, while we continue to push for fairer compensation, it is our strong advice that you hand-in applicable firearms (and parts) to take advantage of the compensation.
BUYBACK IS TURNING INTO ANOTHER FAILURE FOR THE GOVERNMENT
Responding to the news from Police, yesterday I was on Radio NZ’s Morning Report. I used the opportunity to point out the failures of the confiscation process: only 38,000 firearms have been handed in of an estimated 200,000 prohibited firearms in circulation. Listen to the interview (and Police’s reaction) here.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO GOVERNMENT’S ARMS LEGISLATION BILL
The Arms Legislation Bill goes from bad to worse. Police Minister Stuart Nash has introduced a ‘Supplementary Order Paper’ which the Select Committee has asked for public submissions on by Friday 29 November 2019.
If you are a pistol shooter, use pistol carbine conversion kits you need to take note of this proposed new change.
According to legal advice provided to the Auckland Branch of the Antiques Arms Association, most, if not all, historic and collector firearms will become prohibited firearms and not pistols. You can read the legal advice here.
Right now our lawyers are writing a submission. We think the changes are poorly thought through, and again leave enormous discretion for the Minister to increase the scope of prohibited firearms without having to seek approval from Parliament.
RESOURCE LIBRARY FOR THOSE STILL TO MAKE AN ORAL SUBMISSION
Finally this week, we've had a lot of requests from our supporters for copies of our previous submissions and advice we've emailed out over the last few months. As a result, we have created a resource library that includes these, and advice drafted by an Ex-MP on how to be most persuasive when presenting to a select committee. Click here to access the resource.
Thank you for your support.
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