Fair and Reasonable Update: Firearms Law CampaignBy Nicole McKee, COLFO
- 5th Jun, 2020 Jun 5, 2020, 5:42 PM
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Here at COLFO, we’re still chipping away at the politicians and the Government in relation to the second round of law changes - that are still sitting on the Parliamentary ‘Order Paper’ waiting for what’s called the Committee of the Whole Stage - where MPs debate the Bill part by part. Some will have also noticed the May version of the Arms Act printed, we have looked and it seems to just formalise the COVID-19 changes (i.e. licence extensions, as per my previous email).
We are actively monitoring the Government’s actions in this space and will let you know as soon as anything changes. In the meantime, we’re continuing to highlight the Police’s overcompensation for their failings in the lead up to March 2019, and the Government’s incompetence when it comes to firearms regulation.
Exhibit 1: Police claim firearms sport memorabilia does not meet “historic” definition
Under the most recent changes to the Arms Act, collectors have been told that they need to construct distinctly themed collections with Police assessing whether there is a “cohesive theme” and then whether each prohibited firearm would then fit within the theme of the collection/s.
We’re not kidding. We have been contacted by one such collector who has had his collection rejected. Like many collectors, our example is a chap interested in New Zealand firearms history and have created collections relating to this theme. These tend to detail the types of firearms used by New Zealanders throughout history, preserving examples for future generations.
He had his endorsement processed, only for Police to refuse several MSSAs that existed as part of his collection. They argued that as the firearms in question were of a sporting variety, they could not be included in a collection on New Zealand history.
“Under the most recent changes to the Arms Act, collectors have been told that they need to construct distinctly themed collections with Police assessing whether there is a “cohesive theme” and then whether each prohibited firearm would then fit within the theme of the collection/s.”
The recent ban on MSSAs has meant that they too have become items of historic record in their own right. Collectors have started preserving these sorts of firearms so that the examples and types used by New Zealanders are not lost to time. But the Police didn’t care about that.
We say Police ought to recognise that sports memorabilia can and should constitute an important part of New Zealand history that is worth preserving.
Click here to read the details of the case on our website.
Exhibit 2: NZ Citizen living overseas made to fly to NZ for police vetting, then Police decide not to allow licence for non-residents
For many New Zealanders living in Australia a highlight of returning home a few times every year is to go hunting with family on this side of the ditch.
But we’ve been contacted by a New Zealand who in December last year applied for a firearms licence renewal. Police required him to fly to New Zealand to do the test and undertake in-person vetting to make sure he was a fit and proper person. Fair enough.
But after he came back home, did the test, and was vetted by a Police officer, Police subsequently informed him that they would not progress his application because he lived overseas! They claimed that living in Australia prevented them verifying that he would continue to be a fit and proper person.
They said he must now apply for a visitors’ licence each and every time he came back to his homeland to hunt.
You can read the details of the case on our website. It is yet another example of the Police reinterpreting policy on the fly.
Sitting down (virtually) with MPs
Continuing my series of in-depth interviews with Members of Parliament across the political spectrum, I recently sat down with ACT leader David Seymour, and former Police Association President (now Labour MP) Greg O’Connor.
It’s fair to say Mr O’Connor's Labour Party hasn’t often been on the side of licenced firearms owners - but in the spirit that honey works better than vinegar to persuade minds, I gave him the benefit of the doubt for our 20 minute interview.
I’ve certainly taken some flack for the interview, but our thoughts are that we can’t be effective long term if we don’t keep talking to all sides of the political divide. The lock-downs were the opportunity to do just that.
Thank you for your support.
Fair and Reasonable Campaign
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