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Licensing failure?

 

Recently in the newspaper Otago University’s Professor Clements called for unity in gun control laws. He was following the same impractical knee-jerk reaction that political parties indulged in during the farcical select committee process that saw 12,000 submissions read in two days. Prof. Clements presented an academic approach to “gun laws”. Academics should realise laws will not stop criminals.

 

The honest law-abiding public will hand their now deemed illegal firearms in, but the gangs, the potential terrorists and other criminals will not.

 

Academics like Prof. Clements should examine the way in which alleged terrorist Brenton Tarrant – an Australian – gained a firearm licence. Tarrant applied for his licence in Hamilton although he lived in Dunedin. He had suspect references/referees and apparently asked to being interviewed at work, not his home. He was known to Australian authorities. These anomalies should have alerted police to investigate and ask Australian authorities.

 

To reiterate, Tarrant was not a New Zealand citizen and was not fit to have a licence. That’s why NZ’s firearm laws, based on a person’s mental fitness to own firearms, are recognised as sensible and practical – which academic Prof. Clements should heed.

 

Interestingly neither PM Adern and Police Minister Nash have mentioned police failings around Tarrant’s licence. An alert licence system would have picked up Tarrant’s unsuitability.

 

H.L

South Canterbury

 

 

Great coverage

 

Congratulations on your extensive coverage of the firearm and “gun buy back” issues following the tragic Christchurch shooting by a non-NZ citizen. The police really goofed on granting Tarrant a firearm licence. Had they done their job competently the shooting would very probably not have taken place. So why is the law – abiding firearm public being targeted?

 

Police Association spokesmen like Chris Cahill are bad public relations for the police force. Cahill’s style and arguments lack reasonableness and often logic.

 

A special compliment to Chaz Forsyth for his excellent article. Lastly hunters and firearm enthusiasts need to get off their butts and shed the apathy which is far, far too prevalent today. Join organisations like SSANZ and COLFO and speak out to politicians. MPs email addresses are freely accessed by Google.

 

Spokesman,

Sporting Hunters Conservation Outdoor Trust

 

 

Harry Hoover writes

 

I know most of you like what I do with the .22 Jungle Lane and Rifleman’s Challenge events.

 

Unfortunately, if Jacinda, Nash and Winnie get their way, there won’t be many more events like these. I would be gutted if that happens, these events (and shooting in general) have been my life for a long time, and I’m passionate about getting people out there enjoying shooting sports.

 

“Those of us that love our sport do care, so that’s why I’m asking you to give all your shooting mates a rark-up, get them on board to toss a few bucks to COLFO. I know it’s too much to ask to get them to talk with their MPs, etc, but surely they can be encouraged to get behind this. Please get them to donate even the cost of a brick of .22 ammo.”

 

It’s obvious that most of NZ’s shooters are a pretty apathetic bunch when it comes to supporting their own sport. The campaign to raise funds to fight for our sport through the courts has raised 1/2 a million bucks. And we have how many Firearms Licence holders in this country, 250,000? So on average, each shooter has donated $2. Yep, that’s TWO.
Considering how many people have donated hundreds or thousands of dollars, that genuinely means that the vast majority of shooters simply don’t care.

 

Those of us that love our sport do care, so that’s why I’m asking you to give all your shooting mates a rark-up, get them on board to toss a few bucks to COLFO. I know it’s too much to ask to get them to talk with their MPs, etc, but surely they can be encouraged to get behind this. Please get them to donate even the cost of a brick of .22 ammo.
If they don’t, there won’t be many more events like mine.

 

Help, or ignore. What’s important to you?

 

Harry

 

 

--- Article continues below ---

 

Police in charge now?

 

Please help spread the word. The Police agenda is clear, the fewer civilian owned guns the better. Police appear to be running the show not the politicians who seem for the most part to be dupes.

 

Every proposal in the latest round of law changes is designed not to tackle criminals but to make it harder and more expensive for civilian gun owners to pursue their legitimate sporting interests under the facile guise of “making us safer.”
Centrefire semi-autos and many lever-action guns have been banned already, next they will be coming after handguns (as in Canada) then it will be “high power sniper rifles”, the sort with evil “telescopic sights” that you use to hunt deer,
goats and rabbits.

 

The proposed universal register of all guns is a list for future confiscation, that’s the register’s only useful purpose. The licencing and registration of gun clubs will make it financially more difficult for clay target shooters too, so even NZCTA which, disgracefully, is not part of COLFO even now, will receive the attention of the police, eagerly spurred on by the women of Otago University.

 

Those of us who are older may manage to carry on for a few more years but our children and grandchildren will live in a disarmed country where only criminals and gangs have firearms.

 

Is there anything we can do to stop this madness? Yes, give your Party vote to ACT at the next election. Whatever your politics David Seymour has shown that he is on our side and we should get behind him. The alternative is to throw in the towel.

 

DM

(names & contacts supplied)

 

 

Valuing game animals

 

Full marks to NZDA national president Trevor Chappell for his conference call for government – and also some hunters i would add – to stop referring to deer and other game animals as “pests.”

 

In my book “About Deer & Deerstalking” (published 2002) in the chapter, titled “Deer are a Cultural Resource” I wrote “wild animals, among them deer, are classified as pests by some alarmists. There should be no place for the words “pest” or “control” in any discussion on wild animals. The words should be replaced by “resource” and “management” respectively. Replace “kill” with “harvest.”

 

I then wrote “it’s simply a matter of constructive attitude instead of a mindless, unscientific dogma stereo-typing all wild animals as pests.”

 

Ingrained dogma gave rise to “anti-exotic wild animal phobia” as a US scientist Dr William Graf described NZ departments in the 1950s as having, after he visited here to assess NZ’s deer management (or rather “mismanagement”). Jobs and empires have been and are still in existence around the falsehoods, propaganda and myths. Bureaucrats do not surrender their comfortable empires readily. What’s more their existence is funded by public money, yours and my taxes.

 

Hunters need to realise most people are on their side. A 2001 Landcare Research paper revealed the greater majority of people (81%) favour deer being managed as a resource and not “controlled” as a pest. Incidentally only 19% favoured poisoning as an option to kill (control) deer.

 

Tony Orman

Marlborough

 

 

 

NZ Police agenda

 

I thought I would mention some insight I recently gained from a talk by Assistant Commissioner Tusha Penny. At a recent meeting Assistant Commissioner Penny gave a 1.5-hour talk and made various references to firearms which revealed the attitude of senior police.

 

She didn’t criticise firearms owners directly but is very clearly anti-firearms ownership. She delivered a coherent and compelling message about Police risking their lives and that the fewer guns the better. She talked about the significant number of illegal firearms confiscated by Police since the Christchurch incident.

 

“The public doesn’t understand what it means to be subjected to draconian legislative changes, all under the guise of “public safety”. None of us did until March this year. Our big challenge now is that we are seen as “dangerous” to the public and therefore we are an easy minority to isolate and diminish.”

 

What I took from her speech was her motivation and very strongly held convictions. This is a very real challenge to us as firearms owners as zero guns seems to be the Police goal, not that she said that specifically.

 

It is easy to see how the spin machine will operate with these strong sentiments in play. This is a huge opportunity for the government (but in reality the Police), to achieve a massive shift by exploiting the ignorance of politicians and the public.

--- Article continues below ---

 

We do not regret being gun collectors but for some people, being part of a minority group under attack is a real eye-opener. Most people are not part of a targeted minority but we are now experiencing it and we don’t like it.

 

The public doesn’t understand what it means to be subjected to draconian legislative changes, all under the guise of “public safety”. None of us did until March this year. Our big challenge now is that we are seen as “dangerous” to the public and therefore we are an easy minority to isolate and diminish.

 

(An Auckland gun collector, names & contacts supplied)

 

 

 

Firearm ‘Reforms’ Misguided and Pointless

 

While it was encouraging to see Federated Farmers NZ recently in the “NZ Farmers’ Weekly" firing up at the new firearm laws being rammed through by the coalition government, on the other hand the organisation took a narrow viewpoint in focusing on “pest problems” as the sole reason.

 

The knee jerk reaction by Prime Minister Ardern and her cabinet has resulted in rushed law that flew in the face of select committee proper procedure and democratic principles.

 

The first “reform” bill was rammed through in a few days defying credibility as there were 13,000 submissions. Did committee members read 13,000 submissions in just 3 or 4 days?

 

Federated Farmers should not be concerned so much with dealing with “pest problems”, but more with the unfair targeting of firearm owners who enjoy lawful hunting often with permission on farm lands. A significant number of farmers are also recreational hunters, often selectively pursuing trophy deer, chamois and tahr. I know of several farmers who are recreational hunters.

 

The targeting of the firearm owning public at large is discriminatory in that law abiding citizens are the only ones affected. In the gun buy-back scheme, it would be obvious to all but a fool, that law abiding people would hand firearms in, but gangs, criminals and potential terrorists would not.

 

The Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust has received reports of gangs purchasing semi-automatic firearms in the North Island and in Marlborough, well-heeled gangs reportedly offering double the money government would pay.

 

So in a nutshell, the unlawful have added to their arsenals while the lawful public have given up their semi-automatics.

 

Virtually all firearms handling and use in New Zealand is legitimate, and law-abiding.  This is evidenced by the relatively low number of firearms accidents and homicides we see, in our country.  Indeed homicide statistics show  firearms are used in just below 10% of homicides. Ninety-plus percent were “weapons” other than firearms.

 

Firearm owners spend an estimated $350-450 million per year, engaged in activities that form New Zealand’s rural and outdoor way of life.  Recreational hunters harvest an estimated 150-200,000 big game animals per year (deer, pigs, tahr and chamois) and literally millions of other wild animals (rabbits, hares, wallabies, goats, possums, ducks, geese and mustelids, to name a few).

 

Recreational hunters make a massive contribution to ecological management  - and to population management of wild animal species, which needs annual harvesting for the farming industry and to keep numbers below carrying capacity on public lands.

 

Nobody disagrees with practical and sensible measures to actually improve public safety. 

 

But the “Ides of March” this year was a mass massacre by a non-New Zealander with such meticulously pre-meditated murderous intent and significantly, access to the four or so firearms he needed to complete his grisly mission.  

 

Tarrant was granted a firearms licence by police, despite obvious odd irregularities which should have triggered warning signals to investigate his background as  reportedly he was on Australia’s "watch list".

 

Laurie Collins

Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust

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