Police Taking a Year to Renew a Firearms Licence

Why is it taking so long (12 months or more) for police to renew a firearms licence?

Could it be that Police are swamped in a mess of their own making. A more important question is why is it the job of Police to renew a licence?  These questions are being asked by responsible firearm owners who are compromised and inhibited by the scandalous delays within police.

Really, compromised, inhibited?  Yes because under the huge volume of new and convoluted law, police have dumped on fully vetted New Zealanders.

A firearms owner whose licence has expired before police issue the replacement licence can no longer use or even have possession of his or her firearms and must transfer them to another licenceholder’s secure storage.  Not an easy task by any means.  Very few licence holders have excess secure storage and transferring bulk firearms adds to the risk of theft or loss.

Act Member of Parliament (MP) Nicole McKee recently questioned Police Minister Chris Hipkins about the long delays in issuing new licences. The answer she got can be summed up as platitudes. Clearly it is not a top priority for Police or their master the Hon Mr Hipkins.

Well, it is not good enough Mr Hipkins.  Please note that Police should police the law and not administer that law and Parliament should only pass law that can be easily understood and complied with by the average law abiding citizen

POLICE INTRANSIGENCE?

The persistence with which police are delaying the issue of new firearm licences and the renewal of existing ones (a whole year to just renew!!) has spurred a Member of Parliament to question the Police Minister about the delays.

We applaud the improved vetting now being undertaken by the Police after their disgraceful failures of the past (failures which directly led to the mass homicides in New Zealand, of 1990 and 2019) but we cannot applaud their administration.

It is clear that a significant level of under-resourcing, and/or failure to anticipate the resources required to meet the new vetting requirements shows a serious disconnect within police national headquarters.

This is no doubt because the new Firearms Authority remains under police control and appears to be subject to Vote: Police in the Parliamentary financial allocations.

Sporting Shooters president, Neville Dodd is calling for a re-appraisal of the lack of ‘independence’ of the new firearm authority and he records that the intention for full firearm registration is doomed to fail, as it has in every overseas jurisdiction where it has been tried.

Criminals don’t register their firearms, and registration is just a stepping stone to confiscation, at an establishment cost to the taxpayer of a million dollars a week!

Doesn’t this all remind you of ‘flogging a dead horse’?

COMMONWEALTH GAMES – no shooting competitors

New Zealand athletes are making their mark at the Commonwealth Games and we wish our Kiwi competitors every success.

On past history, more success would have been expected, had the shooting sports been included in these Commonwealth games, but a decision of the hosts, (living in the former ‘nation of riflemen’), not to hold any sport-shooting events, deprives not only New Zealand Commonwealth Games teams of an opportunity to compete, but also deprives our female shooters from opportunities to compete with (based on their previous performances) a high expectation of winning more medals for New Zealand.

While it is praiseworthy that India has offered to provide venues for alternative shooting events, it is an indictment on the once-proud history of the United Kingdom of its development and promotion of competitive shooting sports.

Motor-racing legend and noted clay target shooter Sir Jackie Stewart must be choking on his breakfast tea over this!