Why? We give you one simple example.
The new Registry requires firearms owners to enter details of the rifles they own. That includes the make model and serial number of each rifle. Essential if the Register is to fulfil its design purpose.
That sounds easy enough – BUT – it isn’t. Police haven’t taken the trouble to learn from all the other (failed) firearms registers around the world.
Take an obvious example the humble “Lee Enfield .303”.
Probably the second most common rifle in New Zealand, having been used by thousands of hunters throughout the 20th century. These ex military rifles will definitely have a serial number. BUT Where on the rifle is that serial number or even the name of the manufacturer for that matter.
Is it made by Lee Enfield?
No, because the manufacturer could be a Small Arms Factory at Enfield, BSA, Sparkbrook, LSA, Long Branch, Savage, Maltby, Fazakerly, Lithgow, Ishapore, Pakistan, Nepal to name a few and often only indicated by a war time code letter rather than the name.
Is the model LE (Lee Enfield) or LM (Lee Metford)? Depending on the type of rifling.
Not necessarily because the model could be: LE I, LE I*, LEC, Sht LE III, No 4 Mk I, No 4 Mk 1/3, No 5 Mk I, etc. etc.
Which is the Serial No and where does the owner find it?
On early ones it is on the RHS of the receiver ring, with the same or sometimes a different number on the barrel. On No 4s (WW II) onwards it is on LHS of the receiver body or on the butt socket.
BUT in those same places are also unit marks and numbers. So which number will the naive owner choose – always assuming he can find it.
A few hundred serious collectors will know which is which but the many thousands of lone hunters out there won’t know these subtleties. Don’t believe us? Just look on Trademe to see them simply listed as 303 rifle.
Magazines: thousands (literally) have no manufacturers marking of any form.
So if an innocent owner enters in the register say a unit rack number or Home Guard No are they providing false information to the registry? Will they be charged with an offence?are they providing false information to the registry? Will they be charged with an offence?