5th May 2017

To all branches

Update on the Law and Order Committee Report into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand

 (This is provided by Trevor Dyke, NZDA’s representative on the Firearms Community Advisory Forum - Sub-Committee)

 Early this week the Minister of Police, Paula Bennett made the following press release:

Two members of New Zealand’s firearms community will provide independent advice on the recent Select Committee report into illegal firearms use, says Police Minister Paula Bennett.

 Outdoors professional Geoff Thomas and firearms safety specialist Nicole McKee will provide advice on the twenty recommendations proposed by Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee.

 “I come from a family of hunters and fishers so I know how important it is that we get this right. I want to see laws that are tough on gangs and criminals, but don’t unduly burden responsible firearms owners,” says Mrs Bennett.

 “I have had an initial look at the report and can already see a number of recommendations that will not be progressed. Police are working on a response, however I think it’s important to also get independent advice directly from the firearms community.”

 Geoff Thomas has worked professionally in the outdoors field for more than 40 years. While intimately involved in recreational hunting, Mr Thomas provides an independent perspective and years of experience with the hunting community.

 Nicole McKee is the founder of Firearms Safety Specialists NZ Limited, has held national and regional shooting titles and is a New Zealand Representative. Along with being a member of a number of firearms clubs, Mrs McKee has extensive experience in assessing NZ Police volunteer firearms instructors and Range Officer courses.

Since this announcement, there have been questions as to what other input will be provided by the firearms community?

The NZ Police who have been consulting with the Firearms Community Advisory Forum on a regular basis for two years, are also required to make recommendations to the Law & Order Committee. Consequently, NZ Police have formed a Sub-committee from the FCAF consisting of delegates representing NZ Antique and Historic Arms Association, NZ Service Rifle Association, NZ Deerstalkers’ Association, Pistol NZ and NZ Retail who will be acting as advisors to the NZ Police response. This sub-committee met 3 May 2017.

Comment from National President

  • The select committee report contains recommendations for changes to current firearms law and administration. This does not mean the current law has been changed.
  • The Firearms Community Advisory Forum continues to provide advice to NZ Police. NZ Police as an entity is not to be confused with the Police Association which has expressed strong views not endorsed by NZ Police.
  • If new legislation is proposed by the Minister NZDA will consult with COLFO and other firearms user organisations and respond appropriately to the proposed changes.

 

Bill O’Leary

National President

Read the full copy of the report on this link