SUBMISSIONS HAVE CLOSED
We would like to thank everyone for the submissions they have made to mebers of parliament and COLFO. We have now closed the submission process.
As most of you know on Dec 11th the amendment came in by force due to being 12 months from the anniversary date. Anyone with a pistol grip semi-auto is now required to either obtain an endorsement or seek an A category approved solution.
While this may seem a loss to those that govern our recreational pursuits, we have had a major win. That is the realisation from many that the Semi Auto is now a legitimate, widely accepted sporting tool. This was not the case prior to 2009 when Richard Lincoln held the Police to account and wedged his foot in the door allowing the flood of Semi Autos into the country. Stores such as Gun City, Serious Shooters and nzar15.com took full advantage of this situation to help make Pistol Grip Semi Autos common place on the market. To a large degree this has aided us as firearm owners to make the Police realise that they were fighting a losing battle. I believe this affected the outcome of how the amendment was implemented. We could have been a lot worse off. Your voice went a long way to help enforce the current legal position.
Rod and Rifle magazine, a typically "traditional" NZ hunting magazine, based their last editorial on black guns. They stated "The word from the 2013 Shot Show was 'black guns are where its going for hunting rifles'. When a typically wood and blued steel crowd realise and announce that black rifles are the future then you know we have all achieved something. I also note in their current edition there is a further article on semi autos. We can feel comfortable that these guns are here to stay.
The response to the Save our Pistol Grips campaign from politicians and COLFO was also a huge achievement. Well over 2000 of you sent emails making your voice heard. Some like the National Party simply ignored us. United Future's Peter Dunne pledged his support and promised to talk to Anne Tolley. We have no proof that any discussion was had and we know for a fact the United Future voted in favour of this amendment. United future may have changed their position since, time will tell, but to date there has been no media release. Labour responded that they asked for a joint reference group to be set up. Yet, like United Future they voted against this countries gun owners. The one shining light amongst the politicians was NZ First's Richard Prosser. He made two widely published media releases in your defense of gun ownership. NZ First along with Act were the only two parties to stand up for our rights back in 2011. Richard was also the only politician with a sound knowledge of the issues we face. He is a keen advocate of the freedoms we seek in hunting and fishing - he combines United future's outdoors stance with a matching integrity on firearms. This is unique amongst our political parties. Please keep this in mind when you cast your vote in 2014. Remember, it is most likely that a minor party will be king maker at the next election! With this power they will be our best option for effecting positive change and reversing the damage from this amendment.
This leaves the Coalition of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) as the last "political" force to which we directed our campaign. As Kris Faafoi (Labour) requested, a quasi joint reference group was set up after the final voting (too late) for the amendment. This group known as the Firearms Community Advisory Forum (FCAF) involved members from what could have traditionally been called "Police Friendly". This hand picked group were chosen specifically based on a past positive relationship with the Police. There were no participating members who at the time time were seen as negative Police influences - notably missing the NSA. The group was confined to COLFO member organisations only and a single vender. This included NZ Antique and Historic Arms Association, New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, NZ Mountain Safety Council, NZ Service Rifle Association, Pistol NZ and New Zealand Ammunition Company. This group was setup to discuss the implementation of the new amendment but was made aware that no recommendations from the group were binding in the way police would implement policy. Unfortunately this was to prove true. In COLFOs last newsletter by Michael Dowling, he stated "I must admit I am left feeling the time spent on the forum to date has been wasted. There are those that believe the only way to effect practical changes to Arms Legislation is through the courts, I will be very disappointed if this proves to be the case." Pistol NZ President also stated in their latest Newsletter "I have expressed my disappointment in the process (and so have the other groups)". At the very least some of these organisations are finally realising the contempt Police and the current Government hold their views.
n regards to the the organisations that participated we have to applaud Pistol NZ. Soon after setting up this site we had pistol clubs from all over NZ joining our fight including the support of the governing body. Sadly Deerstalkers were represented by a lone proactive organisation from Napier. Hopefully with the huge growth of Semi Autos in this country we will start to see organisations such as NZDA and NZ Mountain Safety Council promote Semi Autos and their safe use.