NEWS:

SUBMISSIONS HAVE CLOSED

Posted on November 20, 2013.

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.

PRESS RELEASE FROM RICHARD PROSSER (NZ FIRST)

Posted on November 20, 2013.

Time To Recognise Pistol Grips As Safety Feature

With the Arms (Military Style Semi-Automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Bill set to become law next month, New Zealand First is calling for pistol grips on sporting rifles and shotguns to be officially recognised as safety features, and for the definition of ‘Military-Style Semi-Automatic’ to be abandoned entirely.

Police spokesperson Richard Prosser said that the very use of the term ‘Military Style Semi-automatic’ was nonsense.

“The term was invented to create a category of sporting firearms which somebody at Police Headquarters thought were cosmetically similar to real military combat weapons.

“It doesn’t exist anywhere in the world outside of New Zealand law, and creates the impression that semi-automatic sporting long guns have some relevance to military use and function, which they do not.”

“Actual military assault rifles have a fully automatic, or machine-gun, function, which sporting semi-automatics do not. The pistol grip was originally a safety feature invented for sporting rifles, which was taken up by military designers because it enables a rifle to be handled more accurately and therefore more safely.

“The cosmetic similarity between some sporting rifles and some military weapons is irrelevant in terms of functionality, and any potential for the criminal misuse of semi-automatics was negated by restrictions on magazine capacity more than 20 years ago.

“The current law has worked well for more than two decades, and the changes which the new law will bring in will create a black market and a danger to the public which does not currently exist, as thousands of law-abiding firearms owners find themselves in possession of firearms for which they no longer hold the appropriate licence.

“People will be turned into criminals by regulation, without recourse to protest as Parliament goes into recess for the summer.

We’re asking the Minister to put the implementation of this ill-advised Bill on hold until the issue can be re-examined in the New Year,” said Mr Prosser.

COLFO MAKES BRIEF MENTION OF YOUR SUBMISSIONS

Posted on September, 2013.

Dear Members,

The Council has not met since my last report, we continue to keep in touch with each other by email. We plan to meet as a council twice a year, by doing this we will keep our cost sustainable relative to our current income. Should the council need to meet more frequently over specific issues we will ask for financial support from members, if it is required.

We met twice, informally, with the police representatives and once with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT) to discuss managing any future impact to New Zealand firearm owners as a result of NZ signing the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations.

By now you should have seen the minutes of the inaugural Police Firearms Community Advisory Forum on the 18th June in Wellington.

The intent of the forum is for police to invite representative groups, to provide feedback on policy they are developing. It gives us the opportunity to prevent unintended consequences or non-compliance by license firearm owners as a result of practical issues.

As the forum is an attempt to improve police process, it is controlled by police. Once they have established policy wording, it is then forwarded to the Parliamentary Counsel Office, for PCO agreement, as draft regulation. The draft regulation is then circulated amongst relevant agencies for consultation, then submitted to Cabinet, after Cabinet approve then it goes to the Governor General for signature. Once signed, it is Gazetted and comes into effect 28 days later.

Through the process we will all need to be vigilant and active to ensure all licensed firearm owners are heard as it may be changed at any level.

It is worth noting that some members have been lobbying members of Parliament and the council in regard to the Arms Amendment Act, at time of writing the number is over 2000. This is commendable and demonstrates to Parliament that firearm owners are active and have a voice, however it will not stop the Arms Amendment Act progressing as it has already been accepted.

Please take the time to read the minutes, one of the significant points we raised was - when regulation is passed it is unrealistic to expect firearm owners to comply immediately. We asked that they allow 6 to 9 months for components to be manufactured and delivered, to ensure that firearm owners can comply with any new regulation. While it has been minuted, we hope that it was also heard to ensure the firearm owners are given sufficient time to decide and act to be compliant.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Obama issued a list of Executive Orders. Among them, the Centers for Disease Control was given $10 million to research gun violence. Their report has been released as well as another from Harvard Law that do not support the positions they were expected to and can be found at the following links:-

www.gunsandammo.com

www.smallgovtimes.com

While we have not read these reports in full and it needs to be said this are written with in a USA context the high points do make interesting reading.

If you have any thoughts or feedback please email me at chair@colfo.org.nz

All the best
Michael Dowling
Chair
COLFO

NOTE: Sadly, COLFO do not take the opportunity to link to this submission website. Instead they provide links to two irrelevant reports that they havent even read yet.

KRIS FAAFOI (LABOUR) REPLIES TO SUBMISSIONS

Posted on September 13, 2013.

Thank you for your emails regarding the Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Act 2012. Your concerns regarding the consequences of this Act, particularly in regards to sections 4 and 11 were thoroughly debated during the Select Committee stage.

Given the weight of the concerns around a number of issues raised, primarily by firearms organisations and members of the public, Labour proposed an initiative to assist the consultation process.

Labour members of the select committee suggested that an independent reference group be formed that would provide contestable advice to the Minister and would have been an avenue for parties to offer opinion and expert advice in the event of an Order in Council being introduced.

Government members on the Law and Order Select Committee that presided over this Act voted down our proposal. This was unfortunate as this would have given individual or groups that share your concerns an avenue to oppose such changes.

We continue to feel it was unfortunate that the government did not support our move in select committee to allow firearms organisations and members of the public to have their say.

I would like to thank you for expressing your concerns to me.

Yours Sincerely,

Kris Faafoi
Member of Parliament for Mana
Labour Spokesperson for Police | Corrections | Associate Spokesperson for Health

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES!

Posted on September 3, 2013.

If the pistol grip is redefined, by default we will have thousands of instant criminals through no making of their own.

Some of these people will want to be allowed to upgrade their security and move their firearm onto an E-Category Endorsement. Many of them may already have an E-Category endorsement for other MSSAs, but our understanding is that the Police intend digging their heels in on this due to the much larger than thought numbers of new Endorsements required. Even those with an E Cat Endorsement can expect to see resistance to being issued with more of the same.

NSA recently won a court case which highlighted the fact that the Police had actually been mishandling the management of endorsed firearms. An E Endorsement doesn’t actually allow you by right to purchase any E Cat firearm. The owner has to obtain an endorsement for each and every E Cat firearm they wish to possess - one separate endorsement for each MSSA. This actually makes the implementation of the Amendment a lot more messy than originally thought back at its third reading.

Other firearm owners will want to keep their gun as an A-Cat. There has been no guidance from Police or the Firearms Community Advisory Forum as to how this could be implemented or even if it will be allowed. There has been discussion about allowing thumbhole or dragunov style stocks but there has yet to be any indication of a definition. Perhaps this may occur as part of an Order in Council along with the definition of a pistol grip. Keep in mind that FCA Forum has mentioned the desirability of an 80% compliance rate once the amendment comes into force (insert Tui add here).

There is currently a monopoly and a short supply on thumbhole stocks. If a specification for thumbholes was made available a year ago, then manufacturers could have started production minimalizing the length of time our community remains criminals and increasing stock’s accessibility. This specification still isn’t available. Sadly the specification will also be defined and managed by the Police. There is no independent authority making a decision on what complies.

Unfortunately the FCA forum was compiled of various Police interests. Its public fact that the group was chosen from only those that would work and co-operate with the Police, thereby guaranteeing a Police driven decision on the outcomes to be presented for the Order in Council.

Back to those affected. We have E Cat licence holders who own firearms that they are probably not going to be able to move to E Cat endorsement any time soon. We have A Cat licence holders who have firearms they want to move to E Cat but have been told they probably won't be allowed to. We have A Cat licence holders who want to keep them as they are but with no solution on how to do so because the manufacturers have no idea what to produce to keep the guns in A Cat specification. We have the NSA court case that now requires every E cat rifle to be endorsed individually. We have no indication the Police will offer compensation for the effects of this amendment. We have under resourced, overworked Arms Officers in the midst of the 10 year licence renewal cycle starting with existing endorsement holders.

What we have in the making is a large number of firearms that cannot be sold, moved, compensated for or reclassified causing the owners to permanently remain criminals - or rapidly illegally dispossess themselves of the affected firearms at considerable financial loss.

The end result - the local pubs doing a roaring trade in illegal firearms.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES!

1000 SUBMISSIONS

Posted on August 29, 2013.

We have just passed the 1000 submission mark. That is 6000 emails sent to those who decide our fate!

PRESS RELEASE FROM RICHARD PROSSER (NZ FIRST)

Posted on August 28, 2013.

FIREARMS OWNERS RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED

New Zealand First says firearms licence holders are right to be concerned about changes to firearms law which are due to come into effect in December this year.

Outdoor Recreation spokesperson Richard Prosser says the Arms (Military Style Semi-Automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Act, gives the Government the power to declare virtually any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun to be a military-style weapon.

He says this means thousands of law abiding gun owners could be declared criminals overnight, by changing the class of licence they need to retain firearms they currently own legally.

“The Act gives the Minister the power to turn a thumbhole into a pistol grip at the stroke of a pen, leaving owners in the position that to stay within the law they must obtain a new class of licence.

“All of a sudden people who have always acted responsibly may be breaking the law by keeping possession of their firearms and the only thing that will have changed is a definition on paper,” says Mr Prosser.

“There is no purpose served by giving any government this draconian power to turn law abiding people into criminals when nearly all the unlawful use of firearms cases involves individuals who have never had a licence in the first place!

“New Zealand First warned last year that this situation might eventuate. This law needs to be revised and the Government must promise that it will not arbitrarily redefine firearms as being military-style until the situation is resolved,” says Mr Prosser.

ENDS

RICHARD PROSSER (NZ FIRST) REPLIES TO SUBMISSIONS

Posted on August 28, 2013.

Thank you for your initiative. We will have a Press Release out tomorrow, Urgency in the House permitting, but in the meantime the message below is going out as a reply to all submissions I receive on this vital issue.

Hi All,

You are receiving this message because you recently made an email submission regarding the definition of pistol grips under the Arms (Military Style Semi-Automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Bill.

This Bill has passed all stages of the Parliamentary process and been given the Royal Assent, and will become law accordingly.

New Zealand First opposed, and remains opposed to, both the passage of the Bill, and the changes to New Zealand firearms law which it brings about. We attempted to introduce a Supplementary Order Paper to the Bill at Committee Stage with the intention of lessening some of the worst aspects of the Bill. This was rejected by the Government.

My Third Reading speech on the Bill can be found here;

http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/16568

Undoing the damage which this Act has done to New Zealand firearms law will now require yet another law, to replace or amend the Act as it now stands. New Zealand First in a position of influence over Government will continue to push for such a change. With your support we can be in that position.

New Zealand First is committed to supporting the law-abiding hunting and firearms community in New Zealand in their continued safe and responsible use of firearms, and we will continue to promote the return to, and maintenance of, firearms laws which have been widely regarded as the best in the world.

Please feel free to contact me directly for further information.

Best regards
Richard Prosser MP

500 SUBMISSIONS IN 24 HOURS

Posted on August 27, 2013.

500 individuals have made submissions in 24 hours. A total of 3500 emails sent to those that can preserve our sport. Big thankyou and keep spreading the word!

Firearm owners can unite!

SAVE OUR PISTOL GRIPS CAMPAIGN BEGINS

Posted on August 26, 2013.