AMMO AMNESTY NOT EXTENDED, BUT POLICE PRETENDING IT HAS BEEN
FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER 2019
The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) has had to clarify the law with Police and receive their reassurance that while the amnesty for ammunition was not extended to 20 December, Police will act as if it has been.
Since 30 September everyone with now-banned ammunition have technically been criminals and could be prosecuted. The ammo amnesty ended on 30 September 2019.
COLFO spokeswoman Nicole McKee says that the Police reassurance is practical, but it is just not right that we should have them deciding which laws to enforce and which to ignore. Some people are nervous that the Police policy could change back just as easily.
“The Government is trying to absolve itself of responsibility for the ammunition amnesty by letting Police make the decision. Giving Police the power to pick and choose which laws they enforce and which they turn a blind eye to puts New Zealand in very dangerous territory.”
“We expect our Parliament to make laws once they have considered the facts and heard from affected communities. Now we have Police extending an amnesty without any legal basis. The Police decision is good news for licenced firearms owners this time around. But the Government should not be letting them or driving them to be a law unto themselves,” says McKee.
McKee says that the ammunition ban was always confusing, because firearms and ammunition are treated differently.
“Many licenced firearms owners are applying to Police for exemptions to allow them to hold onto prohibited firearms. Yet while these applications are considered, they are being told to dispose of ammunition for these firearms and receive no compensation.”
COLFO has asked the High Court to over-rule the Minister’s decision to confiscate ammunition without compensation.
“Unilaterally confiscating property without compensation is not the Kiwi way. New Zealand prides itself on starting to right the Crown’s historic injustices, which saw properties confiscated without compensation. How have they not learnt the lesson?”
“Licenced firearms owners are now hanging onto ammo, hoping the Crown will realise the mistake. Some will leave it too late, even with the current Police ‘no enforcement’ stance, given how many times the goal posts have already been shifted. New Zealanders want to live under laws passed by our legislators, not grace and favour blind eyes from a police force. Parliament needs to extend the ammunition amnesty.”