POLICE CORRECTION OF SHOTGUN CARTRIDGE ERROR A "BITTERSWEET VICTORY"
THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER 2019
COLFO has described as a “bittersweet victory” its triumph in getting Police to correct a wording error that banned shotgun cartridges.
COLFO wrote to the Minister of Police last week advising of an intent to seek a judicial review of the ban, in part because it inadvertently included shotgun cartridges.
COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee said the error, brazenly denied by Police even as officials worked behind the scenes to correct the formal wording, was one of many brought about by hasty drafting.
“It’s bittersweet to be proven correct when we know there are dozens of far more serious things wrong with the firearms ban and the proposed new legislation.
“The sloppy drafting that caught shotgun pellets is overshadowed by the unfair and unprincipled refusal to compensate owners of banned ammunition and is equalled by the casual banning of tracer ammunition, which presents no more safety issue than non-prohibited ammunition.
“The sloppy drafting is nothing compared to the injustice, the unintended effects, and errors in the Arms Bill now being considered by a Select Committee, which makes New Zealanders less safe.
“The sloppy drafting is nothing compared to the firearm ban which encompasses firearms without any conceivable relationship to the terrible shooting in Christchurch in March.”
McKee was astonished to see the Police use “calculated dissembling” over their mistake when they claimed that there was no ban on shotgun cartridges because that was not their intention.
“Of course Police didn’t intend to ban shotgun cartridges – but that was how they drafted the law.
“They claimed that their interpretation mattered, not the words. It is not for the Police to interpret the law. But, the new Bill provides expressly that the Police can adjust the law as they go. It usurps Parliament.
“We look forward to better engagement with the Government and Police over all the remaining issues, to avoid mistakes.”