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Monday, 27 March 2017

Legal Action Against NZ Commissioner Of Police:

I have often wondered at the lack of protest action by shooters organizations - about the continually increased obstructions being applied by our Police National Firearms Office staff. They seem to have seen it as their 'God given duty' to make the lives of lawful shooting people ever more frustrating, expensive and difficult.

I know of at least one other Licenced Firearms Dealer (who traded at that time 'part time') who gave-up his Dealers Licence because it was limiting rather than enhancing his ordinary rights to buy and sell the occasional firearm.

Here is one small example of my personal experiences: Some twenty-five years ago I applied (as a Dealer) for a Permit for a quantity of Chinese made 1911 Pistols. This was declined and I was told that I would need to obtain a signed 'PRE-ORDER' from each of qualified purchasers to be granted my Permit (NOT a legal requirement)

.. after a few days I RE-Applied for a Permit together with the requested signed 'ORDERS' . - Following over a further months delay I was informed that my Application was again declined because the required signed customer orders were not on a police supplied form? - AND that they would decline my Permit Application anyway " as there is another Dealer who has some of these in stock so there is no need for you to have any.".

This I appealed to the Police Independent Complaints Authority on the grounds that this Police Policy was unlawful in preventing my trade in firearms as a Licensed Dealer and was in breech of the Commerce Act.

In due course my appeal was refused on the grounds that .. the refusal of my Permit was "in line with current Police Policy". !!

It appears that, at last - Someone is attempting to restore sanity at the Police National Headquarters Firearms Office: The following statement is from Nick Taylor, Barrister:
23 March 2017 - I do not usually contribute to forums as it not the correct way for me deal with or give proper, considered legal advice, however in this circumstance I can indicate the following:
The New Zealand Licenced Firearms Dealers (NZLFD) Trust has instructed me to being preparing for a Judicial Review proceeding (pursuant to the Judicature Act 1908) to be filed in June of this year against the Commissioner of Police. The NZLFD Trust is a registered legal entity for the purposes of this action. It has now received for legal services, from a total of 28 licenced firearms dealers, organisations and individuals in New Zealand, a total of approximately $30,000 has to date been received the trusts target is $50,000. As with any litigation that is commenced, it is critical to have enough funds to pay for legal costs, court fees, witness expenses, but in addition, to have sufficient available if the decision goes against you to pay for costs if awarded. Obviously if successful, then an award of costs with be folded back into the Trust for potential action for another time, or appeals if appropriate. The Trust seeks my advice and guidance on the matters that could benefit all New Zealand licensed firearms holders.
The current issues that the Trust is asking me to seek clarification on, by way of declarations from the court, are:
1. Is the police policy in regards to “Safes and Security” lawful or ultra vires their authority under the Arms Act 1983 or Arms Regulation 1992?
2. Is the police policy in regards to the measurement of MSSA firearms by police lawful or ultra vires their authority under the Arms Act 1983 or Arms Regulation 1992?
3. Is the police policy in regards to the imposition of conditions on the importation for restricted firearms and air guns and other standard firearms by the police lawful or ultra vires their authority under the Arms Act 1983 or Arms Regulation 1992?
4. Is the police policy in regards to the mail order form, in regards to both standard firearms and restricted air guns, lawful or ultra vires their authority under the Arms Act 1983 or Arms Regulation 1992?
I am currently in the process of filing three individual funded appeals/originating applications in the District Court in Auckland pursuant to s 62 and s 62 (1) (c) (ii) of the Arms Act 1983, to which there may be a certain degree of overlap possible. Otherwise I have begun to draft and correlate information, affidavits and documentary evidence to support each of the above mentioned issues for the June (target) action to commence. If you have had any issues or have documents in support of any of these issues please contact me by email. Thanks.

Note: The legal phrase 'ULTRA VIRES" means "beyond one's legal power or authority."
COLFO says:
At last - Police are being taken to court over their Ultra Vires firearm policies.
Nick Taylor Barrister specializing in firearms law has updated us with his intentions.
There are 4 items on the agenda: Safes, MSSA length, Permit Conditions and Mail Order Forms.
The court action has a target start date of June - well before the election - forcing the issue into the political arena where it belongs.
We encourage all firearm owners to donate! This will be licenced gun owners best opportunity to seek justice over incrementally increasing ultra vires police policies. Remember every dollar counts!
To donate please deposit into the Trust bank account number: 06 0193 0122740 04 Using reference: 16110001 – NZLFD
Also worth noting is that any costs awarded go back into the trust to enable further representation and discourage police from making these harmful policies.
If you value your shooting interests - PLEASE give whatever you can.
Marty K.