GUN-TALK: Chatting about firearms use, history and issues.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
Wairarapa Pistol Club Bars Police:
The Wairarapa Pistol and Shooting Sports Club has banned police officers from training at its range, saying that club members were frustrated with the Police and Police Association's stance on firearms in New Zealand.
Police have regularly used the clubs range for firearms training over the years.
Wairarapa Club President On Range.
Club President Gary Rawlinson said that the police "continue to arbitrarily adopt changes to the administration of the Arms Acts without consultation" and that had led to increasing frustration among the club's members.
"It should be of great concern to politicians and the police commissioner that our decision to end all police use of the Wairarapa PSSC facility gained unanimous support and has been applauded by many other shooting clubs," Rawlinson said.
Of course - there is nothing to prevent any serving police officer from applying to join an approved Target Pistol Club and seeking to obtain a 'B' Endorsed Firearms Licence that would legally permit him/her to practice handgun shooting on an approved range.
New Zealand's Lawful Firearms owners are increasingly concerned with Police efforts to impose expensive and restrictive rules on legally licensed 'fit & proper' gun owners - under the excuse of addressing claims of increasing illegal gun use by criminal gang members involved in drugs supply.
Firearms use in criminal violence is a very small percentage of overall violent crime in New Zealand.. but general violent crime figures are rising.
Anyone wishing to own & shoot handguns in New Zealand must first obtain a basic 'A' Category Firearms licence - after attending a training course and passing a written test - followed by background checks & extensive interviewing of close family members and other referees.
- The second stage of applying for a 'B' Category (Pistol Shooting) Endorsement starts by applying to join a Target Shooting Pistol Club approved by The Commissioner Of Police - where the applicant is required to undergo a further Induction & Safety Training Course and to attend over a six month period - only then to be again examined by the Police Licencing Authority and subject of more interviewing of character referees and approval of installed home security storage (certified Gun Safes) before the 'B' Endorsement is granted.
These Background Enquiries and repeated appropriate referee checks are of similar intensity and duration to those required of a sworn Police Officer applicant.
You may sense that this lengthy and thorough process (and the fees charged) works to eliminate undesirable characters - So it is seen as demeaning by fit & proper Endorsed License Holders - to then be treated by police organisations as a potential perpetrator of unlawful activity. Marty K.
P.S. I have just this week received my Police Import Permit for a Hogue rubber pistol grip (that was lodged electronically on 11 November 2016) - following a four month delay.
- but of course there will likely be a further wait when it is sent - obtaining it's release from Customs at the point of entry.