The Police have changed their interpretation of what makes an MSSA rifle legal.
Please check that you are still compliant.
The minimum length of the rifle will now be measured when CLOSED – with any muzzle device removed. NO LONGER considering the length of the rifle with the stock open – when ready to fire.
This despite the Police having given us the rules IN WRITING quite some time ago.
The minimum length is now 762 mm at ANY time. Any shorter than that and it is considered a pistol. Previously lawful shooters are now suddenly criminals subject to charge.
The Police have NOT publicized this change of interpretation.
In any way.
They tell us that they do not intend to.
It took the Kiwi Gun Blog a significant delay of many weeks, after making an Official Information Act request, to even have this decision confirmed.
We have since been told that No compensation will be offered to the shooters who invested in stocks, barrels and other accessories based on initial Police instructions.
Apparently shooters will be given a ‘Reasonable time’ to comply with this new interpretation.
Despite not knowing about it.
Oh and the Police have not yet responded to the Kiwi Gun Blog’s questions concerning how long ‘Reasonable’ actually is and when ‘Reasonable’ starts.
Apparently enforcing compliance is going to be left to each district. There are twelve of those so expect confusion and shooters being taken to court based of the different whims of different area chiefs.
So please let your fellow shooters know the new situation. Because the Police wont.
This lack of communication by the police is especially galling when you remember that they blew $60,000 of tax payers money on a previous media campaign. That was just for some magazine advertising – not the entire project (The Kiwi Gun Blog has asked for the total figure).
This when they again decided to spontaneously change the legal status of our rifles. This time regarding just what constituted a `Military pattern, free-standing pistol grip’.
Many ‘A’ category rifles were suddenly to be considered a Military-Style Semi-Automatic firearm. Their owners having to suddenly find time and a thousand dollars for new endorsements and a new safe.
In the end our High Court told the Police to pull their heads in. Reminding them of the difference between enforcing the law and things they just want to make up.
The Police declined to challenge the decision and instead just went to Parliament for the law change that they desired.
Tail wagging the dog once again.
Shooting groups at the time objected to the advertising campaign proceeding – despite a High Court judgment that the decision of police had no legal standing. Also that the advertising was deliberately misleading. Appearing to be legally binding and sanctioned by the Government. When neither was the case.
Oh… to add further confusion to our present situation…
Our specialist legal expert tells us that the new Police interpretation is simply wrong and may be challenged in court at any time. Likely when he is defending the first poor shooter to fall foul of this nonsense.
So expect more confusion in this area and keep yourself safe from nuisance prosecution in the mean time. Get your tape measures out.
In case you were wondering – This new interpretation appears to have been adopted for no apparent reason.
It is the view of the Kiwi Gun Blog that gaining an ‘E’ category license is no small thing. It is only attained after thorough vetting. Above the norm. This should be recognized and come with its privileges. Like being trusted to fold a stock for transport.
Further, we feel that the Police should be catching criminals – not making them.
There has been a new legal opinion released on the matter.
More details are available here:
What About ‘A’ Category Rifles
There is a popular trend for modern precision rifles to now also feature stocks that fold for transport.
The Kiwi Gun Blog wrote to an arms office to see if this was measured under the same concept.
Our question was ignored.
So best to be safe and never fold the stock if its transport length falls under 762mm