As long as the government have a Law and Order committee investigating how guns wind up in the wrong hands…. The Kiwi Gun Blog decided to ask just how many THEY had lost.
The answer – they wont say.
Actually – they wont say if they will say.
In a letter from Gerry Brownlee’s office, the Minister of Defense, one of his minions waited until the last moment legally allowed before answering our Official Information Act request.
Then they claimed to require another twenty days, the legal limit to an extension, before before they will be able to respond if they will honor of request.
Not to provide the information.
They need forty days to decide if they intend to.
The matter has been referred to the ombudsman. Stay tuned.
I wonder what they are hiding?
A past case:
The New Zealand Army had a Steyr assault rifle stolen from the back of a Land Rover – while the vehicle’s two occupants were asleep.
They were awoken when an unknown person simply reached in and removed the rifle from the weapons rack. A set of webbing was also taken.
One of the soldiers gave chase but the offender fled towards a parked vehicle and then drove off.
A recent case:
One territorial soldier, who now works as an executive assistant to Labour’s Clayton Cosgrove, lost his Steyr assault rifle while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Firstly, we commend his service. But… He only realised that it was missing when he got back to base. Really not a good look for a soldier to forget his rifle. That will now be in the hands of insurgents and shooting at other soldiers.
The man had been sent there to work as a finance officer, a civilian role. Why he was on patrols seems unknown. The man left his civilian job at defense soon after arriving back in New Zealand.
A Current Case:
A New Zealand airman is currently on trial and charged with stealing gun parts from a Blenheim air base.
Flight Sergeant Murray John Smith has pleaded not guilty to stealing automatic pistol parts worth more than $2000 and unlawfully possessing automatic pistol barrels and slides.
There have been allegations that senior staff were ‘Sweeping complaints under the carpet’ on repeated occasions. So other concerned servicemen contacted Police rather than their chain of command.
Witnesses claim that the accused was caught grinding serial numbers off gun components. Then simply taking them home from the RNZAF Base in Woodbourne in a plastic bag. The witnesses were told to say nothing.
Media reported that there were around sixteen boxes of unaccounted weapon parts and components at the air base’s armoury at the time.
Pretty lax accounting there.
Other servicemen were concerned that the parts would be on sold to criminals.
It is of great concern that they have no faith in their own service to take action!
The theft charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and the unlawful possession charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail, or a fine of $4000.
Meanwhile in Australia…
The government is haggling with terrorists to get their M72 rockets back.
Yes – the ones we all grew up watching in the movies. The tube ones that telescope open and then blow up tanks. Or the armored car of a visiting dignitary.
Yes the ones with the two hundred metre range.
If the target is standing still.
Like a crowd of innocent people.
A former army officer, Shane Della-Vedova, stole ten M72 rocket launchers from an Australian Defence Force base in Queensland. He then sold several to organized crime.
They then on sold most to Islamic terrorists.
Luckily they were caught before they could execute their plots.
Now, fifteen years later, all but one of the rockets is still hidden somewhere in Sydney.
So now the Australian government is asking the legal representatives of convicted terrorists to, pretty please, tell them where the last of these rockets are hidden. In exchange for cash and deals on sentences.
Good luck team.