A recent court case proved a surprise to us at the Kiwi Gun Blog.
So it turns out that being a patched gang member – thusly also part of an organized crime syndicate – is not enough to stop someone from getting a gun license in New Zealand.
A member of the Headhunters gang was able to legally buy $30,000 worth of high powered rifles, over a few years, before police finally revoked his firearms licence.
The Herald reported that the man had legally on-sold the weapons and they were unable to be retrieved. Did some find their way to his gang? Reportage was very vague.
Apparently the case has ‘raised a number of issues with current firearms laws’.
No kidding. That is insane and makes a mockery of the vetting process.
This law must change.
There have now been calls for Australian style ‘Prohibition orders’ to be introduced here.
These are for “Known offenders”.
Correct us if we at the Blog are wrong – but is that not also called a “Criminal record”?
Don’t our Police check those before granting a gun license?
Now to be fair – the Police said that it was “Very rare for a patched gang member to be issued a firearms licence”.
Shouldn’t worry then.
Oh but it gets worse.
A Disctrict Court judgement from Masterton confirmed that being a member of an orgnaised criminal group does not necessarily exempt someone from getting a gun licence.
The case centred around a Bandidos gang member named Wade Victor Innes.
He was appealing the revocation of his firearm licence.
Innes was first issued his licence in 1997. Then had it renewed in 2007. Then Police confiscated his licence in 2015 when they found Innes to no longer be a “Fit and proper” person.
This was of course based on his membership to the Bandidos.
Oh and he broke licensing rules by failing to tell police when he changed address.
But that first one should really do it.
Enter Judge Tompkins. The wise sage drew on previous cases where judges had ruled that gang association was irrelevant to revoking a firearm licence.
“There is a short and now somewhat dated line of authority in favour of Mr Innes’ association with the Bandidos gang being irrelevent,” he said.
Sanity prevailed and the Judge dismissed the appeal on the grounds of failing to notify of change of address. He also did not surrender his physical licence or guns. Oh and that other members of the gang were likely to be able to access his firearms.
The Police Association president said that law enforcers were only able to work within the legislation available.
“We are very pleased that the Law and Order Committee is currently looking at who is and how these are being attained much closer.”
Aside from the fact that that statement is utterly incoherent….
Also ignoring the fact that something this INSANE does not require investigation – merely action.
It is a pity that the Police Union didn’t mention this in their submission the the committee then isn’t it.
Instead of just attacking us.
Again – this insanity makes a mockery of our vetting process and must be changed at once.
Who was the first judge mad enough to set such precedent?