It has been reported that Auckland Police left fifteen AR 15 rifles on a lawn and simply forgot them. This is the same weapon type believed to have been used in the recent American horror shooting.
Police had executed a search warrant on the property of a licensed firearms dealer in Howick. These tightly restricted firearms had been seized as a result.
An Officer of the court has told the Kiwi Gun Blog that the Independent Police Conduct Authority are investigating both this incident and a detective who allegedly forged signatures on witness statements during the same case.
The IPCA has not returned our calls to confirm this.
Auckland Police responsible for the region refused to comment on the case and hung up on our reporter. Auckland Police Media said Wellington Police Media would now be handling requests for information on the case. Wellington Police Media then advised us that they had been instructed not to answer any questions on the case.
Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith is Officer in Charge of the Arms Act Service Delivery Group. The Superintendent insisted that any enquiries be treated as an Official Information Act request – with the accompanying month long delay in response time.
Our understanding is that the fifteen AR15 complete upper and lower receivers had been left outside on the dealer’s lawn by the police who had conducted a search. The dealer later discovered them and called the Police – asking them to come back and collect them.
Police then told him to drop them off at another person’s address. Police then later charged him with unlawfully supplying these same firearms to an unlicensed person.
All charges were subsequently dismissed.
The AR15 is a very modular platform. It can accept a vast variety of parts – like dressing a Barbie doll – with simple hand tools.
BUT it needs the heavily restricted receiver to make this possible. This complete and registered part is what was forgotten. Resulting in the possibility that fifteen rifles – similar to those just adopted by our military – could fall into the hands of gangs.
In the eyes of the law the receiver IS the rifle.
Police have repeatedly lost both their guns and the firearms of shooters in their care. When they are not shooting Police stations with both. An Official Information Act request has just confirmed that at least ten innocent Police stations have been shot by Police – including an Arms Officer – since 2010.
Normally very vocal on the issue of guns falling into the wrong hands – the Police Association chose not to reply with comment on this case.
Police Association Ph 04 496 6800
Police Media Ph 09 3533 111
Police have just come back to media and said they won’t be commenting other than to say they are investigating and cannot say anything further as it is an employment issue.