Police have answered their Minister’s demand that they better engage with shooters by staging a national tour. To hear and consider our concerns.

The dates and venues are listed here:

http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/firearms-and-safety/news-and-updates 

The Auckland meeting was last night. With a turnout of  less than thirty people. Very low numbers have been reported everywhere so far.

We asked why the tour was not publicized to dealers or clubs or shooters in any way. Police admitted that they had not organised this well but blamed the firearm advisory board for not promoting it sooner.

Yeah…. Police didn’t even have the venues confirmed until days before the tour began so how could a club or organisation promote that? The meetings are held during business hours and in far flung venues. Upper Hutt for Wellington. Papakura for Auckland.

To add to the insult, low numbers were expected. In some regions shooters were told not to come. Clubs were asked to send only a representative – because the rooms were so small.

The tour was simply fitted around other Police commitments that required them to travel. The Islamic community get sit down dinners with Police. Gay people get rainbow cars and a designated liaison officer. 250,000 shooters get scraps.

Firstly, we asked about the new Arms Code. This was to be released on July 1st. This has now been delayed by at least a few months. Police promise that shooters will be consulted before this is finalized and claim that it is really just an update on terminology.

We shall see. In the meanwhile several trainers have been told that no copies are available. Another ball drop.

One lady dealer then asked how she could check if licenses being presented were legitimate. The Kiwi Gun Blog AGAIN proposed a simple website with an updated list of the NUMBERS of expired licenses. Easy and no privacy issues. This could be available to everyone.

Police said they would consider this solution and admitted that they were a decade behind every other government department in policy and technology. Still replacing stolen licenses with identical numbers.

The Kiwi Gun Blog AGAIN suggested a simple website that shooters and arms officers could refer to for the final word on policy. Police then only need answer a question ONCE and then enforcement would be uniform across all regions.

Police AGAIN said that this would be good. But they said that a year ago as well.

We insisted that government must work in partnership with us to prevent gun thefts. Police agreed that ‘A’ category security was not intended to prevent gang targeting or professional thieves.

McIlraith simply refused to discuss the Police arming known gang members with licenses. Likewise arming returning criminals from Australia due to NO info sharing policy being in place. Years after the issue was a known problem.

We raised the matter of mental illness in family members effecting a license applicant. Seeking a consistent policy in this area. With a doctor having the final word. This is being considered.

We addressed the elephant in the room. How were we to take their discussion of ‘communication and transparency’ seriously when they flat refused to say what they had asked the Police Minister for when updating the Arms Act.

McIlraith dismissed the room’s concern here with a simple “Nope”. This would not be discussed.

Although getting ANY answer was like pulling teeth – one shooter made Police admit that gun thefts were not given any priority over other burglaries. Voicing his disgust that a TV cant go on to hurt the community.

The blog insisted that an 8% solve rate for gun thefts was utterly unacceptable.

We also raised the matter of several  thousand expired licenses going unchecked. Some for as long as five years. We suggested that Police offer a late fee amnesty to return these shooters and their guns to control. There was no real response from Police.

Most telling – Police admitted that home visits and ten year renewals delivered little or no benefit. The KGB had pointed out that revoked licenses simply did not result from this wasted effort. Rather from shooters of concern simply coming to the attention of Police.

Let us hope that this is reflected in any law change.

The KGB AGAIN raised the issue of unsafe practice in police stations. Where shooters were expected to produce machine guns in front of gang members in the lobby. McIlraith admitted this was a known problem but nothing was proposed by way of change.

It was made clear that the Police Union lies made a reasonable dialog impossible and that real Police needed to correct misinformation when it appeared. This was noted.

Numerous other areas of complaint were raised by the room. Often Police excused this as ‘Better trained is needed’. But it was then pointed out that Police forms were printed that required these illegal hurdles.

We also addressed the established culture of contempt that exists in the area of arms management. How it exists because Police will not punish those in their numbers who work outside the law.

McIlraith would again not discuss any punishment given to those who wasted $30,000 on publishing a fake Arms Code that was a wish list of illegal controls.

Police have addressed racism in the ranks. Sexual abuse. Gender bias. Yet seem happy to allow this ongoing contempt for the law to permeate arms control. This must change.

We observed that when we showed McIlraith an illegal mail form he took months to correct this. Apparently he was just too busy to stop Police acting illegally during those months.

McIlraith danced and danced but in the end refused to undertake even a limited audit of firearm records. Despite accepting that these were known to be inaccurate and there NEVER having been such an audit since the systems inception.

To close the night McIlraith opined that he needed time to do some good. It was made clear that as he apparently he had ample time to develop and introduce policy that was detrimental to shooter’s interests then this excuse would not fly.

Get to one of these meetings if you can.

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