Next week the rubber hits the road: on Monday we’re in Court against the Minister of Police, and I’m emailing you today to ask you for your support so we can make the best possible showing and mount pressure on the Government in the lead up to year’s election.
Our lawyers have managed to prevent COVID-19 from delaying our Judicial Review on behalf of firearms owners. It had been rescheduled for July hearing, but we’ve recovered the original date.
We’re seeking a ruling that the Government cannot confiscate the property of licenced firearms owners without fair compensation. Our case is focused at the ammo prohibition as that’s where the government is most vulnerable (no compensation was paid at all, despite much of the newly banned ammo having been sold by the Government itself as army surplus).
If we win, it will make it politically harder for the Government to pass new laws targeting lawful owners of firearms like you and me. It would likely force the Government to relook at the compensation arrangements under the previous law changes.
We will be in the Wellington High Court for two days starting 10am Monday.
How to follow the action
When we launched this case we expected our supporters to pack the public gallery to show support. But under Alert 3 Level, there will be some changes to how the hearing will run – with very limited numbers allowed in the court room.
Our lawyers will ask the Court to approve a live stream link so you can watch the proceedings. We’ll let you know how they get on. In any case, we’ll update you by email from the court room next week.
What we’re arguing for –
The Arms (Prohibited Arms, Parts, and Magazines) Amendment Act 2019 was passed under urgency in response to the 15 March 2019 attack. Like most Acts passed under urgency, sloppy drafting led to a confusing piece of legislation that is difficult to understand and onerous to comply with.
The Act made it an immediate offence to possess, sell or supply prohibited ammunition – turning many of you who were using the new ‘prohibited ammunition’ into criminals. The Minister of Police then made an Order that defined ‘prohibited ammunition’. It did not show any concern about how it would make New Zealand safer.
Unlike for prohibited firearms, the Government ruled out paying compensation for prohibited ammunition.
So we’re asking the Court to declare that the Minister of Police’s decisions on what is ‘prohibited ammunition’ was unlawful and that licenced firearm owners are entitled to fair compensation for their ammunition. That would put us in a much stronger position as the government try to broaden the scope of their bans.
What the government is arguing –
That the Minister of Police applied the right test for the definition – that there is no legitimate civilian use for the ammunition that they banned. They argue that the Minister couldn’t provide compensation because Parliament didn’t expressly authorise it.
But we can’t do this on our own
Graeme, I know a lot has happened over the last 12 months, but now is the critical time for this campaign fighting for firearms owners like you. We need to put our best foot forward in this case if we are to fend off Stuart Nash and Jacinda Ardern’s next ambush on our property rights and lifestyle. That’s why I’m asking for your financial support for this legal action.
I know a lot of people have said they’ll chip-in “once we’re in court”. That time is now. We’ve done our part, and with the COVID-19 crisis we’ve had to double our efforts. With the oral hearings going ahead next week, the Government can’t now kick back these issues until after the election.