Police have finally responded to our concerns about shooters losing their license for political wrong think.

They asked for an extension to the OIA deadline to decide the policy – that they had applied several weeks before…

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I am writing to you in response to your request dated 25 June 2020. You wrote:

A shooter has just been refused an endorsement to his license because:

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Police refuse to say the page visited.

Police have also refused to say what the new vetting rules are.

Please advise what political views are now considered so extreme as to see a license removed from a shooter.

Please provide the guide that decision makers are using.

When was this guide produced and by whom?

Who makes these decisions?

Is there any appeal outside of court?

Is the Minister concerned that this may stifle public debate as 250,000 shooters – many dependent on a gun license for their livelihood – become fearful to discuss politics.

In your request, you also quoted from an unreferenced, undated survey of British Muslims which you advised included questions on homosexuality and Sharia law. You asked would people opposing homosexuality or supporting Sharia law constitute a hate crime.

(KGB: I provided a newspaper headline that would appear at the top of any search. I asked if opposing one minority oppressing another would qualify)

As there is no specific offence of ‘hate crime’ in New Zealand it is not possible to answer
this request for information. It is also not possible to respond to such a generalised
question as every case would depend on the specific circumstances.

In relation to the endorsement, you have provided insufficient information for me to
comment. Furthermore, it would also be a breach of that person’s privacy to discuss their
endorsement application with a third party.

The person in question is welcome to submit a Privacy Act request to get the full information on why their endorsement was refused.

However, in the first instance, they may find it easier to contact the firearms licensing
office to discuss.

Section 30B of the Arms Act 1983 as reprinted on 16 May 2020 is clear that a member of
Police must be satisfied that the applicant is fit and proper to possess a prohibited firearm or prohibited magazine or be in possession of a firearm or airgun.

Every application is considered on its own merits when considering the fit and proper
status. There is no specific guidance material relating to applications for endorsements.

When assessing a firearms licence applicant, the vettors make recommendations and
Arms Officers make the decisions. These decisions are then reviewed by an endorser
who is a senior sergeant or an inspector.

The appeal process involves District Court. The new provisions in the Arms Legislation
Act 2020 will provide for a review of a decision to refuse an application for a licence by a
person not involved in the original decision making.

If the review decision goes against the applicant they still have the District Court review option. This will come into effect in December 2020 (six months after Royal assent).

Yours sincerely
Mike McIlraith
Acting Superintendent
Arms Act Service Delivery Group

Once again – Police wont tell us the rules.

But make sure that you follow them.