RE NZ Government & Police
As a result of the recent tragedy in Christchurch, the government has enacted new legislation, punishing law abiding firearms owners for the actions of a nutter. Originally the legislation covered only MSSA type firearms, but the legislation has been widened to include all semi-automatic centre-fire firearms. This in my opinion is an act of duplicity. We were told one thing, they now do another. There are elements in parliament and the police who are keen to restrict law abiding firearms owners as much as possible and they are using the current situation to do this. This is only the start.
Further, some gun owners have already been visited by the police because they dared express an opinion. Beware what you say and especially what you post on social media. The police are NOT your friends, nor are politicians.
In case you have a visit from the police you need to be pre-prepared. Read the following and take special note of what to do.
Here is a quick guide to protecting yourself during an interaction with the police.
Print this off and keep on your gun safe.
When they have a Search Warrant:
THE BASICS – If police execute a search warrant on your home or business –
1. If detained give them your name, address and date of birth [Police Act 1908].
2. Inspect and keep hold of a copy of the search warrant that they serve on you.
3. Record the name of the “OC” (officer in charge), their station and contact details. Record QID’s (collar) numbers of police attending search.
4. Be calm and polite, but firm about (7), (8) and (9) below.
5. Open any safes for them where firearms are stored if requested to do so.
6. Show them any license you must carry, such as your firearms license [Arms Act 1983].
7. Say “I do not wish to make any statements or answer any questions”. Do not under any circumstances be tempted, convinced, threatened or coerced to vary from this stance by any promises or statements made by the police.
8. If the police try to ask any questions except for (1) above, say “No comment, thank you”.
9. Say “I wish to speak to my lawyer, without delay and in private please”.
Text “SSS” for Search Search Search with your name and contact number to 021 362 123 and I will contact you as soon as possible, and/or telephone me on 021 362 123.
No search warrant:
1. If there is no search warrant then the police cannot enter your home by force. They must be invited in by you.
2. The police can ask to inspect your security, but only at a reasonable time for you. (Now is NOT a reasonable time!
3. The police can ask to inspect an endorsed firearm, but only at a reasonable time to you. If you have a reasonable excuse such as “there is a sick child asleep in the room” or “I am off to work”, then it is not a “reasonable time” subjectively.
4. The police cannot record the details of A category firearms.
5. The police cannot photograph any firearms unless pursuant to a search via the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 or Arms Act 1983.
NICHOLAS TAYLOR – Barrister at law; Ph: 021 362 123
- Record any visit by the police – audio or video. Tell them you are doing that.
- Do NOT trust what they say especially if they turn up uninvited without a search warrant. They will have an agenda they have not disclosed.
- If they do arrange to inspect your security, at another time, and at a time that suits you’, make sure you have removed your firearms. They can only inspect your security by law.
- Make sure you record that visit too and have someone else with you if you feel it necessary.
- Do NOT be bullied into saying more than you are legally required to do. They will threaten you with loss of license etc Ignore that as you would with any bully. Respond with, ‘Are you threatening me?’ Remember you are recording this.
- Apart from giving information required by law, you can either chose to say, ‘No comment’, or simply reverse their question by asking it back to them. For example, if they ask you if you have any firearms, you could ask, ‘Why is that of any business of yours?’ or ‘Where does it say that in the act?’ If you get stuck and are not comfortable with this just say, ’No comment’!
- Know your legal rights and stick to them. Do not be intimidated.