COLFO News Issue # 4 July 2021 NO END TO DELAYS As revealed by past COLFO spokesperson and now Act MP Nicole McKee in parliament in early July, the situation with long delays for licence applications and renewals is not improving, in fact it appears to be getting worse. The table below shows the current state of play, assurances from the Minister of Police that steps had been taken to address the problem, had yet to be fully implemented. That this backlog of licence processing has occurred should be no surprise as applicant are now required to complete a 35 page application form which can take many hours to complete. All this information making extra work for police to process and verify. We have even heard of a case where an applicant was required to re-apply because police updated their form, rather than transfer the data themselves. FEE INCREASE WITHOUT CONSULTATION The Arms Act S.82 require the Commissioner of Police to consult with stake holders before increasing the fee structure for cost recovery of firearm licences and permits. However it appears that the police have arbitrarily changed the fee structure for dealers licences. In the past dealers renewed their annual licences for a fee of $200 and this included any endorsements held. Now police have seen fit to additionally charge a fee of $200 for any endorsements held by the dealer, effectively doubling the cost of the annual licence for many. In addition dealers now have to provide financial information from their accountants relating to their business and complete another complex multi page application form costing more time and money. LABOUR DRAGGING THE CHAIN ON PROMISED INDEPENDENT FIREARM AUTHORITY Despite agreeing to implement an Independent Firearm Authority to administer the Arms Act in the last parliament there appears to be no progress on this. Police having been responsible for writing the new arms laws are struggling to implement them, and diverting limited resources for fighting real crime. We need a campaign to demand that the government keep their promise, we suggest that you visit your local Labour MP and make the following points: • Police wrote the new arms laws, it is wrong for them to also enforce them. • The new Arms Act is so complex that regular kiwis who must abide by the law, or police who must enforce the law struggle to fully understand it. • Police are overwhelmed by the work load created by the new laws. • The new laws target the law abiding and do nothing to deter criminals. • Licensed Firearm Owners have been scapegoated for the act of a terrorist. • Demand administration of the Arms Act be removed from police and given to a new Independent Authority. MUSEUM CURATORS TO BECOME DEALERS Taking effect from 24 June, curators of museums are now required to hold a dealers licence. They have been given two months to comply. While museums are not generally in the business of selling, hiring, lending or manufacturing firearms the logic to this is that since they often display large collections of firearms, including restricted and prohibited, they require the same level of security and accountability as dealers premises. We hope that museums won’t find this new red tape to much of a burden and give up displaying firearm, which are a valuable part of our national history. LICENCE SUSPENSIONS COLFO is supporting a number of members who’s licence has been suspended or revoked. It seems that police are now using medical events to suspend a licence and uplift all firearms and ammunition, if these are not challenged within 28 days it will likely result in licence revocation. If you are subject to a suspension or revocation please advise COLFO so that we can build a picture of the size of the problem to assist others and lawyers. If your licence is suspended: • Insist that police provide a receipt for every item uplifted. • Immediately start preparing a submission to get your licence back. • Contact a suitable lawyer, COLFO can provide contacts.