Dear NZDA Members,
There's a glimmer of positive news for licensed firearms owners caught up in the backlog of Police processes because Parliament is stepping in and rushing more law changes through to give some breathing room for expiring license holders.
This will allow fit and proper people to possess and use their firearms while Police complete their renewal processes.
Put simply, it is a manifestation of how bad the Police are performing for their Minister to step in with a law change to deal with a bureaucratic problem.
It is both good, but alarming, news, and hints at deeper issues that need to be fixed.
The Arms Licence Holders’ Applications for New Licences Amendment Bill was introduced to the House yesterday. It seeks to make amendments to the Arms Act 1983 to ensure that if the holder of a current firearms licence applies for a new licence before its expiry, the current license will continue to be in force until they are notified of the outcome of their application.
This means that licenced firearms owners with expiry dates coming up, will remain licenced until their new licences are processed.
There are currently approximately 9,000+ applications in the pipeline and approximately 2,000+ applicants are holding an expired licence while waiting to be processed.
What is NZDA doing?
NZDA is making a submission today ahead of the cut off tonight.
We have some basic practical questions, like how will a person provide evidence of a renewal application when purchasing ammunition or buying and selling firearms, and what will be accepted by Police and dealers/retailers.
NZDA expects Police to continue to improve, fix the poor performing licensing system, and employ the staff necessary to do the vetting, checking, and get renewals of fit and proper people processed in a reasonable and timely manner.
NZDA will express disappointment that this arms amendment bill is being rushed into law, again
, and we expect unintended consequences, again. NZDA were not given any opportunity to give input or advice to the Minister or Police when the bill was drafted.
You can read the Bill here: Arms Amendment Bill