COLFO News - Issue 2
Select Committee Inquiry into Illegal Possession of Firearms
As reported in our last newsletter COLFO was invited to brief the Law & Order Select Committee as they prepared their Terms of Reference. We followed this by inviting the Committee to a morning at the range. The members were shown a variety of firearms and got to shoot some of them. They were also encouraged to ask questions about all aspects of our chosen pastime. A report and photos of the event are at http://www.colfo.org.nz/9-colfo/latest-news/128-law-and-order-select-committee-range-visit-01-062016.html
We have since made a comprehensive written submission to the Select Committee which can be read at: https://www.parliament.nz/resource/ennz/51SCLO_EVI_00DBSCH_INQ_68642_1_A516760/dbafb19a51f53256a9bdbceb42e9bc22727ef15d
We are now preparing to make an oral submission on 10 August 2016 to reinforce what we have already said and also rebut some of the more outrageous claims and proposals made by a few of the other 96 submitters.
New Zealand Deerstalkers Association Annual Conference
Our Chairman Paul Clark represented COLFO at the annual NZDA Conference which was hosted by the Auckland Branch of NZDA on 16 and 17 July 2016. We feel it is important to speak at the NZDA Conference as a full representation of the NZDA membership attends and they form a major part of our membership base. It is imperative that COLFO keeps all members up to date with our achievements in order to cement the support needed to campaign on member’s behalf.
Our organisation is known around the world and 20 years of lobbying and representing New Zealand firearms users has ensured our presence is taken seriously. We have taken pride in our ability to meet with Ministers of Parliament both in New Zealand and in Australia. We strongly represent the New Zealand case to the United Nations Programme of Action and Arms Trade Treaty meetings; have an ongoing formal relationship with Sporting Shooters Association of Australia; have recently become a full member of the WFSA (the World Forum of Shooting Activities); are participating first hand in global information sharing and participating in workshops that identifies and acts on issues.
Recently while visiting Australia COLFO Chairman Paul Clark attended the SSAA Gun Show and met with SSAA President Geoff Jones. While there, Paul also met with pro-firearm Australian MPs and established relationships with them.
Plans are currently underway to send Board Members to the next WFSA meeting in America and the SSAA Conference on Sustainable Hunting in Australia.
Meeting with NRA America
COLFO Chairman Paul Clark will soon be meeting with Tom Mason from the NRA of USA. Tom has been the NRA’s representative to the United Nations for 21 years. He is also an Executive Secretariat to WFSA. They will be discussing the impact of what is happening in the United States and its effect on New Zealand. Paul is reminded of a time in 1992 when the then President of the NRA Mr Corbin visited New Zealand. He came to offer support and solidarity with the firearms users of New Zealand prior to the introduction of the 1992 Arms Regulations. COLFO is looking forward to taking the opportunity of renewing those contacts and discussing our ownership and licencing differences.
Protecting the Interests of New Zealand Firearm Owners for the Past 20 Years
Case Law Database
COLFO has employed Barrister Nicholas Taylor to prepare a database of useful firearms case law. There are approximately 100 cases Nicholas believes will be relevant to the firearms community. Research has been conducted around the most common case law. These examples should be helpful to firearms owners if they need legal precedent in any matter likely to be before the courts. Over half the cases identified now have a commentary adjacent to the case details outlining its relevance to NZ firearms legal history. As soon as Mr Taylor has completed all commentaries we will publish the information on our COLFO website. We believe that this reference database is a world first by a lobby group specifically focused on firearms matters. COLFO thanks Nicholas Taylor Barrister for his work and our membership for their financial support.
Lead Shot Ban
We are aware of moves to extend the ban on lead shot for water fowl for all shotgun gauges and other issues around the use of lead ammunition. We have been advised of Resource Consent being refused for a clay target range because of possible lead contamination. We see the opposition to lead ammunition as a major threat to all forms of shooting and we will do what we can to oppose this development.
Renewing your Firearm Licence
Check the expiry date of your licence and renew it at least 3 months in advance. Many people have been caught out by waiting for a reminder from police and then not getting the new licence before the old one expired. As a consequence their shooting activities have been put on hold until the new licence arrived.
Appeal for Funds
The members of the COLFO Board are volunteers who give their time freely to undertake the work of lobbying on the member’s behalf. However the more we achieve the more our costs escalate. We ask the firearm owners and dealers of New Zealand to put their hands in their pockets and make a donation to COLFO funds.
Although we represent the largest body of New Zealand firearm owners COLFO is not the NRA of America or even the SSAA of Australia.
COLFO is a volunteer based organisation made up of representatives from various national shooting related associations and a couple of independent volunteers. COLFO is funded by contributions from its member associations and a relatively small number of individuals and clubs.
Through the good offices of past and present members of the Board COLFO has built up a good working relationship with various government agencies and politicians. By making well researched and fact based submissions we have gained respect and achieved NGO status. This has enabled us to attend various international meetings as part of NZ government delegations.
COLFO cannot make firearm laws or policy. We can only hope to influence policy and law makers by presenting sound and effective arguments at every opportunity of the due process of our parliamentary system. We also advise and encourage our members to do the same.
What you can do? Give your support to COLFO to make our voice stronger. Go and visit your local MPs and voice your concerns over any legislation or policy that affects you. Stand for a position on your local Council, Community Boards or DHBs and become a decision maker. What you should NOT do is sit on your butt and do nothing expecting others to do it for you.
If we could get more support we could be more effective – worldwide
Download the COLFO News - Issue 2 here.