The Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) has slammed a newly released 50-page set of rules for ranges and firearm clubs which its members say is illegitimate, unnecessary, and error-ridden.
COLFO spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says that the planned regulations reach beyond the ‘safety’ objective of the Arms Act, propose rules that contradict existing law, and pile on fees and form filling duties that will decimate a small volunteer community.
“Members are telling us the consultation document proposes rules that are excessive beyond stupid, especially as it cannot cite a single specific justification for any of the rules.
“This is a new low point in bureaucratic over-reach and red tape. It underlines why licenced firearm owners have low confidence in the Police. The proposed regulations suggest Police are uninformed about our community, and obsessive about limiting law-abiding people who use firearms,” he says.
Stupid rules include:
· Supplying information already given to the government via rules under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and charging fees to process this repeated information.
· Preventing people under 16 using a firearm on a range, although they can legally use one outside the range.
· Every member must hold a firearm licence, even a spouse or other family who volunteer to help with club paperwork or tea making.
Threat to Clubs/Ranges
Devereux-Mack says an online meeting of the nation’s club representatives last week was unanimous that the dead weight of the rules will close clubs and ranges over time. This will include ranges used by Police, Defence, and important services such as pest management.
“We are in no doubt the clubs will start closing; the fees are crippling, the paperwork will be soul destroying in its pointlessness, and the rules will discourage people from volunteering for club duties or running a range.
“This the opposite of the safety objective of the Arms Act. We want more ranges and clubs, to help licensed firearm owners learn and practice safe behaviours in a controlled environment.”
“Young people who are regularly exposed to firearms in their family or occupation, especially those in rural areas, will be barred from learning safe practices at a club or range. There is a huge safety risk if youth live in a home with firearms but have nowhere to learn proper firearms safety.”
“These rules will encourage people to stay home, go underground with their clubs, and shoot more often on private property or in the wild,” says Hugh Devereux-Mack.
For further information contact: Hugh Devereux-Mack. 027 362 0853
Hugh Devereux-Mack – “bureaucratic over-reach and red tape”