Police Double-dipping with Firearm Fee Proposals

Press release – Council of Licensed Firearm Owners

Following last week’s revelation that firearm owners would be charged for burglary callouts under new Police fees, the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) has now revealed that the proposed extraordinary fee increases are due to Police wanting to charge twice for vetting it only does once.

The new process proposed by Police treats every renewal of licenses and license endorsements as a first-time application, requiring the same ‘fit and proper’ vetting check for each renewal of every license class. The proposals seek cost-recovery for a full vetting process on every individual license or endorsement renewal, even though Police regularly bundle these together.

Spokesperson for the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO), Hugh Devereux-Mack, says in practice, when a license and endorsement come up for renewal at the same time, Police will do two sets of paperwork but just one set of referee interviews.

“The massive increase in the proposed fees is due to Police double-dipping. While in practice Police bundle vetting processes together, firearms owners will be charged twice over. It’s another example of the Police policy team not understanding how things work on the ground.”

If a renewal and endorsement application do not align, Police will undertake the vetting checks again with the license holder’s two referees – even if the person was already vetted a month previous for a different license type, which may have the same requirements. The previous vetting could be used as proof of the license holder’s fit and proper status, saving Police time and firearm license holder’s money, without compromising public safety.”

A licensed firearm owner who is renewing their standard license must undergo the two-referee ‘fit and proper’ vetting process. If that same license holder adds a ‘B’ endorsement (pistol) or ‘C’ endorsement (collectors) a month later, Police will undertake another ‘fit and proper’ check of that person a second time, often with the same referees.

“This creates a massive backlog of unnecessary work for the local Police firearms officers. Why require the work to be done twice, or even the filling out of two similar forms at the same time, when once would be perfectly suitable?

“The cost of this duplication is very high, so Police want firearm owners to pay for it. Firearm license holders should not have to pay for this bureaucratic inefficiency.”

“The Police have created unnecessary work for themselves and need to employ more staff to cover that administrative process. That creates huge cost, and Police are proposing this expense should sit on firearms license holders,” says Devereux-Mack. “Police want the license holders, and the referees, to take time off work to sit at a Police station up to three times in the same month and take the same quiz. Police then want firearm license holders to pay for that needless activity.”

Devereux-Mack says Police should get its own house in order before it starts adding costs on law-abiding Kiwis to cover the inadequacy of its firearm licensing system.

“Licensed firearm owners know the system is inadequate because we are dealing with 6 month wait times and local firearm officers who are run off their feet. The public knows the Police are targeting the wrong people, because they continue to see escalated levels of gang crime in their communities. New Zealanders now know the buyback didn’t make them safer, intense regulation of community clubs and ranges didn’t make them safer, and increased license fees and the firearms register won’t make them safer either.

Criminals do not abide by the lawful system, they won’t pay the fees, and  they’re not going to register the guns that came in on the last drug shipment he said.

“At the heart of it, Police are going after good people, farmers, sport enthusiasts, conservationists, and families trying to put food on their table for less cost.

“Police Minister Stuart Nash should stop this damaging cycle, and direct Police to take its focus off law-abiding people and deal with the real crimes affecting Kiwis.

“Minister Nash has the opportunity to make New Zealanders safer by focusing on real crime in the community, not regulating and invoicing long-trusted citizens. We urge him to take it.”

Members of the public have until 16 February 2023 to submit on the proposed fees. They can make a submission by going to https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/programmes-and-initiatives/consultation-arms-regulations-review-fees-2022

For further information contact: Hugh Devereux-Mack. 027 362 0853


Hugh Devereaux-Mack – “Police Minister Stuart Nash should stop this damaging cycle, and direct Police to take its focus off law-abiding people and deal with the real crimes affecting Kiwis.”

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9 Responses to Police Double-dipping with Firearm Fee Proposals

  1. Teddy Roosterveldt says:

    A firearms licence renewal should be very simple and straightforward. All that it should require if for the police to ask themselves the simple question “has this person come to the attention of the police for a serious matter in the preceding ten years?” If the answer is no then the renewal should be automatic.

  2. Lew says:

    Agree 100% with Teddy Roosterveldt. No misdemeanours for last 10 years instant renewal, would save countless police hours and enable them to chase criminals.

  3. J Buchan says:

    Teddy Roosterveldt’s words are wise. Pity the NZ Police didn’t ask themselves that simple question when they granted Mosque Murderer Australian Tarrant a firearms licence!

  4. Stewart Hydes says:

    This whole situation is a democratic disgrace. New Zealanders have been subjected to an ongoing propaganda campaign that unjustly, unfairly, and unreasonably points the finger of responsibility for the likes of the Chch Mosque Shootings at a legitimate and law-abiding minority sector of our community.
    Nevertheless, Firearms Licence Holders are 5% of the population .. 10% of the vote .. and with our supporters, we are fully 20% of the community (much more so in the rural areas that are 95% of NZ’s geography).
    In America, firearms advocacy groups are often characterised as “rednecks”. But here in New Zealand, we are just regular Kiwis .. who predominantly happen to have been brought up in rural areas and communities, or other households, where firearm ownership, possession, and use are both completely normal, and entirely legitimate (eg hunting, pest control, livestock euthanasia, sport shooting, etc)
    It’s clear this government and current police hierarchy have succumbed to ideology, poor counsel and pressure .. and are a lost cause, as far as we are concerned.
    Overseas research says that all it takes is a 3% swing .. to generate the momentum to bring about a change of government.
    Many of us put the shoulders of our single-issue support behind ACT’s wheel in the last election .. and we saw the wheel turn.
    We must focus our energies on maximising the potential of this in the upcoming Election .. and make sure ACT feels the full extent of our support.
    We can count on Nicole McKee to ensure this support is not wasted.
    This is our best chance .. to see some common sense come back into the equation .. and to recover some of the ground we have lost.
    Society must be reminded that just because a legitimate activity brings some risk .. does not mean that activity should be persecuted, or diminished. Just like we don’t ban cars .. because people get killed on our roads.
    We must not buy into the rhetoric that makes us feel like we are the problem .. we are not, we never were, and we never will be.
    It’s people like us who helped keep NZ a free country, in two world wars. We must be prepared to keep putting the effort into standing up .. being counted .. and fighting to keep it that way.
    Our children and our grandchildren are counting on us …

    • Paul Peychers says:

      Great letter Stewart. Unfortunately Labour & police are deaf to commonsense & fairness but rest assured I’ll be voting for ACT this coming election to help rectify this situation. They deserve our support as you say. Hopefully many other firearms owners will get on board too.

  5. Charles Baycroft says:

    Why do people find it so difficult to admit that the police and entire justice system has become corrupted?

    The corruption began when the various government enterprises were encouraged to pretend to be businesses.
    They ARE NOT BUSINESSES because they are not the willing sellers of desired goods and services to willing buyers.

    These enterprises are corrupted monopolies that extort money from US ALL by imposing and administering more regulations so they can charge us for compliance and fine us for non-compliance to TAKE OUR MONEY FROM US BY FORCE.

    Investigating real crimes, apprehending real criminals and administering punishments that fit then crimes is not a priority because real criminals are dangerous and catching them does not generate revenue.

    Criminalizing and extorting money from ordinary citizens is desirable because we are not dangerous and it does generate more revenue for the police and other government enterprises.

    The politically elite people that control the major parties go along with this extortion because it also enables them have more authority, power and money with which to control “the masses”.

    The only difference between them is that one is currently IN POWER and the other is not.

    If we disagree with the corruption and extortion in our system then we need to challenge and reduce the power that the political elites and buruaucrats have over us by changing our voting habits.

    The influential elites of the Labour and National parties believe that they cannot be challenged or deposed from power.
    They are secure because most people people think they only have 2 choices (red or blue) when they actually have many others.
    They feel secure because we have been pursaded to falsely believe that not voting for either of them is wasting out vote.

    Voting for political celebrities that have beenm chosen and selected by a small minority of influential party elites who want authority and power over us is truly wasting our votes.

    Voting for the minor parties and their candidates to take the power away from the Labnour and National elites is USING OUR VOTES FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT.

    Most of us know that voting Labour or National only results in more centralization of power, control of our lives, financial insecurity and social dysfunction but we keep doing it because we have been manipulated to beleive that we have no other choices.

    WE HAVE LOTS OF OTHER CHOICES because elections are our opportunity to be EFFECTIVE EMPLOYERS who fire the employees that perform badly and hire new ones that will be encouraged to serve us better.

    Our actual choices are
    Voting for the political celebrities of the major parties for more of the same things we complain about or
    Hiring new people from the minor parties who would be motivated to serve us better.

    How many people have the courage to vote for real change instead of more false promises, incompetence and failure?

  6. Lew says:

    There are comments made in this post by people who should be in politics, but they wouldn’t get there because they speak too much common sense.

  7. Justice Will B. Dunn. says:

    “Civis Romanus sum” – it used to be that we as Citizens were untouchable unless we broke the law, this power grabby socialist rabble now treat law abiding citizens as the enemy not as “Citizens of Rome” as it were. Things need a real, old fashion, shake up and getting back to first principles. “That government is best which governs least” – Thoreau, Civil Disobedience.

  8. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    Make no mistake, the long ultimate game, is to disarm the public.One way, is to price lic. qualifications out of reach on a normal family budget &the futility of maintaining it if under utilized.
    Take me,
    an 80 year old codger in a wheel chair, what benefit do i get from a lic. apart from romantic attachment to my youthful hunting trips.
    Also knowing the government will just squander my $’s thus collected on more benefits for moedis.

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