Police Will Make $700 Profit Processing a Firearm License

Media release – Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) March 1, 2023.

 According to new fees proposed by Police, it takes a staffer 35 hours of work to process one firearms license application. The finding comes from a new analysis by the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) which compared the wages of Police staff with the newly proposed fees for firearm license holders.

An analysis by COLFO has found Police are set to make over $700 in profit every time a licensed firearm owner renews their license, paid for by the taxpayer and the license holder themselves. At the current rate of 2,000 license renewals per month, Police will earn $1.4 million dollars profit every month.

Consultation on the new fees closes tomorrow after being extended two weeks due to Cyclone Gabrielle, and Police are yet to release a promised explanation for how the proposed cost increases for licensed firearm owners were derived.

In the new proposals, Police state that the full cost to them to issue a standard license is $960 to $1,060. The standard salary for a Police Constable, who would process the application, is $56,219.00, or $27.03 per hour. That means it would take the Constable, assuming the lower $960 cost, 35 hours and 30 minutes to complete the process for one license application.

COLFO spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says it’s impossible that issuing a single license would take that long.

“They could be worse than we thought at their jobs, but it’s far more likely Police are set to profit to an extreme from these fees.”

Even if the work was done by a higher-paid staffer, such as an Arms Officer (which is unusual), that would still equate to 27 hours, 30 minutes of time on the maximum $30.13/hr salary.

It could be argued the exceptional cost is to cover sundries like operating expenses. COLFO estimates it takes 8 hours for Police to process a license applicant if they follow the correct process. One hour each to interview the applicant and the referees, making a total of 3 hours with perhaps two hours travelling time, and the rest to write up any report needed. At $27.03 per hour for a constable and 8 hours expended, that totals $216.24.

Using the lower $960 cost again, that leaves $743.76 to cover any sundries (operating expenses, wage and cost increases, non-salary labour costs, overheads, depreciation), though the Police have not explained or justified what these may be.

Devereux-Mack says this is an exceptional amount to cover additional costs.

“We can’t justify the equations no matter how many allowances we make for the Police. It’s just not possible that one license would cost that much to process, which means they’re making a profit.

“Business owners could only dream of these profit margins. If correct, the figures show how much money Police have been funnelling from the taxpayer – the question is where it all goes.

“I can fully believe they did their numbers wrong, but this needs to be corrected, and fast.”

At 24,000 renewals a year or 2,000 a month, then assuming only constables process the renewals, 2000 x 35.5 hours equals 71,000 hours of Police time a month. If the constable works a standard 40-hour week, this requires 444 constables a week to process those renewals that month.

Devereux-Mack says if processing licenses takes this much work, it’s no wonder renewals have been taking up to a year, with Police requesting licensed firearm owners to apply 6 months in advance to ensure they don’t break the law.

“These numbers give an insight into the absurdity of the levels and cost of work being undertaken by Police. It is exactly why we asked for an independent firearms authority.

“Yet Police continue to take on and create even more regulatory work for firearms, when they simply can’t handle it,” he said.

Footnote:-Members of the public have until midnight, 2 March 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


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7 Responses to Police Will Make $700 Profit Processing a Firearm License

  1. Charles Baycroft says:

    I should be obvious that these new regulations and fees will not improve public safety because LFO’s are an inconsequential threat to the safety of themselves or others.

    Ordinary people have many real concerns like secure jobs, homes, education for their kids and accessible medical services.
    Protection from predation by real criminals is also a concern but no-one is seriously worried about being attacked by a properly licensed fellow citizen who responsibly owns and uses firearms.

    Yes, the people administering the system did fail to properly assess Brenton Tarrant and the proper response would be to admit the mistake and imporve the administration of the excellent system of licensing we had.

    Replacing the system with one that will be even more difficult to administer and encourage complaince with is going to have many undesired consequences for firearms owners and the general public.

    Where, we should be told, is the evidence that these new regulations and fees will make people safer?
    The truth is that THERE IS NO SUCH EVIDENCE that public safety will be improved.

    What then is the real agenda?

    There is a desire to appease the politically active anti-firearms lobby by imposing a system that will be difficlt to comply with so that law abiding people will be disarmed.

    There is also a desire by the management of the POLICE ENTERPRISE to increase their revenue by imposing more and more fees, fines other charges on decent citizens while spending less on dealing with criminals that assault, rob, rape, kill and otherwise threaten our safety and security.

    These new regulations and fees are politically and finacially motivated by a minority of people who value their own ambitions and agendas more than the people they are paid to serve.

    The only effective way to oppose this corruption and dishonesty is for the people that disagree to become more politically involved and active and replace the politicians of the Labour, National and Green Parties with new employees who will make decisions based on objective evidence instead of their own selfish agendas and prejudices.

  2. Teddy Roosterveldt says:

    This is beyond absurd. As I have pointed out before this price gouging is clearly an attempt to claw back some of the money the police and government wasted on the pointless gun confiscation exercise after the Christchurch terrorist attack, an attack that was enabled by Jacinda Ardern’s interference in the administration of the Arms Act and the police failing miserably to do their job properly.

  3. Jack Tuhawaiki says:

    This is revenue gathering by police. Lawful firearm owning public have already paid taxes. Police would be better advised to get stuck into the criminals and gangs, especially those preying on hapless people in flood ravaged Hawkes Bay.

  4. J B Smith says:

    Have the police – public servants – and the Minister of Police Stuart Nash -a public servant – no conscience? Both get salaries and vote allocation from the public purse.
    This is predatory price gouging.

  5. Phil Cregeen says:

    Pre 2019 we had the best firearm law regime in the world. Simple sensible laws that everybody who needed to understood and most happily complied with.
    Post 2019 it has steadily gone down hill, as without any evidence, ignorant politicians, encouraged by police hierarchy, have embarked on an agenda to make lawful firearm ownership as difficult as possible.
    These latest fee proposals are just another example of their ill advised and short sighted laws and regulations that will soon make it impossible for many to lawfully own a firearm in NZ. Quite frankly I have had a guts full.

  6. Spare me. says:

    If it takes 35 hours to process one license the police must be employing halfwits or they need mor money for their social funds.

  7. Pete says:

    All part of the master plan. Removing as many licence holders as possible is the next attack. I have numerous gentlemen coming to my shop over the course of a week advising they are selling their firearms as they cannot afford the renewal. ( Everyone already believes these costs will be cemented in place )
    In preparation for these costs all retailers including myself are already increasing prices to try and absorb costs across the board into differing products sold. I also believe the decision is already there using the old methodology. When proposing a cost on a project, work out correct cost, double it, double it again and when parties settle for middle ground you the proposer walks away smiling and happy as because you got way more than what you were prepared to settle for.
    We can expect at the very least 1 1/2 times higher costs IMHO

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