MSSA Recategorising - Update
COLFO has been in discussion with the NZ Police in relation to the new definitions as applied to MSSA’s. We are now in a position to be able to confirm that the police have decided to go ahead and implement the changes. The police have sort Crown Law advice that indicates that the changes can be legally enacted.
From our discussions, COLFO can report that the police are still developing guidelines and that owners of any firearms that will be affected should wait for more detail when the police launch an information campaign proposed for early August. In the meantime COLFO advises owners not to do anything until the campaign is announced. Indications are that you will have ample time to decide your course of action.
COLFO can reveal that the police have agreed that owners of these affected MSSA’s who currently hold an ‘E’ endorsement will be able to obtain a permit to procure to move the firearm over. This will be good news to many of you who have wanted to move the SL8 to ‘E’ category.
We can also inform those of you not holding an ‘E’ endorsement that the police have agreed that once the campaign commences you will be able to apply for an ‘E’ endorsement and that the extra fee ($200) normally charged will be waived. COLFO believes that if you already have one of these firearms on a ‘A’ licence and have sufficient security in place there should be no reason why you would not be considered a fit and proper person to obtain this endorsement.
Police have indicated that this offer will commence from the launch of the campaign and will remain in place until 31 March 2010.
There will be no buy back, so COLFO suggests that if you do not want to apply for an ‘E’ endorsement then you should look at on selling the firearm(s) to a dealer or an ‘E’ endorsement holder or to a person wanting to obtain an ‘E’ endorsement.
If you are planning on applying for the ‘E’ endorsement COLFO strongly recommends that you review your security, and increase it in accordance with the regulations applicable to ‘E’ endorsement. An approved commercial safe to accommodate two ‘E’ category firearms is not a large expense against what you pay for the firearms.
Information from members of COLFO is quite differing in content. Some are really keen to move the firearms over to ‘E’ and others do not want to do so. Remember, hunting is just as a legitimate reason for owning a MSSA as is Service Rifle shooting.
In the meantime, continue as before, do not panic, and wait for the police to launch their campaign. It will be well publicised throughout the various media such as magazines, newspapers and on the internet. National shooting sports bodies will also be asked to assist with distributing the information out to their branches and members.
COLFO will continue to monitor the concerns of our members and will raise these with the police or any other appropriate avenues if considered necessary. We are committed to the firearms community, and have taken independent legal advice on the situation. We believe this is a good outcome for all parties in the current environment.