The following message has been received from the NZ Police, who have asked us to circulate it to our Members:
Over the past couple of days I have fielded a number of phone calls in relation to our station Arms Surrender form. The form has made its way to a social media site with comments attached, suggesting there is some confusion with the intent of the form. I would like to clear up any confusion now.
As you know, on 12 April new provisions in the Arms Act 1983 came into force prohibiting most semi-automatic firearms and some pump action shotguns; and certain large capacity magazines. It also signalled an amnesty and buy-back scheme.
The implementation of these requirements are underway. An amnesty is already in place during which possession offences do not apply for newly-prohibited items and also allows for any type of firearm to be handed in to Police. The buy-back pricing schedule and supporting regulations have not been confirmed to date.
The POL67S is an interim form, designed to enable Police to receive and receipt firearms from the public, when they have been brought into the station. The level of detail on the form is limited and purely designed to trace the movements of the firearm and to record the intention of the owner (Amnesty / Buy-back / Endorsement seeker). As you know, Police have been encouraging licence holders to securely store their firearms in the interim rather than bringing them into Police stations.
Endorsements; If someone who handed in their firearm to Police while they await the outcome of their endorsements application is advised that their endorsement is not approved, that firearm may still be eligible for buy-back depending on the criteria when they are finalised. The fact that police already have the firearm in their possession does not prevent the owner from applying for compensation.
Our key message to people remains the same. For those who hold a newly-prohibited firearm (or any firearm), to continue to store them safely and securely while the details for buy-back are being confirmed by Government.
I’d appreciate it if you could advise your networks that at this stage, we are waiting on an announcement from Government on when the buy-back scheme will take effect. We appreciate that many firearms licence holders are waiting for this announcement.
In the meantime, I’d also appreciate it if you could remind your networks to spread the word about completing the online notification form – which enables people to inform Police of their intent to hand in their firearm/s during the amnesty and buy-back period.
Thanks again for your support as we work through this process.
Inspector Morgan Gray