FIREARMS LICENCE Part 2 ENDORSEMENTS:
Many people think that revolvers and pistols are banned in New Zealand, and that only the Armed Forces and Police are allowed to have automatic weapons that are thought-of as machine-guns. -Wrong.
The fact is that while there are strong restrictions on possession of 'Restricted Weapons' our citizens rights have not been totally removed by politicians. However it does cost cash and plenty of persistence to work through all the obstacles. - Jumping through all the hoops of police regulations that seem deliberately placed to try 'put off" anyone interested in shooting sports and guns is a lengthy process. Note: I strongly suggest that you are your usual naturally friendly and pleasant self when dealing with police employees - as it's almost certainly not that persons fault that they have to deal with restrictive and expensive regulation.
New Zealand was not "anti-gun" in the past. Until well after the First World War, guns including pistols could be freely sold by retailers and were displayed in High Street shop windows. In 1921 The Arms Act required that pistols be registered like rifles. - Until 1974 - Bank clerks, managers and security guards were all armed (with .38"revolvers (Webleys) ). An old friend - retired gunsmith Rod Woods, has many a good story to tell - and filled-in my hazy history from a time before I slept (as a baby) in the bottom drawer of a linen chest in London, (- to protect me from near-miss German bombs.) - Good man Rod.
Currently there are five additional 'Endorsements' that may be applied to a licence – B,C,E,D,F.
(the basic firearms license is known as an 'A' Cat.)
'B' Cat. Is for Pistol Target Shooting. The first step is to locate a Pistol Club nearby ( ask at a Police Station or visit the web site for Pistol New Zealand) and go along on a club day – have a look and a chat.
'C' Cat. Is to collect firearms that are categorised as "Restricted" by NZ Police: Pistols, Edged weapons , Sub-Machine Guns, Machine Guns, Artillery Guns, Tanks etc. You may legally purchase, keep, and collect whatever you are interested in. Here's an important tip: - When you apply for a Collectors Endorsement – Do Not Limit yourself – as sure as eggs is eggs, some time later you'll want to buy a **##**%** ? and you'll be refused a permit because you didn't include it in your application! - You might find it helpful to join The New Zealand Antique Arms Association - they run auctions of very interesting items from time to time and their members are expert collectors!
I wrote something like " I am interested in collecting all firearms old and new, ( maybe I said antique and modern), manual, semi-auto, and full-auto – of all calibers and sizes, that are of interest for either their rarity or for their popularity." - And that is on the record for my 'C' Licence Endorsement.
'D' Cat. Is for firearms Dealers and Manufacturers / Repairers, Gun-Smiths. It is an annual renewable licence, and is restrictive in its application.
'E' Cat. Is for an "Elastic" control on an invented category of firearm called "MILITARY STYLED SEMI-AUTOMATIC" – MSSA, that was devised to make it difficult for anyone to own or shoot so called 'Assault Rifles' . Again, Please don't limit youself as to why you want an 'E' Cat. Endorsement. Write down every possible use, or you may find yourself being penalised for using it eg. for shooting possums if you left that off your application. Valid Reasons may be 3 Gun Competition IPSC, feral animal control, Military Rifle Competition, Hunting dangerous animals (wild boar, wild bulls), Shark killing, Helicopter Hunting, testing ammunition, Military Displays, Historic Re-enactment, or to allow you to actually touch an 'E' Cat Firearm owned by someone else, - etc.
An 'E' Cat firearm may not ever be used by any person other than an 'E' endorsed licence holder – Whereas a 'B' category firearm applicant must shoot that restricted firearm on at least 12 separate recorded occasions over six months before the applicant will be granted that endorsement!
The Police Arms Code defines an MSSA thus:
An MSSA is a self-loading rifle or shotgun with one or more of the following features:
. Folding or telescopic butt
. Magazine that holds, or has the appearance of holding, more than 15 cartridges for .22" rimfire
. Magazine that holds, or has the appearance of holding, more than 7 cartridges for others
. Bayonet lug
. Free standing military-style pistol grip.
. Flash suppressor
Note: There are many rifles categorised as 'A' Cat (sporting) which immediately become illegal 'E' Cats if a larger magazine is inserted.
'F' Cat. Is an endorsement that permits gun-shop employees to show/demonstrate restricted firearms to customers.
I don't know any shooter who believes that a bayonet lug , or a big magazine, ( or one that "appears" to hold more ammunition), or a "military style pistol grip", or a telescoping butt, have any relationship with making a firearm more dangerous than any other. But, there you are – somebody in Police National Headquarters must have had a phobia and the status to push that idea through Parliament.
Even odder is that the Police themselves seem to have an unhealthy affection and affectation for black rifles, telescoping butts, pistol grips, high capacity magazines, flash suppressors, face masks etc, - and for their (mis)use.
It is reported that this October 2007 Ureweras raid, involving unlawful roadblocks, illegal searches, and unlawful spy cameras, cost tax payers more than six million dollars. The Police Commissioner did apologise.