Monday, March 1, 2010
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Today a case management hearing was held in the High Court at Wellington. A number of issues were discussed involving procedure.
The timetabling has been pencilled in as follows:
The Commissioner of Police has until 11 September to file evidential affidavits.
The Applicant has until 02 October to file evidential affidavits.
Crown law has until 09 October to file legal submissions.
The Applicant has until 16 October to file legal submissions.
This timetable is aimed at a substantive hearing date which has been reserved for the 22nd October with time also available on October 23rd. While this date is preferred it is flexible and if any issues arise, particularly in the regard to evidential matters, the date can be postponed.
At my request arrangements have been made that an H&K SL8 firearm will be exhibited in Court.
Further issues have arisen when a member of NSA asked Tony McLeod for advice on how to comply an SL8, Tony said he couldn't comment or give any advice… a rather odd response given that the Police advertising campaign is continuing unabated. See the letter at National Shooters Association Website .
A statement of defence was filed by Crown law but this is considered to be defective because it doesn't disclose any grounds for defence but merely admits the Commissioner and I disagree over what is a military pattern free standing pistol grip: i.e. I say that a military pattern free standing pistol grip is a military pattern free standing pistol grip and he says it's something else.
As most of you would have seen, Joe Green went on TV and publicly stated that the firearms that police are targeting do in fact comply with the definition of a sporting configuration. Joe hasn't been heard from since then and I suspect he may have been transferred to outer Siberia on traffic duties.
The Herald has written another misleading and inaccurate story. NSA has responded to the Herald. See the reports on the National Shooters Association Website .
Saturday, August 8, 2009
There has been a lot of discussion since Mackenzie J handed down his judgment on interim orders. There seems to be one dominant question: "is my [fill in your favourite rifle here] still legal for my 'A' licence endorsement.
There is no simple – yes / no answer to that until the High Court has disposed of the judicial review proceeding. It is "not known." Any advice police give you is merely an opinion and of no legal standing. The final decision is yours and yours alone. Here is something that may influence your decision.
You are not liable to conviction by a Court for an offence when you have made a mistake of fact. This is distinct from a mistake of law. For example: A man was charged with a traffic offence committed in a rural paddock. The paddock was used for the relevant day as a car park for a field day event. The man knew the paddock was a car-park for the event; he mistakenly believed that the paddock was not subject to the traffic laws that generally applied to roads. In fact the law applies to any area like that, temporary or not, where the public has access. He made a mistake in law. However if the man had not know that the area was annexed as a car park for the day of the event, that would have been a mistake of fact and he would not have been convicted. When you accidentally break the law based on a reasonable mistake of fact then you cannot be convicted.
If you know that your [fill in your favourite rifle here] has a military pattern free standing pistol grip but you believe that the relevant law does not apply from Friday at 6pm until Sunday at 6pm that would be a mistake of law and your busted. However if you genuinely believe that your thumbhole stock is not a military pattern free standing pistol grip then that is a mistake of fact and even if Police tried to prosecute you, a court would acquit. Oh I hear you say, "but the Police would say that they warned me." That maybe so but Mackenzie J says that the police opinion has no legal standing, and the Police have told you for sixteen years that your rifle is 'A' category. If you can look at your [fill in your favourite rifle here], hand on heart, and say, as a reasonable man, it doesn't have a military pattern free standing pistol grip, then you're safe.
NATIONAL SHOOTERS ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP ENROLMENT NOW OPEN - CLICK HERE
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
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Today a fax has arrived from the High Court with Justice Mackenzie's decision on interim orders. The print quality is poor so I will post the full version when I get a hardcopy in the mail.
There are 8 pages which go into some detail of the discussion but the most relevant in my view is this:
"Ultimately the question whether the previous interpretation, or the new interpretation, is to be preferred will be matter for the Court. Neither the previous interpretation nor the new interpretation has any particular legal status. In those circumstances, it would not be appropriate for the Court to make an interim order which would have the effect of preferring, on an interim basis and without hearing full argument, the previous interpretation over the new interpretation."
Other relevant snippets of interest:
"In considering what is necessary to preserve the position of the applicant, it is important to note that Police do not have, under the Act, the ability to make a binding classification of the weapons in question"
"That question must be determined, where necessary, by any Court which is determining some relevant issue. The Court will not be bound by the Police interpretation, but must itself apply the relevant definition to the firearm in question."
Justice Mackenzie has essentially found that because the Police "new interpretation" is merely an opinion of Police it is in effect inconsequential. He alluded to this point again in his discussion concerning the Courts ability to make any decision at all given that the Police could not exercise a statutory power to classify firearms. He said (there are some limited) "circumstances in which the Court may correct errors of law in non-binding advice from a public authority". Justice Mackenzie declined to make interim orders.
As I'm flat out with this Court stuff, I invite everyone to write to the Commissioner of Police and ask this:
- Is the commissioner willing to extend to you, the immunity from prosecution that has been extended to me... until the High Court has dealt with this judicial review?
- How are Police going to reimburse the public if they spend $60,000 on advertising an opinion which is ultimately found wanting?
- What contingency plan have Police developed to ensure:
- that there is a better uptake on registrations than the less than 50% achieved in 1992,
- that any remaining unregistered 'new' MSSAs do not end up in the hands of criminals, social misfits and psychopaths.
- that there is a better uptake on registrations than the less than 50% achieved in 1992,
… We didn't get an interim order but look on the bright side… if the Police start advertising this 'opinion' nationally their only going to be irritating more and more shooters which will ultimately be good for our cause. And we have a statement in no uncertain terms that Police have no authority to reclassify firearms J
And to the lovely Erin who commented on my profile photo…. "I'm flattered; but no thanks."
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
My suggestion is this: Each region should have a representative whose role would be to coordinate between members in their region and the national body. Each regional Rep would be a board member and will be part of the national leadership team. Lets start getting some names and locations :ie City, town, district. Once we have sufficient national coverage I will attempt to sort out regional boundaries and each region can have a nomination and election process for a representative. Email me your name & addy & occupation, contact details - (which of course will be confidential) and indicate if you are up for being a rep. If everyone is happy I will manage this as the "Caretaker President" until we get a full democratic structure in place.
LETS BE CLEAR: As I promised from the outset - All donations made to the judicial review legal fund are retained for that purpose alone and any surviving funds will be returned to the donors. The new organisation is a separate identity and will be funded separately.
So lets start drawing up our membership list, join before the end of August and get immortal infamey with your name scribed on the constitution which will be revered and honoured by our children, grandchildren and all the future generations that will remain in awe of our dedication and efforts to preserve their heritage of shooting sports ;)... we hope so anyway :-)
Email with: "NSA Member signup" in the subject line.