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.
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