Submission: Arms Legislation Bill

The NZ Council for Civil Liberties has made a submission (pdf) about the the Arms Legislation Bill.

While not opposed to the general thrust of the bill, we wanted to call out two elements of the “fit and proper” person vetting used to decide whether someone can get an firearms license.

  1. The use of whether someone has been charged with a crime, even though the charge may have been withdrawn or the person was found not guilty by a court of law. This is contrary to section 25c of the NZ Bill of Rights Act that people have “the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”.
  2. The use of guilt by association where “the applicant is a member of, or has close affiliations with, a gang or an organised criminal group”. This is contrary to section 17 of the NZ Bill of Rights Act which states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of association”.

Read the full text of our submission (PDF).