How do gang members get guns? They apply for a firearms licence and the Police approve them…really

So the Police – again – are responsible for firearms getting into the hands of scumbag criminals.

Spectacular failure of monumental proportions.

A gang member was able to legally buy 18 high-powered firearms before police cottoned on – and now the cache has vanished.

The man, understood to be a patched member of the Headhunters Motorcycle Club, bought the guns, including high-powered semi-automatic rifles, with a value of about $30,000, between 2012 and 2015, the Herald has learned.

It is understood that in January, police went to the Northland man to revoke his licence and guns, only to find he had already sold them.

Police would not comment on the case except to say it was “very rare for a patched gang member to be issued a firearms licence”.

So cops can’t be bothered investigating burglaries – particularly the ones where firearms are stolen – and they can’t undertake quality due diligence on firearms applicants.

But they reserve their right to complain (through Police Association president Greg O’Connor) about crooks pointing guns at them.


I hope I don’t have to connect the dots here. Seriously?

We have a national enquiry into how criminals obtain guns. Do we need to follow through?

The issue is the Police and their sloppiness. If they did their job there wouldn’t be an issue.

It is becoming apparent that the Police, at least the Arms Officers aren’t doing their jobs. Is it time to outsource them? If it was me I’d start with Gerry Booth at Manukau, he has to be the worst, most self opinionated, arrogant, clip-board wielding officious cock doing the job of Arms Officer.

Unfortunately Stuart Nash raises a good point, but then misses the point entirely.

Labour’s police spokesman Stuart Nash said the case highlighted the changes needed to toughen current firearms laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“How did a person like this get a licence in the first place?” he asked.

“You’ve got to have a good character test … and guys like this do not pass this in any way, shape or form.”

The people who administer the “test” of a “fit and proper person” to own a firearm are the Police. There is only one organisation responsible for this cock-up…the Police. As for his claim that the laws need to change…they don’t, they just need to be enforced properly and adequately. Secondly, there is a reason people are criminals, they ignore the law, so toughening up the law won’t stop a criminal obtaining a firearm. Silly stuff from Nash.


– NZ Herald


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  • rantykiwi

    He probably did pass the good character test – it’s more than likely he wasn’t a gang member or associate at the time he got his firearms licence. People change over time, keeping up with that is a difficult task. Whilst the police should have been more on the ball I think it’s understandable why this happened.

    On a related note, I’ve had calls from an arms officer about one of my recent mail order firearms purchases. Reading between the lines they’re trying to track down where the firearms were when they went to revoke someone’s licence, so it looks as if they’re making at least a partial effort.

  • Nebman

    I’ve found the local Arms Officer to have his own interpretation of how the law is interpreted and that saw me “voluntarily” relinquish mine for 24 hours while I complied with how he was interpreting the act. The cops that came to view the installation not only did not know the difference between types of rifles (centrefire/rimfire/bolt ou semi auto), their arms handling was appalling. Neither of them checked to see or asked me to show them the weapons were safe when I handed them over. Numpties.

    • rantykiwi

      A mate of mine who pistol shoots in Wellington says you can always tell when the cops have been out to the range to practice – there are new holes in the roof. That shows a truly frightening lack of arms handling ability and safety.

      • andrewo

        This not the first time I’ve heard of this.

      • phronesis

        If you read the range rules you will find that there is a specified “cone of fire” that anyone using the range must be able to demonstrate. Basically you have to demonstrate that you can control the weapon and that bullets are going where your aiming. It’s clearly a safety issue. The cone is about 50cm wide at 25 meters. Even new members don’t have too much trouble getting to that standard. There is however an exception to these range rules. Police officers only have to be able to hit a 2 meter target at 25 meters. They are allowed to be four times less competent and safe despite the fact they are training to shoot at people in public…

    • johnandali

      Amazing ignorance and worse! The first thing anybody must do if they’re handed a firearm, is to ensure that it is unloaded (and to point the thing away from anybody while these checks are made). It’s called an SOP (standard operating procedure). And if they don’t know the difference between rimmed and rimless ammo, how on earth can they be trusted to load a magazine with rimmed ammo to ensure it doesn’t jam?

      • Nebman

        Not my job to educate them – I doubt there’s much chance of them putting the wrong ammo in to anything to be honest – they only use 5.56 in their rifles and 9mm in their pistols and even blind Freddy can’t stuff that up.

    • FornaK

      What’s the process to omplain about your experiences with these officers?
      Or will it draw attention to yourself, and you’ll mysteriously have your license revoked after complaining?

      • Nebman

        To paraphrase my Brother – “Do you want to be right or do you want to go hunting with your own guns”?

        • FornaK

          Yep, fair enough. Just what I thought!

  • Mark156

    Wasnt this in the dom post about 3 weeks ago or was that another gang member who got a license?

  • Mark

    For me the most offensive part of NZ’s arms control regime has always been you could in fact get a “Good” Arms Officer. I have dealt with them literally the depth & breadth of the country,such decisions should not depend on the whim/policy/prejudice of an individual.sworn or not.
    Well done WOBH for naming one.

    I say again that this system has down far more harm than good & accomplishes worse than nothing. It is both incompetent & corrupt.

    Arms control is part of the problem.

  • Bert Piepoint

    The Guy who came around to my place when I renewed my licence was a contractor, not a sworn officer. He spent more time trying to sell some magic elixir to SWMBO. The funniest part was him standing under a wall-mounted Martini Henry 44-50 and asked if I had any other weapons. Reminded me of Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons!

  • johnandali

    Does anybody know what the penalties are for illegal possession of firearms? When you have a firearms licence, do you have to register the full description and serial number of every weapon you own or buy and the address at which the firearms will be held? Are there random inspections carried out by Police to ensure that weapons, moving parts and ammo are kept separately and under lock and key? Is it now time for the Police to be trained by military instructors in the handling, maintenance, security and use of firearms? Do firearms officers receive formal training so they can carry out their duties? Is it necessary for firearms officers to be sworn staff? Couldn’t they just as easily be retired senior Army personnel. Just shows you how little I know about the system. During my own military service, I was graded as a marksman in the use of rifles, sub-machine guns and pistols, and it worries the heck out of me that the Police are not doing their jobs properly in respect to weapons.

    • Hard1

      Big,small, no, no, yes, no, usually nothing, they are, (minimally), anyone’s guess as they are usually civilians, no, yes.

      • johnandali

        I thought as much. I hope that all MPs note your answers and that they will start to think how they could improve things. Hope that’s not asking too much.

    • Wozza

      3 years

  • Superman

    I can’t complain about the system as I have experienced it. The person who checked my storage was a retired police officer and an extremely nice fellow. He knew the rules and was efficient. What worries me is the background check. You must give two names as references, one of whom must be your spouse/partner. They do follow up on these but nobody is going to give a reference that will speak badly of them and neither is the partner, specially if it is a woman. I’m sure any gang members reference or partner will tell you he is a big teddy bear who kisses children all day and has never been aggressive in his life.

  • Wozza

    this whole thing stinks… how the hell could a 88 get a FAL… the local Arms Officer should be sacked… and the local area commander also!!!

    • It is a complete myth that to be a gang member you need criminal convictions. Who is to say this guy has been convicted of anything? And if he hasn’t how exactly would the cops know who he was?

      • Wozza

        Intelligence… But clearly there is a lack of….