The stupidty of Greg O’Connor and the Police Association

The Police Association want the Police to be the only people with guns.

They have made their submission to the inquiry into gun control and have several rather bizarre claims and suggestions.

The biggest outrage is to request a ban on what they call “.50 calibre firearms”.


They are totally disingenuous with their submission too, calling air rifles a restricted weapon. For anyone over 18 they are not a restricted weapon except in a very limited way.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.19.10 PM

From the interpretation:Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.21.49 PM

As you can see the restrictions are aesthetic and ridiculous, but this is what happens when you let emotions write law. Note the repeated use of “appearance”. So if something looks bad it is according to the stupid law. It doesn’t prevent the sale or use of those, it just means you need a firearms licence and you are good to go.

But the police want to make .50 calibre rifles restricted as well. The stupid fools don’t even realise that they already are, firstly by the same rules as the airguns, that is you need a firearms licence…secondly by the prohibitive price of these firearms…they aren’t cheap. You basically can’t buy a .50BMG rifle for under $8,000.


Even the ammunition is expensive. Then there is the weight of these and the length. A Barrett weighs 13 kilos and is 57” (145 cm) long. These things are not really conducive to gang members using them. Furthermore you need to drop a decent scope on them to make them any good so add another three or four thousand to the cost factor.

Worse their specification is for just .50 calibre….that would include black powder single shot rifles and antique rifles as well. For example you can buy a Kentucky flintlock 50 calibre rifle for around a $1000.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.41.55 PM

Pedersoli 50 calibre Kentucky rifle which would be a restricted weapon if the Police Association got their way.

Strangely a Pedersoli Brown Bess replica Black Powder rifle in 75 calibre wouldn’t be captured by the Police Association proposals.

Brown Bess 75 calibre rifle not captured by the Police Association regulation

Brown Bess 75 calibre rifle not captured by the Police Association regulation

This shows just how stupid the Police Association submission is and that is but one example. The problem is their specification is ridiculous. What do they even mean by .50 calibre? That definition covers any rifle with a bore of half an inch. But there are many different calibres that have a bore of half an inch. Do the Police Association want to restrict all of those? All cartridges are not created equal.

That ignores every calibre above .50 calibre like the .950JDJ:

or the .577 Tyrannosaur:

But the Police Association just wants to make .50 calibre rifles restricted…bizarre.

You might think I am being over the top but once you start specifying calibre limits then it makes it easy for the Police to then decide to restrict .338 Lapua Magnums, then .300 calibre magnums and so on down the line until we are all only shooting blow dart guns.

Here’s the thing, where is the evidence of .50 calibre rifles being collected in raids, or used in crimes? The Police Association certainly hasn’t provided any, they are just using lies, obfuscations and emotion to request bans and restrictions. Perhaps if they actually did their jobs on firearms the criminals might find it a bit harder to obtain them.

The main problem here too is that dopey politicians listen to the equally dopey Police Association. When you look at submissions like this and their allergic reaction to what they call Military Style Semi Automatic rifles you realise that these muppets have no idea what they are talking about. All of the restrictions on MSSA rifles are almost entirely aesthetic, as if a pistol grip makes a rifle any more lethal.

In a shoot of between me with a bolt-action rifle and a gang member with a semi-auto I’d win, with the gang member dead before he could even think about how he is going to aim the rifle at me. His MSSA wouldn’t help him.

In their appendix they fail to outline a single instance of a .50 calibre firearm being used to commit a crime. There are plenty of .22 calibre rifles, and shotgun and pistols but no .50 calibre. This submission should be rejected for want of evidence and overly emotive submissions.

If the Police want shooters to comply and work with Police then they need to stop presenting dopey solutions to non-problems and start enforcing the laws.

The best solution for all would be to massively increase the penalties, and bring them in line with penalties for illegal fishing. Right now the punishment for illegal fishing is much higher than discharging a firearm. The laws and the penalties were written in 1983, things have moved on. Time to increase the penalties and stop presenting dopey “evidence” to unsuspecting politicians.


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  • Mark156

    Very salient points.Oconnor does hint very strongly at the refusal of judges to revoke licenses in his submission and he should be supported on that.Have you read Joe Greens submission where he basically says that police aren’t following their own rules on reporting of firearms crimes?That is very interesting food for thought.

    • On top of that there are the idiot arms officers like Gerry at Manukau who make up rules to suit themselves or the Police armourer who has lost more cases for the Police due his complete incompetence.

      • Sceptical Harry

        That armourer is a right laugh. His credibility on the stand is zero due to the fact that he has (when scrutineered) a lack of basic gun knowledge (that can be easily shown through cross examination) and he has contradicted himself over and over again. We call witnesses like that ‘unreliable’ and the Court tends to place little or no weight on their expert evidence in a hearing.
        As for Gerry. He’s just unhappy.

      • The Fat Man

        Is that “accidental unauthorized discharge” Gerry.

  • jimknowsall

    You essentially say that 50 calibre rifles ought not to be banned because doing so would be a slippery slope to banning other calibres and that they’re not currently used to commit crime. However, I disagree that it is a slippery slope. 50 calibres have no purpose that would be legal or sensible, and the only reason to have them is long distance sniping and getting through body armour. I think there is a well defined difference between such weapons and lower calibres which are legitimately used for hunting. (Maybe if we had elephants and rhinos to hunt you could make a case for 50 calibres, but we don’t!)

    That 50 calibres have not been implicated in any crimes so far is not a reason not to ban them. Should we legalise rpgs or sarin gas because they’ve not been used in NZ so far?
    Having said all that, you make some good points about what exactly would be included in such bans, particularly regarding MSSA rifles.

    • Mark156

      No you’re wrong.You can argue any caliber rifle is especially dangerous because it fires bullets.Who are you,John Howet?

      • David Moore

        Bullets, what about arrows? In WA its technically illegal to own a bow and arrows without ‘lawful excuse’, what that means is the source of a lot of harassment of archers and bowhunters there.

      • jimknowsall

        No, my point is that the only reason to have 50 calibre rifles is to kill people at long range and those in body armour. If you can think of another reason to own one, please let me know.

        • Nebman

          Actually by definition that’s what all guns are. For most gun owners, owning a 50 cal is not a priority. I’d be more worried about the nutter with an accurate rifle of any calibre than a specific one.

          The 50 cal is lots of fun on the range but it’s usually the bloke with a mini 14 that gets asked by everyone if they can have a go with it. And that’s only a 223.

          You underestimate how much enjoyment responsible owners often get from tuning their skills and weapons on a range. If we start banning specific calibres, you have built an argument to justify banning others.

          • jimknowsall

            You make some good points. However, I think we would all consider it reasonable to ban weapons once they reach certain levels of efficacy/calibre. I happen to think that level is best set just above what is necessary for the only legitimate use of firearms in NZ: hunting animals and practising for the same. I don’t think that a 50 calibre is necessary or practical for hunting any animal in NZ so I don’t see why anyone would own them – target shooting excepted. (Though that itself begs the question why you’d need to practise shooting something that you could never use “for real”).

            I’ve built an argument to justify the banning of weapons above a logical limit. So, if you disagree that 50 calibre should be banned, what level would you go for? Is my 8″ Howitzer too much? After all, I really like tuning my skills and firing that baby, and I promise I would never, ever misuse it or let anyone steal it. :-)

          • I know people with cannons, so you are barking up the wrong tree there. I also want a cannon. You have no idea what you are talking about. A .338 Lapua Magnum is far more effective than a 50BMG mainly due to a more modern cartridge design and better ballistic coefficients of the bullets and a higher velocity…if your justification is potential, yet undiscovered harm then these surely go on your list of banned guns. But it ignores my post. The Police only specified .50 cal, there are plenty more above that, and also includes black powder weapons. But not larger calibre black powder weapons. I suggest you actually read up because your arguments fail on basics.

          • jimknowsall

            I agree the police submission was cack handed and one would need to think carefully how any potential ban was worded and what it included, particularly around antique guns and black powder weapons as you put it.

            You are right that I am not a weapons expert, and I’m certainly open to criticism and rebuttal of my arguments, but I really think that most New Zealanders would not be against some restrictions on the ownership of weapons at the higher end of the calibre scale for some pretty obvious reasons relating to public safety outweighing their limited legitimate uses.

          • metalnwood

            ‘but I really think that most New Zealanders would not be against some restrictions on the ownership of weapons’

            Thats where your argument fails you and everyone else in the end. At some point something you do that doesnt interest the majority of the population could be under the microscope.

            It’s why a lot of people who don’t care a rats about other peoples activities support them being able to do it. Thats something you can be thankful of.

          • jimknowsall

            That’s why I don’t make the laws and we have a democratically elected government to do such things, considering the needs and wishes of everyone and weighing them in the balance. But it is clearly accepted that we do need, and most certainly have, laws that restrict certain activities, unless you are advocating political anarchy.

          • metalnwood

            There are plenty of examples where the elected government didn’t do what the people wanted.

            So you dont agree with me, are you advocating to kill the pope? Thats as silly as throwing in your last sentence.

            I am not arguing against a democratic process, I am debating against your view that we should implement some sort of ‘minority report’ scheme with the difference being you are willing to do it without even knowing anything will happen in the future. It has not happened past or present.

            The only evidence we have is that the caliber you shoot has most likely killed someone in a criminal act but you are currently content because you are not being looked at.

          • The Fat Man

            The wife was not to impressed when I inquired about the possibility of parking a 54 ton Challenger Main Battle tank on the front lawn. No room out back.

            But that aside both sides are wrong.

            The most dangerous round in the US, the one that kills most people, is the humble .22 bullet.

        • a friend of mine (in the States) carries a .50 pistol. He uses it as a backup for if he encounters bears while bow hunting.

          • jimknowsall

            Great! That’s a perfect reason to have one. No bears or other dangerous animals in NZ though.

          • dunno, there some pretty big wild pigs.

        • metalnwood

          How many rounds of .50 have been shot in NZ? How many of those rounds have been aimed at people and used to kill them?

          If the answer is none, how do you put forward that this is the only reason people own them?

        • Mark156

          No,You’re still wrong and once you start saying this caliber is more dangerous than that caliber then the work of the shiny eyed idiots is done.

    • Really? No purpose that is either legal or sensible? Care to elaborate? Shooting at targets at over a 1000 yards isn’t illegal and it is eminently sensible. Where do you get your judgement from? What is wrong with long distance shooting?

      As for the defeating body armour…don’t be so stupid. There is zero evidence this is even a problem in NZ. Why can’t I have a 50BMG rifle? Why not a 50BMG but ok for a 338 Lapua Magnum?

      • jimknowsall

        OK, if long distance target shooting is your thing, then fair enough. At some point though, you have to consider a trade off between a rather niche pastime (does anyone even do this regularly in NZ?) and the risks involved in the public having access to such weapons.

        • Ghost

          So you are prepared for it to be written into law that some faceless bureaucrat can decide what you may or may not have, may or may not do, with out recourse, without evidence, without cause? At some point though, you have to consider that this is a cowardly simplistic philosophy for the pursuit of your perceived safety.

          • jimknowsall

            That’s a little disingenuous Ghost. We are talking about elected MPs making laws here, not faceless bureaucrats. And banning activities which they and the public perceive as dangerous is one of their main jobs. There is plenty of evidence that guns are dangerous, and the cause is to stop criminals using them to kill police in body armour, albeit that this hasn’t happened yet, thankfully. I don’t have a huge problem banning things pre-emptively when they manifestly present a potential danger.

          • Elected MPs are morons when it comes to firearms. You can’t stop criminals using these guns. You make them illegal it only stops law abiding people from using them. If a criminal wants it they will get it irrespective of laws, that’s why they are criminals.

            I’d love to know what your hobby is, I bet I could mount a case that it wasn’t sensible and therefore should be restricted.

          • jimknowsall

            Actually, one of them is shooting. Just not with large calibre weapons lol. :-)

          • Ghost

            You are one of the worst kinds of shooters there are, you are prepared to sell out other peoples interests just as long as no one interferers with yours. That speaks volumes as to the sort of person you are as well, because you cant claim ignorance (debatable) on the subject of firearms use in New Zealand, its a very cowardly thing.

          • The Fat Man

            One statistic that has never been released.

            What percentage of firearms confiscated from criminals have been illegally imported. Customs only intercept about 10% of drugs the same containers that carry the drugs could also carry fire arms.

            Certainly the drug dogs would miss them and probably the x-ray machines if the guns were broken down.

          • Chuck the parts in a box of car parts and see how effective Customs are at finding it.

          • Ghost

            Actually its not, previsions in the last amendments to firearms law enables the police to declare certain firearms restricted or MSSA, ie this enable non politicians (faceless bureaucrats ) the ability implement legal changes to the arms act. Banning activities they perceive as dangerous, wow, I can see where you are going with this. What evidence is there that the legally owned firearms in New Zealand are dangerous? And you want to stop criminals from killing police in body armour? By banning large calibre rifles? This almost goes past rational discussion, but seeing as you know it all jim, and you don’t have a problem with pre-emptively banning manifestly potential dangers, where are you on Suger, Alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, cars that can go over 100 kph, uninsulated houses, quad bikes, etc etc etc …..

          • I see no point in cars with an engine capacity over 1000cc will be his next claim. Or indeed any car that can exceed the speed limit.

          • jimknowsall

            Fair point about the firearms law amendment. Thanks for that – although it would be a bit ridiculous for a new amendment to be passed every time a new model of MSSA came on the market. That area of law is just a mess and I think we agree on that. But I think you’ve missed my point about weighing up the pros and cons of allowing or banning dangerous activities. I’m certainly not saying all dangerous things should be banned.

          • Ghost

            No, I am afraid I get your point exactly when it come to weighing up pro’ s and con’s. You think it is ok for other people deciding what you can have and what you cant, based on emotive and unfactual information.

          • cows4me

            Only the ones you aren’t comfortable with.

        • There is zero risk of these firearms being used to commit a crime. Most people couldn’t even carry them.

        • Who in the local criminal network is going to fork out 35,000 dollars for a fully setup Barrett or 50 caliber in the first place. Only a genuine target shooter or someone with a very good disposable income at the very least. Im sure there are plenty in the hunting fraternity who would love to pop a Deer, Thar or Chamois off at 1000 yds plus. If you have ever climbed for those buggers you better understand what I mean. 50 caliber rifles would be the least of worries for the police I’m sure

        • Sceptical Harry

          I fully endorse big cal rifles and I am going to build one up this year. Currently biggest rifle is a .300 Winmag but I want longer stretch than 1km. Looked at .338 Lapua and a mate has a .338 Raptor that can easily stretch to 2km. If it weren’t for the accuracy i’d conisder a .50 cal just for the fun of it. Why?
          Do i need a big cal rifle? Well yes and no. Will I build one? Yep. Because I can. Will go shoot things that far out? Yep. Plenty of places to do it and it will be a right laugh on goats.
          I don’t need a specific reason to build one of those rifles either and nor should anyone else.
          By example we go shoot rabbits out of the a friend’s jet turbine helicopter thats burning through 13 litres of Jet A-1 a minute because we can. You can chew up a couple of grand’s gas in an afternoon on critters that are cheaper than spit. Sure there are plenty of other things to do with ones’ money but its also our right to choose.
          Which is the whole point. A right to choose rather than have some loser behind a desk choose for us.
          having some wowser or Greggles O decided what we can or can’t do doesn’t sit right within a free democratic country like NZ. There is no issue with these rifles so we shouldn’t need to have changes made to stop their use.
          Lets not forget that the very reason crim’s have guns is because they nick them and the Police are too lazy to bother going to investigate. Its their own fault. That’s irony for you.

          • jimknowsall

            You make some good points and I largely agree with you. However, I hope you can see that your “…its also our right to choose” argument about personal liberty that you and many others have put forward does have some limits. Otherwise, it’s free reign on, for example, dog fighting and doing doughnuts on the roads because such things are what you might like to do for recreation. I am saying that maybe, just maybe, there is a limit on the power/calibre of weapons that the public ought to have access to and that, arguably, 50 calibre is a logical cut off point.

            I have clearly underestimated the strength of feeling on this topic here, both from a libertarian perspective and from a gun enthusiast perspective. Meanwhile, elsewhere, you’ll find many passionate people arguing for banning hunting entirely – such a dogmatic viewpoint makes us perceive them as crazy vegan lentil knitters, but on the other hand, we must be careful not to emulate them at the other end of the spectrum, because we’ll be perceived as crazy gun nuts. Neither position has much credibility with the general public or holds political capital with the people who make the laws.

    • David Moore

      “However, I disagree that it is a slippery slope. 50 calibres have no purpose that would be legal or sensible, and the only reason to have them is long distance sniping and getting through body armour. ”

      Does an any activity need to be judged ‘legal or sensible’ to be legal? Judge by who exactly? What exactly is ‘sensible’?

      “That 50 calibres have not been implicated in any crimes so far is not a reason not to ban them.”

      Why not ban everything just in case. Better safe than sorry.

      • Nebman

        The true beauty of our legal system is that everything is considered legal until it isn’t. It’s not a throw away line – it is actually a tenet of our system.

        Therefore the Police should not be involved with trying to set laws. It’s not their job. They enforce them.

        • David Moore


      • jimknowsall

        I’d agree with Nebman’s response: it should be the politicians making the law, not police, though I see no problem with police giving advice/making submissions.

        In deciding what things we as a society ban, we weigh up the costs and benefits. Cars are dangerous, but they have enormous benefits, so they are legal. 50 calibre rifles have risks associated with their getting into the wrong hands but, arguably, have very few uses. Cam Slater suggests long range target shooting in his reply to me, but I don’t think many would consider this niche activity to outweigh the potential dangers.

        • What dangers? Have you read the Police submission? There is no evidence provided that this is even a problem. It is scare mongering at best. None have been confiscated and I doubt any gang member has the skills to actually fire one, let alone hit anything. It takes immense skills to shoot past 1000yds. Most Kiwi shooters struggle at even 500yds. I regularly shoot goats out to 600yds with my .22-250, practice makes perfect.

        • David Moore

          All niche activities should be banned if the majority think there are dangers then?

          What you are describing is an illiberal state.

          • jimknowsall

            No, as I said, it’s a question of weighing up the pros and cons.

          • David Moore

            But the only con is your perceived risk, which you seem to weigh as being a higher value than others freedom.

        • Nebman

          In the words of a very good friend and I think the best summary of my rebuttal – Where’s the fire Sparky?

          By the PA’s evidence to the committee, they are terrible at collecting the information they think they need to prove there is a problem, however, in the meantime, can you please ban XYZ just in case it turns out to be one? But we can’t or won’t provide evidence there is.

          It’s not much of a stretch to see why the average licensed firearms holder in NZ view the PA with such distrust.

          I’m not anti reasonable firearms laws – I think what we have at the moment is the envy of many countries and enforcement agencies around the world. Possibly some tweaking here and there but please can we use facts to support changes. Not speculation or agenda driven arguments.

    • Perhaps you’d also like to have my custom 300 Norma Magnum banned too, It can put shots on target at will over a 1000yds with enough momentum to knock over goats and deer safely and humanely.

      • jimknowsall

        No, because as you describe, it has a valid use to kill goats and deer. Is there any realistic circumstance where you’d want to use a 50 calibre for this job? As someone who doesn’t hunt such animals, I ask in genuine enquiry.

        • Absolutely. Reaching out and knocking a goat off a ridge from a mile would be just awesome. They can’t hear the shot, the other goats will just look on and then the next one drops.

          • jimknowsall

            Fair enough. That’s a valid reason. I stand corrected, although with one caveat: that it would be pretty hard to check what’s behind the goat if you miss and that party of trampers were across the valley in the bush… I know that applies to all firearms, but with that range and power, it’s easy to make a mistake and you’re not going to see someone a mile or two away.

          • if there are trampers where I go shooting then they are trespassing or worse poachers. But seriously you are now annoying me. You don’t think I know all about shooting and where the bullet may travel in the unlikely event I miss?

            Plus if I can see a goat I can see a person.

    • 1080 Napalm

      I love this ‘no real purpose’ argument. If that’s the case I say we ban all after market modifications to cars. I think lowered suspension and loud exhausts are stupid and pointless but I let other people enjoy their interests, even though ‘boy racer’ type cars kill more people in NZ than firearms.

      • jimknowsall

        Except that these modifications to cars are already banned. From the NZTA website:

        “By law, the noise coming from your exhaust system must be similar to or less than the noise it made when your vehicle was manufactured. [except] where the noise the exhaust emits is still well below legal noise limits”

        “Modified suspensions, which could alter vehicle handling [require Low Volume Vehicle Certification]”

  • cows4me

    The police have been hijacked by full flushing liberal drongos, many of the imported variety. It’s the same old routine, bit by bit, drip by drip, these fools won’t rest till they have purged the land of the evil gun. If the police really think they act in the public interest, really acting in some bent liberal interest, lets see them petition the government and make it an election issue. Of course the gutless wonders won’t do that, so much easier to remove peoples freedom gradually, so they don’t notice.

  • Miguel

    Don’t forget the .50 cal pistol calibres, including .50 AE and .500 S&W Magnum. Are these to be banned, too?
    Most firearms crimes I see involve old double-barrelled shotguns. This makes it hard for the police, obviously, as they can hardly make these restricted firearms – imagine the once-a-year duck hunter or the farmer doing occasional pest control being told they need to go through the same rigmarole as someone applying for a B or E cat….

  • Miguel

    The police submission also wants to ban online purchases – good luck with that. Many communities in NZ don’t have a decent firearms store, or have ones with high prices. The current system where you can order online but the local arms officer needs to email through the signed paperwork is fine in my opinion – I can find the products/prices I want, but the police can confirm I’m fit and proper.

  • kenbeth

    Also with changing Demographics ie due to immigration, our hunting heritage will slowly get eroded and restricted , This is the long term outlook.. votes count so as more people settle here with no recreational hunting or shooting experience they will slowly cause this.. especially if they get into the public service.

  • Sporteone

    Greg O’Connor or the ‘Big O’ as he is affectionately known, wants the arming of the NZ Police to be his legacy, when he leaves the association. He was an idiot when he was in the Police and still is.

    As an aside, I wonder if the Police are still paying their contribution to his Police Superannuation. They were many years ago, so if they still are then for every dollar he contributes the Police contribute 2 dollars. That is always what used to happen when a serving member became the big el presidentai of the Police Association.

  • 1080 Napalm

    All Police and NZDF body armour (including LAVs) is only rated to .308Win/7.62mm NATO. In that case shouldn’t we ban everything bigger than .308? If .50BMG (I’m assuming that’s what he means by .50cal) is restricted everyone is just gonna drop down to the Lapua Magnum and Cheytac derivatives, all of which will slice through body armour like your not wearing it.

    • Craig

      Of course your argument also fails the merit test given that no crime has ever been committed with any of the calibers you mention in New Zealand.

  • 1080 Napalm

    Joe Green did make a good point in is submission that raising the penalties for firearm crimes will potentially make the person say “screw it” and try shoot their way out.

  • Spiker

    A point by point interpretation of the Police Association submission here.

    All the submissions released by the select committee are here There are some very well writtern & informative submissions there I hope the select committee take notice, or is that wishful thinking?

  • The Fat Man

    The case for arming Police is that it is a dangerous job.

    But the problem it is far from one of the most dangerous jobs.

    But it will happen one day, then the fun will begin.

    The general public will be most at risk, accidental discharges, civilians being shot by Police, Police being shot by Police. Guns left lying around in public toilets, side of the road etc

    It happens more often than people are allowed to know, most of the time it is hushed up.

    The Politicians will certainly not be told.