New Zealand: Parliament Considers Firearm Prohibition Orders—Confiscation Without A Search Warrant

We reported last week that while America’s media drones on about the success of the New Zealand gun buyback program, New Zealand officials admit that less than 20% of the prohibited guns have been surrendered.  We also reported how Police in New Zealand have sent letters in the mail to more than 100 gang members, hoping to show them the error of committing a crime by holding onto their guns.

New Zealand media reported on Sunday that Police Minister, Stuart Nash, issued a press release discussing Firearms Prohibition Orders.

These FPO’s are a dramatic, sweeping increase in police powers regarding gun control.

Some facets of these FPOs that would affect otherwise law-abiding citizens:

  1. Police would be allowed to search a property and seize a firearm without a search warrant or warrant of any kind.
  2. These FPO’s could be issued for people with a history of violence or gun crime or family harm.
  3. FPO’s would include not only gang members, but people with “extremist views or a history of abuse.”
  4. Would prohibit anybody with an FPO from being around others who have firearms.
  5. They would prohibit those with an FPO from being in a place that enables access to guns.
New Zealand Citizens Should Be Outraged

Of course, New Zealand isn’t a third world country, and they’re not used to a dictatorship.  This bill would violate basic rights such as the freedom of movement, freedom of association, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the right to be free from unreasonable search.

And the government knows that.  Nash himself said, “FPOs would prevent people from being around others who have firearms, using them without supervision, or being at a location that enables access to guns.

Lets think of some scenarios where these FPO’s would affect the life of a citizen.

If you have one of these FPO’s, you don’t get to go home for Christmas dinner to the family farm if Grandad owns a shotgun.

You can’t live with your brother who legally owns a handgun if you have an FPO.  Heck, you can’t even VISIT your brother if he owns a gun.

A person with an FPO can’t be in the car with his hunting buddies even if he has no gun along and doesn’t intend to hunt.

Nash even said this about hunting—a primary use of guns in New Zealand:  “They could not go hunting even under supervision. They could still associate with lawful gun owners, but not if a firearm is present,” Nash said.

It’s clear that these FPO’s are a violation of basic human rights at several levels.

Who Watches the Watchers?

But let’s look at what makes somebody a candidate for an FPO.

Is it something like, “I hit a guy in a bar 30 years ago when I was 21 and got a conviction for assault?”   Does this person lose their gun rights?

And what about ‘extremist thought.’  Who decides what that means?  Is questioning a tyrannical law like this one considered ‘extremist thought?’  How does this not stifle people’s ability to redress their government?

Further questions are raised about the warrantless search and seizure.  New Zealand already allows for warrantless searches under their Search and Surveillance Act.   This comes into play in “emergency situations” including “prevent the commissioning of an offence, to protect life or property, or to prevent injury or harm.”

But this escalates their power from simply searching to seizing as well.  If police have the power to both search and seize without oversight, what’s to stop them from letting their bias to influence them?  The kicks the door wide open to allowing police to abuse their power.

Let’s Pretend This Won’t Affect Many Citizens

Australia has these FPO orders, and issues hundreds of them per year.  Meanwhile, police in New Zealand know that if they tell people that hundreds of these FPO’s will be issued every year, they’ll have a huge mess on their hands.  No, they said they estimate that they’ll only issue about 20 a year.

They say this so that the average New Zealander doesn’t get involved.  After all, your statistical odds of being one of those twenty are really small, right?  So don’t get upset at us for usurping the rights of the citizens who put us in power!

Folks, it’s not crazy to point out the steps that leftists follow on gun control.  It begins with heavy restrictions and regulations.  It progresses to “we have to take the guns from the dangerous ones without due process” like our own Red Flag laws.  And then you end up where New Zealand is this week.  And a few more compromises later and you’re fully disarmed like in Britain and Australia.