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Court Hears Nash Chose Not To Compensate Ammo Owners

Today the Crown will try to convince a judge that an Order in Council banning, confiscating and ordering the destruction of certain types of legally purchased ammunition was not a breach of property rights requiring compensation.

Yesterday, the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners’ lawyer presented evidence showing Minister Stuart Nash had the power to compensate ammunition holders for their loss but chose not to.

On day one of the two-day hearing, COLFO’s lawyer outlined how Minister Nash’s decision had taken away the property rights of all individuals possessing tracer or enhanced penetration ammunition.

COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee says:

“The Order in Council prohibiting these classes of ammunition did not face the scrutiny of Parliament but has had significant financial repercussions for law-abiding people. Because this Order did not go through Parliament, there was no opportunity for the licenced firearm owning community to make submissions, and we have therefore been forced to take the matter to court.”

McKee says compensation should have been part of the reform in the first place.

“Minister Nash had the power to introduce a compensation scheme just as he had done for firearms. But he chose not to and has left thousands of everyday hunters and shooters picking up the bill. Kiwis expect a fair go from their government – if they stop you using your property, we rightfully expect compensation.”

“If the Government wins this case, it will set a very dangerous precedent for New Zealand. It will mean future governments will be able to deny the value of private property either by ordering its destruction or confiscation, meaning individual New Zealanders would have to wear the loss.”

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