Chair’s report to AGM 24 August 2018

Chair’s report to AGM 24 August 2018

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The FSCANZ has been involved in a number of activities, some of which have made a significant contribution to firearms safety in Aotearoa New Zealand.

While the set-up requirements for FSCANZ have been met, some of the other action points have not. FSCANZ executive having been fully engaged in the FCAF, the changes proposed by Police to the training and testing regime and the issue around firearms in schools.

As an executive our approach has been intentionally low key. This strategy has enabled us to meet with Police at all levels, including the Minister of Police, and to participate in a range of activities in an advisory capacity. We have assured people that our conversations are face to face and that they will only take on an official nature, or appear in the media when all other avenues have been exhausted. In this the approach has been one of ‘operating under the radar’. This might not win us public recognition as such, but it does build credibility where it counts, enabling access and a voice. This was the stated intent of member organisations when setting up FSCANZ as separate from political lobby activities.

Activities have included:

  • Participating in the Firearms Community Advisory Forum established by Police,
  • Participating in the development of safety guidelines for ‘firearms in schools’ – in essence the suggestion we made to education at the outset has been implemented (i.e. let BOT exercise their governance role, let Principals exercise their management role, ensure congruence with the Arms Act, Arms Regulations and the Arms Code, including the Police Range Manual),
  • Media releases prior to the roar and opening of duck shooting. Our releases resulted in radio interviews and excellent coverage, especially in the provinces, Member organisations also used these for their own releases.
  • We approached Police as to what safety advertising they were doing to meet their statutory obligation to promote the safe use and control of firearms. As a direct result of this approach Police entered into what they termed an ‘electronic and partnership approach’. The results reported to FCAF were poor (see attached from FCAF).
  • Met with Police at various levels, both formal and informal,
  • On 26 June 2018 met with the Minister of Police. He has invited further questions. It may be more than coincidental that following this meeting, and having raised the issue of printed copies of the Arms Code, printed copies were made available!
  • Joe made the opening speech to world shooting sports forum conference, developing the ‘no return to 1969’ theme,
  • Joe has written to the coroner in Northland on the shootings case (Patterson),
  • We have had opportunity to have input to the development of the on-line training and testing.

It is noteworthy that FSCANZ executive members tend to be the sole knowledgeable voices at many forums.

Looking ahead:

  • Website: a draft website has been prepared. Its primary function is to provide a point of contact for inquirers.
  • FSCANZ will continue to monitor police delivery of safety programme, both on-line and the practical component. The executive have significant concerns with the practical component, and with the availability of theory testing especially to those with no or limited internet access, or with differing learning abilities, including an ability to express themselves.
  • FSCANZ will continue to formulate its own safety messaging, and,
  • Continue to influence police to meet its statutory responsibility to promote firearms safety, especially to run full safety campaign for deer and duck and security.