Michael Dowling
Council of Licenced Firearms Owners

Yesterday afternoon Justice Cooke issued his judgment on our High Court Judicial Review case. While this is not a clear win Justice Cooke’s comments are a significant endorsement of many of our principle-based arguments. The Judge was clearly sympathetic to our cause but as you’ll read in his judgement, he believes his hands were tied by Parliament’s actions.

The full judgment can be read here.

Our lawyers are going through the detail now. In the meantime, this is what we had to say to the media:


A High Court decision today on a case taken by the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) is an “intensely awkward and embarrassing moment for the Government”.

The Court found that the Minister of Police had acted against property rights when he banned some classes of commonly held ammunition without compensation, but that it was legal because Parliament endorsed this decision by passing legislation to do so. COLFO Chairman Michael Dowling says:

“This Government claims to be fair and honest, but has been found to have acted against the right of every New Zealander to compensation for their property, citing reasons that are not true.

“The High Court found the Minister of Police acted unjustly and without good reason when he deprived thousands of New Zealanders of their lawfully purchased property without compensation.

“The judgement said it was not true that the ammunition was particularly dangerous, and not true that it must be removed following the Christchurch shooting to make people safer. This is damaging for a government that claims to be honest and transparent.”

Dowling says that while the judge was unable to over-rule the Minister’s reclassification, voters can.

“Parliament has destroyed property rights. The power is now in the hands of the people. Come September, it is essential to vote for a Government that protects the rights of citizens to their property.”

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