A win for Common Sense

In the last few days of 2023 pistol shooters in New Zealand had a win.

A lot of the thanks for this has to go to the President of Pistol New Zealand (Debbie) and the hours upon hours she has spent working with the top levels of the Police in charge of firearms, and my thanks to them as well for seeing the logic in the change.

What was the change? 

A requirement to have a pistol endorsement in New Zealand, above those needed for a standard licence, is that we must shoot at least 12 times every year. Of late it had been changed so that only shoots that were held at our home club would count. For myself and a lot of others that wasn’t a problem, but for some it was. We have a number who are members of more than one club and others that have clubs with time restraints on when and how often they are open. Add to that shift work, or illness and things can get tight. Previously a number of people used to travel to away matches like our Nationals or Island Champs in order to ensure that they shot their 12, however this was changed so that those shoots no longer counted.

From my point of view this was wrong for a few reasons. The main being when you are away at another club you are not among your club members, so the expectations on you are tighter and you need to prove to them that your gun handling is up to scratch. Go to our IPSC Nationals 18 stages with different officials on every stage and they don’t play favourites, the other disciplines are the same, which is good for everyone as it keeps safety standards high. This is good for the licence holder and their home club as you take new skills back which helps those that don’t travel. On a very basic level 12 is 12 and that is what should count.

So as mentioned thanks to some amazing work done by our President alongside the Police in charge of firearms, this has changed so that these away shoots now count – as long as we get them signed off at the match and our home club adds it in our yearly returns. This is both fair and reasonable as we are still doing the 12 shoots that are required.

Note; we have to do 12 minimum shoots per year to keep our pistol endorsement , while Police Officers do 2 training days and don’t require a firearms licence.

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