Police find illegally converted guns during raids

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Police have found several illegally converted guns during raids on some Waikato rural properties, despite a campaign to lower illegal gun ownership in the region.

District Firearms Officer, Richard Plas, said since the launch of the "Lock em or Lose em" campaign 10 firearms had been handed in to police by people who had inherited them but didn't have an appropriate licence or no longer wanted them.

"Items have included rifles, shotguns, pistols, an inert hand grenade and ammunition."

While that side of the ledger was going well, Mr Plas said other recent developments had police "seeing red".

"During recent searches of rural properties, police found several A Category (A Cat) firearms together with high capacity magazines."

If the sporting firearm , or A Cat, was fitted with a high capacity magazine it meant the weapon was illegally converted to "E Cat Military Style Semi-Automatics", Mr Plas said.

The owner could be charged with illegal possession, he said.

"Firearms owners are urged to avoid any confusion by ensuring their A Cat guns have none of the features listed (below) and that they have no such items in their possession which may fit their particular A category guns."

An A Cat gun can be classed as a semi-automatic if it has any of the following features:

* a folding or telescopic butt;

* a magazine that is capable of holding, or that, by its appearance, indicates that it is capable of holding, (i) in the case of a magazine designed to hold .22 inch rimfire cartridges, more than 15 cartridges; or (ii) in any other case, more than seven cartridges;

* bayonet lugs;

* a military pattern free-standing pistol grip; or

* a flash suppressor.

- APNZ

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