The High Court has rejected a Northlander's claim police did not serve him a notice revoking his firearms licence and damages for wrongful imprisonment.
Daniel van Houten's firearms licence was revoked by police in November, 2006 but he argued in court the revocation notice was ineffective as it was not served on him as required by law.
He subsequently used the licence to buy two firearms in 2008 and 2009 and the offending was discovered when the police district arms officer was completing his annual security inspections for arms' dealers in Whangārei in November 2009.
He was charged with two counts of obtaining by deception and two of unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced to one year supervision in 2010.
Van Houten challenged and sought relief for in the High Court, by way of judicial review, various police actions in relation to his firearms licence.
He wanted the court to set aside the revocation notice, a declaration his rights were breached by police denying him a right to appeal its decision to revoke his firearms licence, his convictions be set aside, and damages for wrongful imprisonment.
Van Houten also sought an order that his licence be retrospectively deemed to have continued in force until he could get it renewed or reinstated.
In response to a letter in which he stated he wanted his licence back in July 2009, police wrote back to say he could re-apply for it if he remained out of trouble or did not come to police attention for three years.
Justice Mark Woolford said when being prosecuted for firearms offences in 2010, van Houten told the pre-sentence report writer he "generally agreed with the police summary of facts as presented" which stated his licence had been revoked.
Police received information from a confidential informant in August 2009 that van Houten had told him he was getting his firearms licence back, as long as he did not have a semi-automatic.
This implied van Houten knew he did not have a licence, Justice Woolford said in his judgment.
However, the judge agreed with van Houten that police did not have the power or right to refuse to allow him to re-apply for a licence.
He directed that if van Houten was to apply for a firearms licence, police should assess his application on its merits, including making an assessment whether he was a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.
If the decision was unfavourable to him, Justice Woolford said van Houten would then both have a right of review by the police commissioner and a right of appeal by a District Court judge.