The Act Party is claiming a victory for duck shooters, days after it said it would take legal action against the government's ammunition bans.

"The police have acknowledged, after five days of denial, that the Ministerial Order our lawyers warned would ban steel shot ammunition would be 'clarified' (i.e. changed) to specifically exclude shotgun ammunition," Party leader David Seymour said last week.

"Of course, no one seriously thought the government intended to ban shotgun cartridges, but that was the result of how poorly they have managed this whole process and how sloppy they had been in drafting the law.

"The police issuing a press release clarifying that they did not intend to enforce the Arms (Prohibited Ammunition) Order as prohibiting steel shot in shotgun cartridges is a win for duck hunters, but it's a sad state of affairs when the laws are so ambiguous they have to do it this way."


The police had claimed it was wrong to interpret the law as banning steel shot in shotgun shells, because shotgun cartridges were specifically excluded from the prohibition order, but that was demonstrably untrue, he added.

"The Order explicitly exempts shotgun cartridges from two of the 10 categories of ammunition it bans. However, it does not exempt shotgun cartridges from the category 'projectiles that have a steel or tungsten carbide penetrator intended to achieve better penetration,' which created the concern," Mr Seymour said.

"Not only did the police get this detail completely wrong, but they had to reissue their press release after initially getting the title of the Arms (Prohibited Ammunition) Order 2019, the Order being referred to, wrong too.

"It is easy for the police to say in hindsight that they were never going to interpret the law as capturing those with steel shot shotgun cartridges, but the standard is whether the community, including those with expertise, such as the Coalition of Licensed Firearm Owners, can be confident they are following the law without the need for police clarification."

Meanwhile "dozens more serious things" were wrong with the firearm and ammunition ban and the proposed new legislation, with Act set to continue fighting for compensation for owners of banned ammunition and for better compensation for banned firearms.