NZ Police breach Parliamentary Privilege Act to obtain search warrant on a law-abiding family.

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Online blogger Dieuwe de Boer was enjoying dinner with his family when armed police appeared at his door. He believes that they were targeting him for mentioning his ownership of a magazine attached to his .22RL lever-action rifle in a submission to a senate committee.

The magazine was legal at the time he had made the submission to the senate enquiry, but was made illegal through the change to the Arms Act.

For over ninety minutes the police turned his South Auckland home upside down looking for a prohibited magazine attached to a simple .22LR lever-action rifle.

The police were unable to find the magazine and left the house empty-handed, not before telling de Boer that they would have to search his friends’ houses too.

This has troubled Law professor Andrew Geddis, who said in an interview with NewsHub.co.nz that the Parliamentary Privilege Act of 2014 prevents courts from using information gleaned from Select Committee submissions in their court proceedings, which includes obtaining a search warrant.

Geddis is troubled by the chilling effect this will have on peoples decisions on whether to make submissions to parliament.

“The point is to have protections so that everyone can be free and able to make submission to Parliament without fear of consequence – that’s a good thing for society as a whole.”

De Boer is left wondering whether the police action was politically targeted at him for his vocal stance.

“I thought nothing more of my little example to the select committee. It was no longer in my possession when the police raided my house. They departed empty-handed after turning the place inside out for ninety minutes and left me with my firearms and a visibly shaken wife who broke down in tears.”

In a statement, Police said that they executed the search warrant on the house in Clover Park, south Auckland, on Thursday with armed officers in attendance.

The mazagine wasn’t found and police are continuing to make inquiries.

“we will investigate and act on information or concerns about now-prohibited firearms, to ensure the safety of our community.”

Further Reading: Gun Buyback in NZ Leads to lacklustre results

Luke
Luke is one of the co-founders of GunHub and has helped build GunHub into a platform for other gun owners to buy and sell guns easily.

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