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Thread: Public perception of rifles

  1. #1
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    Public perception of rifles

    Based on your experiences with the public in your neck of the woods, how would you think people would react if you walked through town, or along roads/state highways, with a rifle attached to your backpack in a fully enclosed scabbard? With perhaps some trekking poles or an ice axe attached to the outside of it to make it look somewhat vague? I mean - a long, rectangular neoprene scabbard doesn't necessarily scream 'rifle'...especially if you look like a hiker/tourist?

    I talked to Police at the beginning of the year, and they said I'll have to use my own discretion, and they won't give me any written permission. They didn't explicitly say whether it was illegal or even legal.

    Things may be a little murkier now after March 15th.

    Plan B) is to go with a takedown rifle.

  2. #2
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Go to with Plan B. My rifle just looks like a tent and poles when strapped to my pack. It can even fit inside pack if not too much gear.
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  3. #3
    Member Tussock's Avatar
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    On about March the 19th I walked out to a road end with no reception and had to walk a few Ks down a cycleway with a stainless laminate 7mm mag over my shoulder.

    Only got 1 filthy look.
    Frodo and 40mm like this.
    “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” John Maynard Keynes

  4. #4
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    So you didn't even have it covered?!

  5. #5
    Member stug's Avatar
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    I have two red dry bags the rifle goes in.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stug View Post
    I have two red dry bags the rifle goes in.
    That comment was directed @Tussock.

    I've seen your drybag set-up in one of your videos. Very practical!

  7. #7
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    Went into for a stalk up Wairere falls on March 24th no bad looks at the road end or while walking up and it was like Queen Street.
    If you have a nice big patch on your back though not so sure
    I’d say go for it. It’s strapped to your pack. If the cops pull up. Then just say look if it’s a problem give me a lift to the road endsaves the feet and saves them the hassle just so long as you don’t get asshole who doesn’t like long gun stickers.
    I’d have your answers read though just to be on the safe side.
    Bagheera and Frodo like this.
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along
    I respect your beliefs but don't impose them on me.

  8. #8
    Resident Curmudgeon Kiwi Sapper's Avatar
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    I can tell you that the piece of the Arms Act which is relevant to your proposed situation is Section 45, which states.

    "45 Carrying or possessing firearms, etc, except for lawful, proper, and
    sufficient purpose
    (1) Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment
    for a term not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to both
    who, except for some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose,—
    (a) carries; or
    (b) is in possession of—
    any firearm, airgun, pistol, prohibited magazine, restricted weapon, or explosive.
    (2) In any prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) in which it is proved
    that the defendant was carrying or in possession of any firearm, airgun, pistol,
    prohibited magazine, restricted weapon, or explosive, as the case may require,
    the burden of proving the existence"

    The words that are relevant to you and important are......."except for lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose".

    In Jaffasville some years ago several of us in full WW 2 Infantry kit, rifle and bayonet ( the works) were for several days wandering the main street of Takapuna, distributing flyers for a touring companies production of "Dad's Army". Before this we had approached the Arms Officer who approached the Head of the Takapuna Police area who said it was acceptable because it was for a " lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose."


    I also turned out monthly at a local park , similarly Attired as front man for open days at a WW 2 artillery gunsite. ON the day in question I would telephone the central Police control centre responsible for the area and give them all the details, my name, address , telephone number, what I was doing there, when from until when , assurances that the rifle was unloaded, there would be no discharging of live rounds etc.
    Strangely, I was never asked for my FAL details but I had them ready if necessary . I did insist on being given the activity event number( the identifying number under which all this was recorded in their records and at the end of the exercise, I would telephone them again and advise them that it was all over and they closed the record. Never any problems as agin, it was for a " lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose."

    I suggest you do similar. Notify the Police control centre for the area you will be passing through, ENSURE THAT YOU RECORD the activity event number and advise them again when you were no longer "on the road." . That, coupled with keeping your rifle in a scabbard and not waving or pointing it around is all you can do and what I would do were I in similar circumstances.
    It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.

  9. #9
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    Plan B solves most of your problems.
    Wife and I are off to West Coast in a couple of weeks and at times will need to take the rifle with us when we are in towns rather than leave it in the car.
    On this trip we are taking her Baikal .243 which breaks down nicely and fits in our pack or day bag.

    At home, I drive to a farm to shoot at and in the real wet I dare not take my Escudo onto the paddock as I cut up the turf to much; not the best way to endear oneself to your host.
    I park in a layby across the road. The road in question happens to be a scenic route and consequently a lot of traffic.
    Even crossing that road and until I have walked well into the farm I carry the rifle, a Remington .308, in a scabbard.
    It is obvious to all that it is a rifle but in a scabbard it doesn't seem to present any immediate threat.
    Basically I try and keep exposure of my firearms to the general unwashed public to a minimum. What they don't see or know about usually doesn't frighten them.

    Cheers
    Phil
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  10. #10
    NRT
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    West coast South Island no issues ,

    Sent from my TA-1025 using Tapatalk
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  11. #11
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    I've just recently been "out and about" in public areas with a couple of rifles, both in bags, from Wellington to Invercargill without a second glance from anybody. Generally I'd be wary of cities and the really popular walking tracks start/finish carparks etc.

    I'd say "body language" has a lot to do with it, I can think of a guy who always walks like he's gonna kill something and I think he'd quickly be potted if he was seen walking with a gun bag (like the poor bugger in Chch some years ago who somehow got the full AO response when walking down the street with a firearm in a bag). A nod, eye contact and a smile solves a hell of a lot of problems.

    If I was doing a lot of it I'd also invest in a rectangular gun bag that doesn't give away/advertise its contents.
    Frodo likes this.

  12. #12
    Member Tussock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    So you didn't even have it covered?!
    No, why would I? I'm not doing anything illegal and I have a genuine reason to carry it. The old bat who pulled a face probably always does. Her mate gave us a smile and the rest of the people were foreign and just shy and curious.

    Like Tentman said, body language matters. People know the difference between someone furtive and someone carrying a rifle with no more drama than a bicycle.
    veitnamcam, Bagheera and Frodo like this.
    “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” John Maynard Keynes

  13. #13
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    Just say hello to people you meet.
    Then you become someone to talk to.
    Non threatening.

  14. #14
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    Cheers guys. Yep, fair points on overall demeanour.
    Sideshow likes this.

  15. #15
    Member Mr Browning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erniec View Post
    Just say hello to people you meet.
    Then you become someone to talk to.
    Non threatening.
    Yes indeed.

    We as gun owners dont and shouldnt need to hide from the public. Gun owners need to show it is the norm and lawful thing to do in New Zealand. People need to be desensitised, they should stop looking at the gun but look at the type of person and actions of the person, then call the cops if they are concerned.

    To the gun owner, carry on, youre doing nothing wrong providing you have a legit purpose for you being in possession. Make sure you do not have mag or bolt (if bolt), in, do not have ammo in the mag even if not on the rifle. Let the Police come, be respectful, keep calm, show your licence, tell them your purpose. This will help educate the person who reported you that what you are doing is perfectly lawful. Dont be offended if they call the law, it isnt your fault.

    And if the cops arrive on a mission with guns drawn and behaving like gestapo, comply, but inform them they are over the top and out of line and if you feel the need, collect all names and numbers of the officers and lay a formal complaint against their actions. That will hopefully help educate them as well.

    Anyway, thats my 2cents. I wouldnt hide, but thats just me.

    My opinion only.
    GUN CONTROL IS A TIGHT 5-SHOT GROUP.

 

 

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