Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the NZ Hunting and Shooting Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

NZGR Terminator


User Tag List

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 53
Like Tree52Likes

Thread: Farmer feels isolated from mates after losing firearms licence during depression

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    694

    Farmer feels isolated from mates after losing firearms licence during depression

    Farmer feels isolated from mates after losing firearms licence during depression

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/far...ing-depression

    A young Southland dairy farmer feels like his social circle has been ripped away after his firearms licence was lost after he sought mental health help.

    Benjamin Devery-Thomas sought medical help in February and after being diagnosed with depression, a month later his firearms licence was revoked by police. Now he is questioning why the policing process doesn't allow for firearm suspension.

    The 22 year-old was previously an avid hunter and a member of six different gun clubs, where he maintained friendships outside the dairy industry he works in. The removal of his firearms licence means his membership to the clubs, and as a result the friendships he has made, have come under pressure, with four of the six groups blocking his involvement.

    "Truth be told the closest I came to suicide was the day I lost my licence. It wasn't because of the loss of the licence, it was because of the loss of the social group," he said.

    Standard New Zealand firearms licences are issued by the police. If police consider for any reason that someone is not a "fit and proper person" then they may revoke a firearms licence. Someone may be considered unfit to hold a licence if they have a criminal conviction or mental illness or if they are abusing drugs or alcohol or have been involved in domestic violence.

    Police say they do not have the legislative ability to suspend licences, only to revoke them.

    Devery-Thomas felt it was harsh to be treated in the same way as a criminal for having an illness, and believed that the fear of losing a firearms licence kept many other farmers from seeking help for mental health problems.

    "And they wonder why farmers aren't going in and asking for help, it's because if they do that they can't go hunting with their mates."

    He said he was already acting as a responsible gun owner, with his firearms locked in a safe at a friend's house. Once his depression became too much, he handed over the keys to the safe to a friend to ensure he did not have access, he said.

    "You're being punished for going and asking for help."

    Following a firearms licence being revoked, the person must surrender all firearms and their licence. Once the firearms licence had been revoked the owner must not be in possession of any type of firearm or air gun, even under the supervision of a licence holder.

    The person has the right to apply to a district court judge to appeal the decision.

    Devery-Thomas believed instead of outright revoking a firearms licence, police should instead allow for a six-month suspension followed by a review whether the person was "fit" to have their licence reinstated.

    While disagreeing with the way firearms licenses are cancelled, he understood the need for people with mental health issues to be denied access to firearms.

    "I understand that there is a risk to health and safety. I'm not saying people with depression should keep their firearms, I'm saying that farmers who have depression should not lose their social groups."

    Socialising with friends and family was proved to help reduce suicide, he said.

    Target Shooting Southland president Quinton Erskine believed in the case of treatable mental illnesses, suspension, rather than having a firearms licence revoked, would be a fairer option. However, he said a six-month suspension was too short, and thought a year-long suspension with a review would be a better fit.

    He agreed with Devery-Thomas that the fear of losing a firearms licence could impede farmers from seeking help with mental health issues. Sometimes a firearms licence was required in rural communities, he said.

    "The mental health system for rural communities doesn't feel accessible. If there's something inhibiting people from seeking that help then some people certainly won't seek help."

    While questions have arisen about the process of revoking firearms licences, police say there isn't much they can do.

    Acting Superintendent Michael McIlraith said police were focused on the safety of people using firearms, and those around them.

    "We want people to be safe and feel safe."

    Police did not have legislative ability to suspend licences, only to revoke them, he said.

    The Mental Health Foundation declined to comment on individual cases.


    WHERE TO GET HELP

    * Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354

    * Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757

    * Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116

    * Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666

    * Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

    * Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz

    * 0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at 0800 Whats Up?.

    * Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

    * Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

    * Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

    For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

    - Stuff
    Settings - My Account - Edit Ignore List - Add a Member to Your List - User Name - Okay.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Dunedin
    Posts
    43
    How did the police find out? Surely the doctor could not tell them?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by Elrond View Post
    How did the police find out? Surely the doctor could not tell them?
    Why?
    Settings - My Account - Edit Ignore List - Add a Member to Your List - User Name - Okay.

  4. #4
    Member Tahr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    4,984
    As a general rule, people in the helping professions have a duty to report appropriately if they believe people or property could be in danger. And in any event, its an assumption that it was his Dr or a professional who reported his illness to the police.

    But that is not the issue here. The issue that has been raised is that the police only have the power to revoke, and not to suspend.
    veitnamcam and BRADS like this.

  5. #5
    Member Maca49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    BOP
    Posts
    15,206
    So no matter how bad it gets, never admit to a mental issue as its never able to be cured off paper records? Doesn't sound right to me? Sad situation for some if / when they come right.
    Suspension would seem a good option, but not some thing the police would like to own.
    Last edited by Maca49; 09-04-2018 at 02:27 PM.
    veitnamcam, Steve123 and WallyR like this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Porirua/Whangateau
    Posts
    812
    Admirable that the young fella owned up with his issues,did the right thing,and the law took care of its end....hope he gets all the help he needs.....tough deal for all concerned,but reading this,it seems the “right” things were done.(within the parameters of each individuals responsibility’s)

    I would be interested to hear if there have been other cases,where a revoked license(due to this same issue) has ever been given back.
    norsk likes this.
    It's not the mountain we conquer,but ourselves.....Sir Edmund Hillary

  7. #7
    Member 40mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Jaffa
    Posts
    1,290
    yup, all I see here is motivation for people not to seek help etc for fear of loosing their licence.
    Just what we need...

    Definitely needs sorting, please get onto this asap mr plod.
    northdude and A330driver like this.
    Use enough gun

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    yup, all I see here is motivation for people not to seek help etc for fear of loosing their licence.
    Just what we need...

    Definitely needs sorting, please get onto this asap mr plod.
    From the article:

    Acting Superintendent Michael McIlraith said police were focused on the safety of people using firearms, and those around them.

    "We want people to be safe and feel safe."

    Police did not have legislative ability to suspend licences, only to revoke them, he said.



    How do you want the police sort this out? By making up shit that isn't in law again?

    Why would they want to sort it out anyway? One less person with access to guns would be seen as a win by them.
    veitnamcam and Maca49 like this.
    Settings - My Account - Edit Ignore List - Add a Member to Your List - User Name - Okay.

  9. #9
    Member Maca49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    BOP
    Posts
    15,206
    Yep your last line says it all!
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  10. #10
    Member Cordite's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    NZ Mainland
    Posts
    1,219
    Quote Originally Posted by systolic View Post
    From the article:
    Acting Superintendent Michael McIlraith said police were focused on the safety of people using firearms, and those around them.
    "We want people to be safe and feel safe."
    Police did not have legislative ability to suspend licences, only to revoke them, he said.

    How do you want the police sort this out? By making up shit that isn't in law again?
    Why would they want to sort it out anyway? One less person with access to guns would be seen as a win by them.
    We have a FAL and to have that you have to be FIT and proper. Ben seems very proper and worthy of his FAL, but unfortunately is currently not fit. I'd not make this an issue about the cops - unhelpful to do so.

    The police only has one option available to them, suspend, not suspend. They cannot direct LFAO to surrender his safe key to a friend etc, and anyway if he has a safe full of guns having no key is NO bar to a potential suicidal farmer from breaking into his own safe in the undisturbed privacy of his own home. No, in his shoes I'd not kick up much dust over the police's attitude. They've taken the only step available to them, and damned if they didn't.

    Ben's actions in surrendering the safe key to a friend however says a lot about his safety, both his own safety and the safety of others, and will speak in his favour. Past behaviour predicts future behaviour in a similar situation.

    Ben's actions in seeking help from a professional with his depression also speaks loudly in his favour. Past behaviour predicts... etc.

    Once he is better (it is true this has not helped his social circumstances and support network, a real bummer in rural areas) he can reapply for his FAL and go through the steps. He will need a letter from his doctor supporting him having his FAL back. He has to pay the fee again, but it will last 10 yrs at least -- hopefully there was not long left on the old one (I'm trying to see any dry upside to this!). It will be helpful for his doctor writing such a letter if it is plain that the depressive episode was in reaction to life stressors and not because of alcoholism, or a tendency towards recurrent depression.

    If you are a member of this forum, Ben - please feel free to PM myself or anyone else you feel you can trust.
    Last edited by Cordite; 09-04-2018 at 07:21 PM.
    ishift4u and rewa like this.
    Guns don't kill people - drivers do.

    The Hedgehog Preservation Society

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    122
    Whos to say he doesnt have a key. How many keys do you have to your car.

    The suggestion that the police are happy to take firearms off fit and proper people is bullshit.

    It is true that if you talk to your GP you may have your firearms removed. If you make the first move you may only need to surrender your firearms untill such time as your deemed fit and proper again..

    Talk to your lawyer first.
    Last edited by headcase; 09-04-2018 at 08:25 PM.
    Cordite and rewa like this.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,227
    Should of given his guns to his mate, then can still go out and shoot together supervised from his mate.
    Not perfect, but better than no social shooting.
    But yes more about the revoke/suspend issue.

  13. #13
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Geraldine
    Posts
    2,041
    there is ANOTHER option...and the police HAVE used it before.....you remove your firearms to someone elses address for say 12mth period and that person supervises if you want to use them....Ive done this for a mate before...12mth later he got them back. time is a great healer and distance from events makes it easy to put things ito perspective.
    veitnamcam, Tommy, Cordite and 1 others like this.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    spreydon christcurch.
    Posts
    3,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Maca49 View Post
    Yep your last line says it all!
    Macca me will ya

  15. #15
    Member norsk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    506
    I congratulate the young guy on his responsible attitude,firstly by recognizing his illness and seeking help as well as removing one method to harm himself.

    Further he has spoken out about his illness and laid all the cards on the table,his mates in shooting sport activities should no doubt be proud of their association with the honest young man and include him in any activities they can.

    It is warming to read so many supportive,clear and sensible posts on here regarding this topic,just goes to show what a great bunch of people there are on this forum.

    Once he has a clean bill of health I can see no reason that he cannot apply for a licence once more.
    rewa likes this.
    "Sixty percent of the time,it works every time"

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Firearms Licence Question
    By Shooter173 in forum Firearms, Optics and Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 26-11-2016, 11:34 AM
  2. firearms licence and trademe
    By chindit in forum Firearm Safety
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 18-08-2016, 12:29 PM
  3. Firearms Licence Renewal
    By Bonecrusher in forum Hunting
    Replies: 80
    Last Post: 21-03-2016, 01:23 PM
  4. Firearms Licence Renewals
    By Maca49 in forum Off topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 20-09-2014, 07:46 AM
  5. firearms licence
    By TimeRider in forum Off topic
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 25-02-2013, 07:42 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Welcome to NZ Hunting and Shooting Forums! We see you're new here, or arn't logged in. Create an account, and Login for full access including our FREE BUY and SELL section Register NOW!!