Police deliberately targeting 'law-abiding' Kiwis in gun raids - COLFO

A gun lobbyist has accused police of deliberately targeting "law-abiding" gun owners because they're too afraid to go after gangs. 

A far-right activist's home was searched by police last week. Dieuwe de Boer, founder of the 'Right Minds' website, claimed they were looking for a .22 calibre rifle which he photographed and wrote about in his public submission against the Government's gun law changes last year, in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

"I had used the firearm as an example to prove the legislation was not targeting 'military style assault weapons' as the media, Prime Minister, and her Cabinet repeated ad nauseum," de Boer wrote on his blog.

"The vast majority of firearms affected by the legislation were just like mine."

He said the police left empty-handed because he no longer owns the weapon "designed to hit paper or be used to hunt bunnies".

Nicole McKee, spokesperson for gun lobby group the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO), told Magic Talk on Monday this is "the new normal now for New Zealand".

"Police can turn up at somebody's house during dinner time to execute a search warrant, based on what that person had put in a public submission to Parliament."

But police at the weekend told Newshub they "did not use any information from the select committee process" in deciding to investigate de Boer. 

Dieuwe de Boer
Dieuwe de Boer. Photo credit: RNZ/supplied

McKee said they should be going after gangs, but "law-abiding people are much easier targets".

"We're not hearing that they are going and systematically raiding all of the gang pads that they know, with armed police and tipping them upside-down. We are not hearing any of that. What we are hearing is they are after the law-abiding people." 

Newshub has asked police for a response to McKee's claims. 

Nicole McKee.
Nicole McKee. Photo credit: The AM Show

After de Boer wrote about his experience, right-wing activists rushed to his defence. Both blogger David Farrar and Christian group Family First called him a "family man". He has three kids, including a four-week-old baby, all of whom were present during the raid.

Just a week after the Christchurch terror attack in March last year, in an interview with local newspaper The Press de Boer admitted he and the alleged gunman had "overlapping views", in that they both "favour nationalism and have an opposition to the United Nations", as well as want tighter immigration.

De Boer said while he hadn't talked much about the 'Great Replacement' conspiracy theory - which holds that Westerners are being deliberately replaced with Muslims, and was the title of the alleged gunman's manifesto - he said the West's low birth rates were behind the need for imported labour, which was at least "partly responsible for the chaos we're seeing across the Western world".

De Boer was also reportedly involved in organising a protest against the cancellation of a speaking event by far-right extremists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux in 2018, and another opposing the UN's Global Compact for Migration - another cause celebrated by the alleged Christchurch shooter.

'Keystone Cops'

"It is making the police look like fools," ACT MP David Seymour told Magic Talk, just after McKee's interview.

"I don't say that lightly. As a local Member of Parliament, I think our local cops are some of the greatest New Zealanders - they really are fantastic people. But here you've got a dozen cops, with guns, showing up at 5pm - the kind of time people with very young children are feeding them - and they are looking for a gun that really isn't dangerous...

"This is like something you see in a Western movie that cowboys have. It was a replica of an 1893 gun that is not particularly dangerous. It's low-calibre, it's not actually semi-automatic."

Seymour said he knows de Boer "in passing", having been acquainted with his father.

"These are as far from gang people as you can imagine."

He called on police to explain "how such an absurd raid came about and what they thought they were doing", comparing them to the slapstick Keystone Cops films.