This goes back to January when Dieuwe de Boer, co-founder of the website Right Minds NZ, posted an article about the raid of his home, based on a prextext involving a .22 lever-action rifle he was believed to own, used to shoot rabbits.

Act leader David Seymour condemned this raid with its blatantly political motivation and we reproduced his media release on here.

Simon Bridges’ comments were less forthright, but the concern he has about the Jacinda government using the police for political intimidation of opponents is obvious in the interview he did with Magic Talk‘s Peter Williams.

“What has happened is plain wrong,” said Bridges. “This guy on the face of it has done nothing wrong… There are gangs and real extremists in this country.”

Nicole McKee, a spokesperson for gun lobby group the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO), described it as “the new normal” in New Zealand.

It followed the Government’s ban last year of military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles after the March 15 Christchurch massacre. Further changes to the Arms Act are going through the select committee process.

Bridges describes the firearms ban and buyback scheme as a fiasco and says the Government is influencing the police to prioritise it over issues he feels are more pressing, like gang violence.

“I do — and I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories — worry about the politicisation of the police,” Bridges said. “I think they have to be scrupulously independent.”

The National Party leader said he’s seen top police officers having coffee with ministers in the Beehive in Wellington and it worries him.