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National is once again giving the Government an opportunity to strengthen firearms legislation by submitting amendments to its legislation which is due back before Parliament, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“The process carried out by the Government has been poor from the beginning. It’s failed to do anything about genuine criminals and gangs as part of its firearms reforms – it’s repeatedly voted down or blocked legislation from National which would allow it to do this.

“The Government’s firearms reforms are a missed opportunity. All the changes do currently is burden law-abiding firearms owners with greater costs and bureaucratic regulations.

“Right now the number of reported gang related violent incidents is skyrocketing. Most mornings New Zealanders are opening their newspapers to new incidents involving gangs and firearms, that’s not on.

“National has proposed seven amendments that focus on people who could pose a risk to society, rather than those New Zealanders complying with the law.

“Our changes include:

  • Requiring notifying Police of a club or range’s existence and allowing Police to proactively seek and receive information about the club/range if needed
  • Exemptions for those involved in pest control
  • Exemptions for those involved in sports shooting
  • Removing the proposed register
  • Supporting the Office of the Clerk’s recommendation that certain regulation-making powers should be removed
  • A provision clarifying a practitioner may only notify Police if there is an immediate threat to individual or public safety
  • An amendment to the fit and proper person test that would stop an applicant from having a license approved if they had been convicted for an offence relating to violent, hateful or extremist speech or behaviour

“We’re giving the Government an opportunity to ensure the second tranche of gun law reform is comprehensive, detailed and focuses on those who break the law.

“Together with my Firearms Prohibition Bill, drawn last week, our changes would focus the reforms on where they should be, on genuine criminal activity alongside fair and reasonable conditions around firearms use and ownership.

“Now is the time to focus on criminals and gangs. National knows the changes that are needed to ensure we’re not focusing on law-abiding New Zealanders and we’ve put them forward. The Government just needs to come to its senses and support them.”

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