Firearms reforms won’t deliver what Govt claims

The Government’s firearms reforms only add more rules, regulations and costs on law-abiding firearm owners and does little to address genuine criminal activity and gangs, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“Evidence from Australia and local reports of recent incidents involving firearms show criminals and gang members generally don’t hold firearms licences.

“The Government should have included National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill, which would give Police the powers to take illegal firearms off gang members and would have actually made New Zealand safer.

“The evidence out of Australia and the experience of registries attempted in other countries shows the registry the Government is proposing will not deliver the stated objective of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

“The reforms is also a missed opportunity to permit legitimate sport shooting disciplines and to put in place fit for purpose pest control exemptions.

“The amendment recommended by NZ First has a giant fish hook in that applicants will have to prove significant detriment in order to get an exemption. In practice this will make it too difficult for many legitimate applicants.

“The Bill is predicated on placing more rules on people who already follow them. It is another marketing exercise from this Government, it will not make New Zealand safer.”