The low rate of firearms handed in so far shows that the Government’s buyback scheme is failing to secure buy-in from the firearms community, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.
“Police have said there’s more work to be done and they’re right. After 141 events, there has only been 17,354 firearms handed in.
“This is a poor result when considering there is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of now prohibited firearms. The New Zealand Police stated there could be 240,000 firearms that are now banned.
“Gangs are not complying with the buyback and we are seeing no action from the Government to tackle the problems of illegal firearm use, with the focus seemingly on the law abiding firearms community.
“The Minister needs to explain how this helps to keep us safe.
“He has failed to engage with the firearms community and they’re responding by not engaging with the buyback.
“The Government must review it’s price list for firearms, it needs to include accessories, ammunition and safes that are redundant now the law has changed and, most importantly, it needs to work with the firearms community.
“The overwhelming majority of firearm owners are good, law abiding citizens. But there is distress in that community at the way the Government has approached their reforms.
“If the Government wants to do justice to the buyback process they will start engaging with the community and review their price lists. Anything less will be undermining the point of the buyback and failing to make New Zealand safer.”