Govt hasn’t got its ducks in a row on firearms licensing

The Government’s focus on hitting legal firearms owners with more costs and regulations has meant those keen to participate in the Roar and duck shooting season may miss out.

Opening weekend of duck shooting season is just around the corner and the Roar is drawing to a close but many hunters are still waiting for their paperwork to be processed in order for them to hunt legally.

National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says police have been unable to get on top of the situation.

“Police are telling people it’s taking four months for a license renewal and six months for a new license. But in reality, for some it’s taking much longer than that.

“In December there was a backlog of 9700 applications, and as of last week that number was still up around 9600 as police struggle to deal with the inflow.

“If the Government spent more time targeting illegal firearms owners as it has law-abiding hunters then we wouldn’t have seen such a delay.”

National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui says hunting groups had warned that legislation rushed through by the Government would lead to this situation.

“While police are promising to tackle the problem it is too little, too late for many.

“Hunters are understandably frustrated. After missing out last year due to the pandemic they were looking forward to this season and did the right thing by submitting their paperwork months ago.

“Many hunters take this opportunity to fill their freezers, along with those belonging to their family and friends. Missing out for the second year in a row because of an administration issue isn’t good enough.

“We want hunters to adhere to the rules but this system failure is unacceptable.”