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The revelation that more than 600 New Zealanders obtained firearms licences despite having criminal convictions in Australia raises serious questions about how fit for purpose Police processes are, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“The public deserves to know what’s going on with procedures and processes across the country.

“This is no small matter. Of those 639 people with convictions who were granted licences, 37 went on to commit firearms-related crimes, including two homicides.

“In the wake of recent reports around the handling of firearms stored on Police premises, Police need to demonstrate to the public that its procedures and process are implemented consistently across the force, and across the country.

“The public will want to know whether or not the information sharing agreement with Australia is regularly used, what the threshold is for accessing it, and how it’s possible that so many applicants with Australian convictions appear to not have been captured under it.

“Keeping the public in the dark does nothing to improve confidence in the Government, Police or its procedures.

“Recent events have challenged this perception and Police must address that.”

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