The gun buy-back scheme has been a failure and the blame for that is squarely on the Government, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.
“The gun buy-back amnesty closes today and the Government hasn’t even managed to buy back anywhere near the number of firearms it was aiming for.
“Advice from Police and independent experts KPMG pointed to the number of banned firearms in New Zealand as high as between 170,000-240,000 firearms. This matches commentary from firearm stakeholders as well.
“The only people who argue against this information are Government Ministers desperate to make their rushed job look like a success.
“As of today, Police estimate they have received over 50,000 firearms, but this is less than a third of what Police advised could be out there.
“I’d like to acknowledge the work of the Police. It’s clear why only a small number of firearms have been handed back and it’s on the Government that rushed the process, wasn’t clear on requirements, changed the prohibited list during the programme and failed to engage with the firearms community.
“The Government made a mistake in targeting law-abiding firearms owners when they should’ve targeted the gangs who peddle misery in communities across New Zealand.
“The result is a lot of confusion and lack of engagement. The buy-back has arguably been one of the Government’s most important policies. This is yet another failure to deliver.”