“Police have named just two gunsmiths able to make firearms modifications before 20 December in a city of 1.6 million, showing what a farce the ‘buy-back’ has become”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“More than halfway through the six-month ‘buy-back’ and amnesty, Police have announced a list of gunsmiths who are authorised to carry out modifications on prohibited firearms so that the firearm is no longer prohibited.
“Only two gunsmiths have been approved for Auckland, a city with 1.6 million people, and there's just one approved gunsmith in Christchurch with a population of 380,000 people.
“It’s inconceivable that every gun owner who wants to modify their firearm will be able to do so before 20 December.
“If six months is the appropriate time for a ‘buy-back’ and amnesty, that six months should begin when the last rule changes were made.
“Earlier this month, Police made changes to the prohibited firearms list, almost three months into the process.
“The gun community and the public can’t have confidence when the rules keep changing and the clock is ticking away.
“Police have now collected 21,854 guns at about 200 events, a collection rate of 109 guns per event. There are potentially 218,146 banned firearms still in circulation and only 50 notified events remaining. Even if another 150 events are added, Police would need to increase their collection rate by a factor of almost ten to 1,090 guns per event.
“It is becoming clearer by the day that the ‘buy-back’ is failing. Police must extend the timeframe beyond 20 December.
“Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement admitted as much eleven days ago when he said it would take ‘years’ to recover all banned firearms.”