“Law abiding firearms users are facing even more delays as the Police fall even further behind on processing applications,” says ACT’s Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The waiting times for applications to be processed have extended further and further as the Police have struggled to process the new and more complicated applications that were rushed through last term.

“Now Police have issued an update, you’ll have to wait six months for a renewal and 12 months for a new licence.

“At the heart of our nations’ tragedy in Christchurch was a licensing failure. A man with multiple red flags was given a licence when he should have been identified as a threat. The Government had one job, fix licensing. Two and a half years on, the licensing system is clunkier than ever.

“Police have been saying for a couple of years now that they are working hard on the backlog but it’s getting worse. We are also heading towards a bell curve where the number of people seeking renewals will increase over upcoming years.

“Where else would you pay for a service so you can comply with the law and have to wait a full year?

“People who are applying for these licences just want to gather food for their families, carry out pest control or participate in sport.

“There are now concerns that this will lead to more safety issues, rather than fixing them. What happened to safer communities?

“This also does nothing to repair the credibility of the Police or the trust that was broken with firearms users after the gun buyback.

“Police Minister Poto Williams needs to give an assurance that she’s working to fix this. Both for the safety of the New Zealanders and to increase confidence in the Police.”

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