“The Police Association is naïve if it believes a firearms register will stop gang violence”, says ACT’s Firearms Reform Spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“A person who shoots at a police officer, or anyone for that matter, is scum. Gangs and criminals didn’t hand in their firearms during the buyback and won’t register their guns either.
“Incidents like the one in Whangarei yesterday are taking place because the Government has spent the last two years getting tough on the wrong people.
“The Government is cracking down on licensed firearms owners when it’s gang behaviour that’s out of control. To blame LFOs for the actions of criminals is a cop out.
“There are several serious problems with a register.
“It’s likely to be inaccurate. The Auditor-General found that the recently abolished E-Category firearms register was already out by at least 10 percent.
“A register could create a security risk if the details of where and what type of firearms are stored is leaked to criminals, potentially putting 250,000 people in danger. Security of data has already been compromised several times over recent months.
“Then there’s the problem of adverse selection. The most dangerous people are not going to register their firearms.
“The Police Association needs to answer the question of whether the firearms used in gang shootings still have their serial numbers on them. Police data says that, of the 3,000 firearms seized in the last year, only 1,500 had serial numbers on them.
“We need real solutions. ACT will hit the gangs where it hurts.
“ACT will amend the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act so that if Police find illegal firearms at an unlawful, gang-run operation their assets can be seized to help make our frontline Police and communities safer.
“Under our proposal, if an illegal firearm is found in the possession of a known gang member at a property where an illegal operation is taking place, authorities will not be required to meet the current legal tests. The discovery of an illegal firearm can be used to fast-track the seizure of assets.”