Thursday, 25 February 2021

Govt shoots self in buttock over gun laws

“The Police Minister and the Police Commissioner are at odds over whether the Government’s new gun legislation allows Police to strip firearms licences from gang members,” says ACT Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Last Thursday in Parliament, the Justice Minister, answering on behalf of the Police Minister said:

‘There is the ability, as I've mentioned to the member, within current legislation, for people who are on the gang register to have their firearms licence removed if the police believe they are not a fit and proper person. Again, I would stress that is a piece of legislation the ACT Party did not support.’

“But Police Commissioner Andrew Coster revealed this morning to the Justice Committee that, while Police intended to test the new law, it’s unlikely that gang membership alone will allow them to strip someone of a firearms licence:

‘It appears unlikely that the effect of that provision will be to enable us to remove a firearms license from someone solely on the ground of gang membership or association.’

“This contradiction reminds me of when a Police officer shot himself in the buttock last year.

“The Police Commissioner, far from being a ‘wokester’, has blown the arse out of the Government with a display of straight up honesty about their failed legislation.

“The gangs always said they weren’t subject to the law and, in this case, they were right.

“If the Government’s much-vaunted ‘fit and proper’ test has failed to prevent members of violent organised criminal gangs from holding a firearms license, that would be a massive failure.

“New Zealanders will be deeply concerned that, on such a serious issue, the Minister and the Commissioner are not on the same page.”