“The Government’s proposed changes to firearms licensing regulations are insulting to hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Kiwis,” says ACT’s Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“An increase from $126.50 to $625.60 for a new five year firearms licence is proposed in the Arms regulations: Review of fees discussion document. This will deter potential applicants because they simply won’t be able to afford it.

“It is also proposed the firearms dealers licence fee is increased from $204 annually to $2,710 annually.

“The Government seems to have forgotten who the criminals are. Under these proposals, licensed firearms owners who hold endorsements will be pre-emptively charged for a Police response if they’re burgled. Why should victims to pay for being burgled?

“When I asked new Police Minister Ginny Anderson about this in Parliament today, she said that the Government hasn’t made any decisions around implementation yet. On behalf of all licensed firearms owners across New Zealand, I encourage her to rethink.

“Keeping costs affordable provides an incentive for people to stay within the system, keep their firearms secured properly and be accountable. Being within the system means you receive essential firearms safety education, training, security is checked, and you have been vetted as a fit and proper person.

“It’s time we get back to really protecting our communities from firearm misuse and that means relieving New Zealand Police of their administrative duty that Labour and NZ First placed upon them. ACT will achieve this by re-introducing a new firearms law, starting from scratch, that puts our communities, not the pockets of Government at the heart of good firearms legislation.

“We will begin by removing the administration of arms control from New Zealand Police leaving them to deal with their core business of enforcement.

“This means the Police can focus on dealing with actual criminals, instead of treating licensed firearms owners like criminals”

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