“A privacy breach of dozens of people applying for firearms licences shows exactly why a firearms register is a terrible idea and why ACT has opposed it from the start,” says ACT’s Fair Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“A gun register, if leaked, will become a steal-to-order list for gangs and criminals.

“The Government must abandon its attempt to register every firearm in the country. Centralising this information within an agency which has shown time and again that it cannot be trusted to manage it, cannot be allowed to proceed.

“ACT understands that some police who don’t perform well are moved into the firearms licencing division of police to get them off the frontline. Others are civilians on short term contracts. We need a competent administrator so these failings stop occurring.

“Firearms licencing delays are out of control with more than a thousand people waiting 12 months or longer to get their licences approved.

“The Government promised last term to introduce an Independent Firearms Authority but this hasn’t happened. This should now be a priority for Government.

“It’s clear the Police are just not up to the task. If privacy breaches keep happening then New Zealanders will be less safe.”