“The gun ‘buy-back’ scheme – supported by all parties except ACT – is headed for complete and utter failure and must be extended”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“With just 32,000 of an estimated 240,000 firearms handed in and only 50 days of the scheme remaining, Police must up their daily collection rate from about 240 firearms per day to more than 4,100 – a 17-fold increase.
“ACT has said from day one that the contempt with which Parliament treated firearms owners, the speed at which it legislated, and the level of compensation offered, would all contribute to firearms going underground, creating larger grey and black markets.
“That prediction has come true, but not even we could have imagined how big a failure Parliament’s gun legislation and ‘buy-back’ would be.
“Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement has also taken to lecturing firearms owners, by telling them not just that he will enforce the law, but what the law will be after 20 December. He says there will be absolutely no extension to the gun ‘buy-back’ and amnesty scheme.
“But that’s not his job. Police don’t make the law, they enforce it. It is not Clement’s role to tell the public what the law will be in the future. It’s up to the Government to decide whether or not an extension to the ‘buy-back’ and amnesty will happen.
“If, on the other hand, Police Minister Stuart Nash has tasked his officials with delivering a politically difficult message to firearms owners, that’s also a problem and an abdication of his responsibilities as Minister.
“Whatever the case, it is undeniable that Parliament’s gun ‘buy-back’ has been a failure and the Government must extend it beyond 20 December.”