“New allegations about Police’s failure to vet the Christchurch terrorist completely vindicate ACT’s position that the Government is scapegoating law-abiding firearms owners,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

According to Stuff, Brenton Tarrant was wrongly granted a firearms licence because Police failed to interview a family member as required and instead relied on two men who met him through an internet chatroom. The licence would not have been granted if proper procedure was followed. Another arms officer is supposed to check applicants have been properly vetted before issuing a licence, but no red flag was raised.

“This represents a total failure on the part of Police. 51 New Zealanders paid with their lives and hundreds of thousands of law-abiding New Zealanders are being scapegoated by the Government.

“This report completely vindicates ACT’s position that law-abiding firearms owners were never the problem. Our firearms laws were largely adequate, Police simply failed to enforce them.

“In the days after March 15, Police tried to distract and deflect from their role by persuading the Government to ram through law changes which only ACT opposed.

“The resulting gun ‘buy-back’ has failed to make New Zealanders safer.

“Given this new information, the Government must wait for the Royal Commission to report next month before proceeding with the second tranche of gun legislation.

“It would be unconscionable to change the law without hearing the full story behind the Christchurch terrorist attacks.

“Finally, the public needs to know what Police Minister Stuart Nash knew about Police’s failings. Either Police have kept this information from him, or he was aware and proceeded with law changes anyway. Either scenario would be bad.”