“The Government said over a month ago there will be changes to the Arms Act by the end of the year, the Police Minister needs to explain what is going on or whether it will be just another broken promise from Labour,” says ACT’s Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“I have repeatedly asked former Police Minister Poto Williams and current Police Minister Chris Hipkins to take action on the serious issue of firearms licensing delays.

“Five weeks ago Hipkins finally confirmed that changes were on the way, replying to a letter I sent him stating; “I have taken advice on how the Arms Act might be amended to provide the outcome we are both seeking.” He indicated to me in the letter that this will happen before the end of the year.

“Since then it has been radio silence though. The Minister needs to confirm what amendments he is planning to make and do it soon if they are to be made before the end of the year.

“There are thousands of people who have been waiting up to a year for their licence to be processed, some are still waiting after two years.

“The situation is becoming dangerous. Licenced firearms owners are having to take their guns out of their safes, place them in the boot of their car, and drive all around the country to store them in the safes of other licensed firearms owners to avoid breaking the law.

“Law abiding firearms owners have been through enough changes, the Government needs to be honest and upfront about what it plans to do if it wants to restore confidence in the firearms community.

“I’m calling on the Minister to tell us what the changes are and give us a timeframe for implementation.”

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Nicole McKee