“The Government’s gun buyback has utterly failed to curb firearms violence, with shootings in Auckland spiking to three a day in the month of May,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The NZ Herald reports that Auckland had 109 gun crimes in May alone, and that in 2022 there has been 85 firearms reported as stolen from licensed Auckland firearms owners.

“Despite gangs blatantly going after the guns of law-abiding citizens, the Government is now working on establishing a firearms register that gangs could use as a shopping list. Just like the gun buyback, the register will apply to licensed firearms owners while gang members and criminals will ignore it. It’s yet another case of Labour focussing on law-abiding citizens rather than the criminals who are the problem.

“We’ve already seen the dangers of compiling this information in 2019 when a Police digital database was left open and private information was accessed, and most recently with the theft of licensed firearms owners’ details from the former police station in Auckland CBD.

“The Government promised last term to introduce an Independent Firearms Authority but this hasn’t happened. This should now be a priority for Government so the Police can be freed up to focus on criminals instead of law-abiding New Zealanders.

“Labour’s rushed gun laws that came into effect in 2019 were totally pointless. Gun crime has gotten considerably worse since they passed them.

“Only ACT opposed the laws at the time because we said they went after law-abiding New Zealanders while gangs would hang on to their guns. This is exactly what has happened and we’re seeing the consequences play out in our communities.

“It has been reported that crimes have decreased in the last few weeks due to an “uneasy truce” between gangs. New Zealanders don’t want their safety to be at the mercy of a gang truce, we need to strike fear into these gangs that their criminal behaviour is unacceptable, and they won’t get away with it.

“While Labour has finally woken up to the need to go after gang’s assets after ACT has been putting forward bills to do so for two years, they need to scrap their plans to establish a gun register that will only lead to more violence on our streets.”

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Nicole McKee