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Robson shows contempt for democratic process

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Alliance Cabinet Minister Matt Robson's comments in a Christchurch newspaper yesterday showed his contempt for democratic process and the opinions of ordinary New Zealanders, said Law and Order Select Committee members Stephen Franks and Ron Mark.

Parliaments Law and Order Select Committee is currently hearing nation-wide submissions on the Firearms Amendment Bill. Virtually all submissions have opposed the bill.

“Matt Robson said in the Christchurch Press (10/04/00) that ‘the Government would beef up the bill, introducing tough new measures this year, regardless of the inevitable backlash from the gun lobby’.

“Are we to assume that our Labour colleagues on the committee are also cynical, and are only pretending to listen to the people.

“The select committee has received 6500 submissions from New Zealand clubs and individuals concerned with the bill. Most want to see firearm laws that are effective and enforced. They are almost unanimous that the Bill will punish legitimate gun owners, but not fix the serious problem of criminal access to guns.

“A Coopers and Lybrand costing, obtained under the Official Information Act, that has shown registration of individual firearms will cost taxpayers at least $50m. Canadian experience suggests more than twice that.

“The select committee is still in the process of receiving submissions, yet it seems Matt Robson has already decided the result.

“We call on Matt Robson to remember he lives in a democratic society. Contempt for the views of ordinary New Zealanders will not improve control of firearms,” said Stephen Franks and Ron Mark.

ENDS

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