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Minister Rushing Gun Laws

The Police Minister has pre-empted the select committee consideration of firearms laws with his policy declaration yesterday, National Police Spokesperson Brian Neeson said today.

"Moves to register guns rather than just the owners are premature until the select committee reports back on the Arms Amendment Bill. This is more about politics than good law.

"National has not yet been given details of the Minister's proposal but, based on the information we have derived from the media, several questions arise: should police resources be increased so they can deal with firearms registration; how safe will the information be that is taken from the Police and given to the independent firearms authority?

"The Select Committee extended its report-back date to give Police time to gather information the committee has requested. But as usual Mr Hawkins has jumped the gun and announced his own policy in a purely political move.

"Time should be put into identifying those people likely to abuse guns. This is a hasty policy that, on the face of it, seems to have given little regard to the practicality of the proposals.

"New Zealanders want to know that gun laws are going to keep them safe and it's questionable whether Mr Hawkins' policy will do that," Mr Neeson said.


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