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Suggested Changes to Firearms Laws a "Nonsense"

Suggested Changes to Firearms Laws a "Nonsense"

Monday 9th Oct 2000 Ken Shirley Media Release -- Justice

New laws and a firearms authority promoted by Police Minister George Hawkins were a “nonsense,” ACT Police Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

Mr Shirley said the Government’s “so-called tough new regulations” on firearm registration would not address the real issue.

“Setting up a new firearms authority to take away the licensing and inspection functions from the police is a dangerous initiative and thinking that registration will keep firearms out of the hands of criminals is a farce,” Mr Shirley said.

“A new authority will just create another inefficient bureaucracy and I am worried it would not work closely enough with the police – they after all are the ones in the line of fire,” He said.

Mr Shirley said there was “overwhelming evidence” that compulsory registration of all firearms will not stop weapons falling into the hands of criminals.

“It is laughable to suggest that criminals will register their firearms. Getting tough on criminals who use firearms to commit violent offences is the real issue, but this Government seems more intent on paying large sums of unwarranted compensation to mongrel mob offenders, than tackling the flagrant abuse of parole conditions and repeat violent offending.”

Mr Shirley also accused the Government of delaying the report back to the select committee considering the Firearms Amendment Bill No. 2, while “they scampered around” to find a new populist initiative.

“The new proposals from Cabinet bear no relationship whatsoever to the Firearms Control Bill before the select committee.

“The public of New Zealand must be given an opportunity to comment on these new initiative through the select committee process,” Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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