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Rattled Government Thwarts Firearms Owners

Rattled Government Thwarts Firearms Owners

Wednesday 11th Oct 2000 Stephen Franks Media Release -- Justice

The Government is condemning rural New Zealand to mass disobedience and circulation of ‘unlawful’ firearms through its unexpected announcement of a go-ahead for gun registration, said Act Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks.

“Perhaps the Government was panicked by the overwhelming evidence to the select committee against gun registration and this accounts for the decision to pre-empt the committee’s recommendations by announcing its proposals,’’ he said.

“The committee could not in conscience have recommended proceeding in this way. Now the people who took the trouble to participate in good faith in this process have a renewed reason to mistrust the Government.”

“The proposed authority overseeing gun registration will, if staffed by people with an anti-gun agenda, damage relations with the law-abiding families it should be on side with. It will do nothing against criminal possession of guns. In addition the registration records of the authority will not be comprehensive so will be of no operational benefit to the police. The police still won’t be able to approach a person assuming they have no firearm just because that is what the register shows.”

Mr Franks said Canadian attempts to introduce a similar scheme had already cost $300 million with no benefits to show.

“The Government had the chance to get sporting shooters working closely with local police to keep firearms off people who shouldn’t have them. Instead, for solely political reasons it is now confirming the worst fear of families with firearms – that the hidden objective is to get to the position where firearms can be confiscated.

“Decent firearms users are therefore likely to resist these proposals and this will result in widespread ‘under-grounding’ of guns – literally in many cases,” Mr Franks said.


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