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Criticism of Police Misdirected

Criticism of Police Misdirected

Wednesday 25th Oct 2000 Stephen Franks Media Release -- Justice

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks is questioning the logic of anti-gun lobbyists who complained about Police failure to persuade 50,000 firearms owners to re-register themselves as firearms users under the current sensible firearms laws.

“These people think a new ‘Authority’ will do better. But gun owners largely respect the Police. They will detest the authority.

“The Government recently scorned firearms owners’ evidence to Parliamentary select committee hearings, by announcing through the media that it would press ahead to register firearms as well as owners and it would set up a new authority to oversee this,” Mr Franks said.

“The Police must have told the Government the changes will be a misuse of scarce resources. The new firearms registration authority will be a nuisance to practical front-line Police. It will be stacked with anti-firearm bigots from the Government's urban electorates. How will it get overburdened police to drop their work against criminals to persecute fire-arms owners?.

"The offence of many unregistered owners is to mistrust Government assurances that registration will not be turned against them. But Labour is nuts to think firearms owners will trust government assurances, after reneging on the West Coast Accord.

"One day Labour's politically correct elite will tap support for the NZ equivalent of a fox-hunting ban. Their problem now is that hunting in NZ is not the preserve of an upper class. But as Labour cuts free from its roots to pander to its chardonnay class, that obstacle will go.

“From user statements it is clear that the government is squandering the goodwill of firearms users toward the well-conducted Select committee hearings. They could be working with users on law that will protect those who blow the whistle on criminals and dangerous people with firearms.

"Instead, by persisting with the authority and registration proposals it now knows will be bad law, Labour is confirming that firearms owners should resist the government. They are making more likely a debacle of the type which has accompanied similar proposals in Canada," concluded Stephen Franks.

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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