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King misses point about speakers at gun conference

22 February 2006

King misses point about speakers at gun conference

Police Minister Annette King should stop dodging the issue and investigate the Police role in inviting five pro-gun lobbyists to be keynote speakers at the gun safety conference taking place in Christchurch, Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

"No-one is denying that there will be useful discussions on gun safety at the conference. But how does it advance safety to give a platform to speakers who promote more guns in the community and support people arming themselves for self defence?" Mr Locke says.

"Annette King should also investigate the ties of conference organiser, Police Inspector Joe Green, to the pro-gun lobby. One of the invited keynote speakers, Gary Mauser, carries a picture on his website http://www.sfu.ca/~mauser/index1.html#nz of Mr Green accompanying him on a hunting trip last year.

"On the same website readers can click a heading 'More Guns, Less Crime' and read an article by Mr Mauser concluding that a drop in criminal violence in America is 'because many states in the past two decades have encouraged responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns.'

"Ms King and Inspector Green should explain how inviting people like Mr Mauser, or NRA lobbyist Mark Barnes, or American John Lott, who wrote a book, More Guns, Less Crime, advances the cause of gun safety.

"We also need to know how much Police money has been spent getting these pro-gun lobbyists to New Zealand.

"Inspector Green should also re-assess whether it is right for him, as police gun licensing manager, to be so close to international pro-gun lobbyists," Mr Locke says.

ENDS

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