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Nationwide hearings needed on firearms law

The Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) says the Government should take its proposed firearms legislation to the people with a touring Select Committee, as it just has with the Zero Carbon bill.

COLFO Spokesperson Nicole McKee has challenged Police Minister Stuart Nash to support an extended period in which the Select Committee holds hearings in towns and cities throughout New Zealand.

Stuart Nash said on Friday that it “important we hear from all New Zealanders” because firearm use “impacts on every person in the community.”

“We challenge Mr Nash to put his sentiments to the test – encourage the Select Committee to go out and talk to ordinary people.

“Finding people ‘concerned’ about misuse of firearms won’t be hard – but that’s different to finding evidence that these plans will do anything to make people safer.

“What they will find is that their Bill affects far more ordinary law-abiding citizens than they expected, while criminals and people with bad intent will not be caught.”

Nicole said it was fatuous for the Prime Minister and Police Minister to claim the Bill would make people “safe” and “as protected as they can be from the potential for another attack”.

“It might make people feel safer, but it won’t make them physically safer.”

Nicole requested that Jacinda Ardern show evidence behind her claim on Friday that the Christchurch shooting had “exposed weaknesses in legislation which we have the power to fix.”

“Where is the evidence behind these proposals? Where is the link between anything in the shooting and each proposal in the Bill? The government needs to provide evidence that each of its solutions will fix a specific problem. Some changes could help, but this will have solutions to problems that don’t exist.”

© Scoop Media

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