Firearms Owners Not Responsible For Organised Violent Crime
The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners is questioning comments by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster that implicated firearm owners for the escalation in armed violence across New Zealand.
Coster has repeated claims by his predecessor that burglaries committed against licenced firearms owners are the main source of firearms for criminal gangs. Like his predecessor, he has produced no evidence to back up the claim.
“Previous Police Commissioner Mike Bush popularised the idea that gangs were obtaining firearms through burglaries committed against licenced firearms owners. We saw no evidence to back up this claim, and suggest Andrew Coster ask officials for data before making it again in public,” says COLFO Chairman Michael Dowling.
He says the increase in illegal narcotics peddled by armed gangs indicates the source of illegal firearms.
“Organised crime is getting rich off illegal narcotics. These are sourced from overseas and trafficked illegally through the border along with other contraband such as illegal firearms.”
“There has been a spike in armed violence by gang members since the introduction of Police’s Armed Response Teams. It is well researched overseas that when Police arm up, the criminal underworld does the same. This is exactly the opposite of what New Zealanders want.
“We are pleased that Armed Response Teams have been wound back under the new commissioner, and with Police’s renewed focus on the real threats to the New Zealand way of life. We hope it means an end to unfair targeting of law-abiding licenced firearm owners.