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COLFO Confirms Number of Banned Firearms in NZ

COLFO Confirms Number of Banned Firearms in New Zealand at Upper End of Police Estimates


The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) has estimated there are a total of 170,000 banned firearms in New Zealand, following an investigation of records from 11 firearms distributors and Customs imports. The announcement supports the higher limit released by Police earlier this year.

COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee says its estimate means the Police have only recovered 28% of the total number of newly prohibited firearms (the Police reported on 12 December that 47,486 firearms had been handed in).

While COLFO has always encouraged licenced firearms owners to comply with the law, McKee says she understands why some people are choosing not to engage with the process.

“The entire approach has been adversarial from the get-go. More firearms banned than they claimed, poor compensation, export bans ruining the opportunity of selling up valuable collections, and Police destroying prized and historic firearms.”

McKee says a lack of proper compensation for firearms, no compensation for prohibited ammunition, and no compensation for many banned parts is driving firearms owners towards taking their chances by not handing in.

“The Minister of Police and Prime Minister claim the ban was to remove military-style semi-automatics from circulation. But far more firearms than these are included; some owners will see this as unfair, while others might not even realise that they are in possession of a now-prohibited firearm because it is not a MSSA.”

McKee says questions will need to be asked of the Government at the 20 December deadline.

“There’s no way Police will collect over 100,000 more firearms this week, before the ban comes into force. The scheme is looking like a failure due to the rush on implementing political and ideological remedies instead of developing a more fair and reasonable hand-in regime over a more conducive timeline.”


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