The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says that it is an absolute disgrace that Police are refusing to discuss with the media the revelation disclosed by Stuff this morning that the Christchurch shooter was able to obtain a firearms licence – and therefore able to purchase his cache of firearms for the Christchurch attack – due to the Police not following their own vetting policies.
Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “If it’s true that Police only interviewed two people Tarrant met on an internet chat room, heads should roll. It is difficult to think of a more consequential failure of a department to follow policy. Why has it taken more than a year for us to find this out?”
“Taxpayers coughed up $102 million for a firearms buyback on the basis that the old system was broken. But now it appears it was a simple case of Police not doing their job. Were Cabinet Ministers and the Government’s support parties in on this cover up? Did they know they were passing laws to distract attention from the Police’s incompetence? Or did the Police try to hide it from MPs as well as the public?”
“If this is a resourcing issue, that raises whole new questions. The firearms vetting system is mix of user pays and appropriations. Was the failure due to Police redirecting resources out of the area Parliament had directed it towards? That’s unforgivable.”
“Licensed firearms owners were left with the blame for something the Police appear to have covered up: their own failings which led to the death of 51 people. Their lack of comment is a disgrace to the public service and the public they are supposed to serve.”