Police Incompetence Over Brendon Tarrant's Firearms License A Disgrace And Cover Up
Government Failings Do Not justify interference with Public Rights
The disclosure of police incompetence in failing to properly vet Australian Brendon Tarrant’s firearm licence application, highlights the lack of respect our government and its three coalition parties have for the public they were elected to represent.
"Bureaucratic failings should never be used to justify state interference with public rights" says Alan Simmons Co-leader of the NZ Outdoors Party. "Glaring failings by the state should be grounds to strengthen, not undermine public rights."
The aftermath of the mosque massacre led to rushed law reform to remove firearms from licenced "fit and proper persons", resulting in public outrage and over 12,000 submissions before the new law was rushed through. Clearly these submissions could not be properly considered in just two days. Over a year later the government has admitted it was police incompetence that allowed Tarrant access to firearms.
"It was a well known secret that Tarrant’s firearm application had a number of irregularities that should have alerted the police. If they had followed due process they would have made enquiries to Australia, where Tarrant was reportedly under surveillance by Australian’s security agency,” said Alan Simmons co-leader of the New Zealand Outdoors Party.
"The Police then issued Tarrant a permit to procure thousands of rounds of ammunition. It was later revealed during a Select Committee hearing that when the ammunition supplier raised red flags and checked with police they told him to supply the ammunition. The police handling and ensuing cover up of their failings is a disgrace" says Simmons. "Who accepts responsibility for this? Where was the Minister of Police? What did he know? Why did he allow this to be covered up for over a year while lawful gun owners took the butt of the police failures? Heads must roll for this abuse of power."
The firearm-owning public had drawn attention about Tarrant’s firearm licence but instead the three party government chose in dictatorial fashion to hit the lawful community.
It was blatantly undemocratic,” said Alan Simmons.
At the time the National Party’s parliamentary wing went along with the rushed removal of public rights. More recently they seem to have realised their gross mistake and have started to shift their position.
"The role of the Police Association’s strident president - nominally a public servant - deserves scrutiny too,” said Alan Simmons.
The NZ Outdoors Party strongly supports democratic rights and freedoms from government abuse of power and is promoting a People's Constitution for New Zealand to help achieve this.