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Guns & Gangs - We Question The Police Commissioner's Comments

The recent announcement by the Commissioner of Police that they have launched a

nationwide operation to target illegal firearms in the hands of the gangs is “great

news” says SSANZ President Neville Dodd. “Many of the firearms in the hands of

gangs have been stolen from innocent licenced firearms owners and they too are

victims of gang criminality”.


“However, we have serious concerns about the validity of some of the comments

attributed to the Commissioner. Does he really think that a gang member without a

firearms licence is going to record a firearm he has stolen in the newly legislated

firearms register”- and pay a fee for the privilege of doing so. In SSANZ opinion the

register will inevitably be the same expensive failure as the now abandoned Canadian

firearms register.


The Commissioner does himself no favours when he disingenuously cites the

circumstances of the Mosque assassin acquiring his firearms. The Royal Commission

made it very clear that it was police failure that allowed the assassin to acquire a

firearms licence. The Commission’s final words in section 5 of their report are

damning – ““We find that New Zealand Police failed to meet required standards in

the administration of the firearms licensing system.”


We are also disturbed by his comment that there were “examples of firearms licence

holders legitimately buying firearms and then selling them on the black market.”

There is no surprise in this since Police themselves have given firearms licences to 12

known gang members. Seems they have not learned from the mosque experience.

However, the question must be “why have those known gang members still got

firearms licences?”


As a further indication of the failure of the recent highly complex firearms laws we

are advised that front line police officers are now being deployed to help police arms

administrators clear the backlog of firearm licence renewals/applications which in

many cases are 6 months or more in arrears.

© Scoop Media

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