Eight Things To Know About Gun Registration
Gun registration is half useless even before launch. Criminals are known to remove serial numbers. Police have confirmed that 47% of the firearms that they confiscate each year have no serial number. Making them untraceable.
- Gangs will always have access to guns. They are known to smuggle firearms into the country at the same time that they smuggle their drugs. If every firearm in the nation was disappeared with a genies’ wish – gangs would quickly rearm without issue.
- Gangs manufacture their own firearms. There have been machine gun murders in New Zealand with such weapons. In NSW fully ten percent of firearms confiscated by police are gang made.
- 3D printed guns have also been discovered in the hands of NZ gangs. This means that the only thing now preventing any gang from having weapons is a fear of punishment.
- Registration is a shopping list for criminals. During submissions at the last gun law change shooters warned that either by incompetence or intent – such data would be vulnerable.
Since then we have seen several cases of corrupt police selling such data. Including Vili Mahe Taukolo, who admitted accessing the police's National Intelligence Application thousands of times.
Police even confirmed a privacy breach on their gun buy-back site! Not only does a register not keep guns from criminal hands but it can actually deliver them to criminals.
- Advocates for a new gun register never reveal that New Zealand already had such a system, then dumped it. Because it was 66% inaccurate and delivered nothing.
After the recent nightclub shooting the Police Union said that incident was evidence that a register was required. They failed to mention that the crime was perpetrated with a handgun. We already register those in New Zealand.
Yet the records for these relatively few firearms are in total chaos. They are essentially unusable. Yet Police refuse to perform an audit to determine the scale of the problem.
Scientists would call this a ‘Sample’. If Police cannot track thousands of guns then they cannot track millions.
- In a perfect example of just how bad Police record keeping is – Police are unable to say how they came to have the very rifle that they showed Parliament to get the new registration laws that they wanted.
The seized rifle was actually supposed to have been returned to it’s lawful owner. However they had been told by Police that the rifle was destroyed in error.
- Proponents of registration also point to cars and dogs being registered. They leave out that we have almost 12,000 dog bites a year in New Zealand.
Or that 20,000 cars are reported stolen each year. With insurance companies guessing at twice that number and that only 10 per cent of car crimes being solved.
Laws are only for the law abiding.
Recidivism is the magic word when it comes to understanding gun crime in New Zealand. One offender has 46 separate convictions – just for gun crimes. Most gangsters have several such offences on their record.
The bottom line is that criminals will always have access to guns. Nothing can prevent that, including a register. The good news is that we can make them fearful of ever having them in their possession.
But that will take new laws that target our worst criminals. Not lawful sportspeople and farmers.
* Mike Loder is an Auckland-based campaigner for the realistic sentencing of firearm offenders. He has researched international control measures for over 25 years.