Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Media Led Into Incorrectly Crediting Firearm Registry

Media have once again been led into incorrect reporting on the firearm registry, this time repeating claims that the new firearms registry enabled identification of a firearm on-seller, even though the data had been collected separately by Police since 2021.

Yesterday’s story in the Herald said the Police investigation into Craig Holtom’s illegal firearm on-selling had a ‘major breakthrough’ with the creation of New Zealand’s firearm registry, after a ‘simple database search’.

The data was not collected because of, or for, the registry. The data was supplied to Police by commercial firearm retailers and dates to 2019.

The correct conclusion is therefore the exact opposite: a registry is not needed to track down someone buying from dealers to illegally sell on. The registry is a very expensive way to achieve what has already been happening.

COLFO (Council of Licensed Firearm Owners) spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack urges wariness.

“Healthy scepticism is required when it comes to claims about the firearm registry. There’s a lot of money and reputation invested, so a lot of incentive to embellish its performance.

“The way the Court case was presented to media means they missed that it really shows that Police didn’t need to spend $200m to create a registry to catch this offender.

“This cheap attempt to bolster a pointless registry swamps the sterling effort of Police in tracking down a wayward licensed firearm owner. It is disappointing to see someone once assessed as being fit and proper by Police sliding into supplying legally purchased firearms to gangs.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“We thank the Firearms Safety Authority for acknowledging that the actions of this individual are not reflective of the vast majority of licensed firearm owners who legally use firearms to feed their families, protect our environment, and for sport," Devereux-Mack says.

This latest misrepresentation follows publishing of simplistic claims of public support for a registry.

In contrast, an unreported Clarity Insight poll run at the end of August for COLFO, revealed that two thirds of the public believe the registry will make no discernible difference to the level of firearm crime.

80% of the public believe New Zealand is less safe than 2019, and 83% have noticed an increase in gun crime since then. That was the year Labour banned some types of firearms, conducted a buyback, and announced a raft of controls on licensed firearm owners – moves it claimed would make people safer.

The full survey report from August is available here.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Smokefree Laws Debacle

The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out - for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable view is that the government was being deliberately misleading. Are we to think Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is a fool, or a liar? It seems rather early on in his term of office to be facing that unpleasant choice. Yet when Luxon (and senior MP Chris Bishop) tried to defend the indefensible with the same wildly inaccurate claim, there are not a lot of positive explanations left on the table.... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.