Gun laws creaking under the strain

 Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. 

“The lack of resources is affecting the Police’s ability to keep Kiwis safe and put the bad guys behind bars.

“To discover that there is likely to be a significant under-reporting of illegal guns seized by the Police is alarming. The fact that both the Police Association and the Police themselves admit that in order for any seized gun to be ‘logged’ requires an officer to enter the firearm details into three separate databases is ridiculous. Surely in this day and age a single point of data entry is sufficient for over-worked officers. 

“It’s also disappointing to hear from the Police Association that the current system is ‘easy to exploit and is poorly policed and monitored’. The fact that Police are not getting any more sworn officers until at least 2020 suggests the firearm regime will continue to be poorly managed and resourced.  

“For example, in the Eastern District the number of licencing officers is dropping from three officers to one in 2017. This is untenable and will only exacerbate the problem around illegal guns in our communities,” said Stuart Nash.