The National Party says its new firearms policy will give police greater power to clamp down on gangs while protecting the rights of New Zealanders to use guns for legitimate reasons.
National has released its firearms policy ahead of October’s election, claiming it will make NZ a safer place to live.
The policy would give police greater powers to search for illegal firearms and confiscate them from gangs and criminals.
It would provide more firearms safety and outdoor training courses for those legally using firearms and involve the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) in developing firearms policy.
National’s hunting and fishing spokesperson, Todd McClay, said firearms are important for many, particularly in rural areas, where people depend on guns for their livelihoods, enjoy social benefits like hunting and shooting sports and, in some cases, to put food on the table.
“There is a real difference between those Kiwis who are licensed and have a duty to use firearms responsibly and safely, and those who do not hold a licence and use firearms for crime,” he said.
National’s police spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, said the party will ensure police are focused on ensuring gangs and criminals do not illegally obtain and misuse firearms.
Mitchell said gang-related gun crime has increased, with drive-by shootings orchestrated by gangs on the rise.
“National will give police greater powers to proactively search for illegal firearms and remove them from the hands of gangs and criminals who pose a real risk to public safety,” Mitchell said.
Key points of National’s firearms policy include:
• Giving police greater powers to search for illegal firearms and confiscate them from gangs and criminals who pose a risk to public safety.
• Shifting statutory responsibility for developing, administering, and implementing firearms law and policy to the Ministry of Justice, allowing police to focus on enforcement and gun crime.
• Bolstering firearms safety and outdoor training courses to help those who use firearms lawfully.
• Giving the COLFO a formal role in the development of firearms policy.