INDEPENDENT NEWS

COLFO Supports Firearms Proposals That Will Work

Published: Mon 9 Oct 2000 11:17 AM
MEDIA RELEASE FROM COLFO
The Government’s plan to impose tougher penalties for crimes involving the use of firearms has been welcomed by COLFO the country’s largest firearms owner's organisation. The NZ Council of Licensed Firearms Owners Inc (COLFO) represents the interests of some 220,000 licensed firearms owners. Mr Michael Reeves, President said COLFO has made extensive submissions to the Government & Police regarding tougher penalties.
We are delighted that at last we may have laws that focus on the criminal misuse of firearms, at present the theft of a firearm is no more serious than stealing a chocolate bar.
COLFO also supports the decision not to have compulsory buy back of Military Style Semi-Automatic firearms, saying their use and ownership is already very tightly controlled.
However the COLFO strongly opposes both registration of firearms, and the establishment of an independent firearms authority.
“Registration is feel-good politics that has failed to deliver any real benefit in Canada, Australia or the UK, and will cost our community at least $75 million in real money, Mr Reeves said. With no benefit to our community this was very expensive appeasement of anti gun groups. These groups choose not to focus our limited Public dollars on the cause of the perceived problem, being mainly criminal misuse, and to a small extent the misuse by high profile mentally ill individuals.
“It is a tax on law-abiding licensed firearms owners and the only outcome will be an increased blackmarket in unregistered weapons amongst criminals.”
COLFO says the Police are the only people who should be in control of firearms laws, and any independent authority would be both mistrusted and opposed.
“Only the police have the integrity and trust to gain and hold the large amount of personal information involved in issuing the public with firearms licences,” The details they gain must be kept confidential. Security of information was already of concern Mr Reeves said.
ENDS
For further information contact
Michael Reeves 025 513513 Bus 04-4995522 Fax 04-4998850
Andre Doyle, Deputy Chairman HM 04-5284655 Michael Dobson HM 04-3801681

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