TUESDAY 28 JANUARY 2020
The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) says the public is intensely worried by a rise in gang and firearm
crime, but the Government’s firearms register is a “weak and illogical” response.
COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee says that few of the owners of 700 firearms seized by Police in Auckland over 2019 would
have disclosed them under a registry regime.
“A register is a weak and illogical answer to extraordinary events like the Christchurch shooting or to a surge in
firearm use by everyday criminals.
“Being registered doesn’t stop a gun being used in crime, and criminals don’t register their firearms anyway. That
leaves Police and the public at the same risk of being shot as they are now.
“Most of the firearms seized by Police in Auckland would never have been registered, and most of the many thousands they
have not yet seized will not be registered.
“It is illusionary to think that the criminals who are driving these statistics will play any part at all in a firearms
registry. The weapons will not magically appear the day a register is introduced. They could appear without warning in
any incident the Police attend and in any public space.
“It’s even worse than that: the firearm ban failed to recover 100,000 firearms. Those will now never be registered.
“And the stock of unregistered weapons will grow even larger as they are imported by criminals along with drugs,” Nicole
In Canada, where there is a firearm register, the Toronto Police Chief admitted last month that 82% of ‘crime guns’ are
smuggled and not registered.
“Our members want to live in safe communities just like everyone else, but it is they who will be affected by a register
– not criminals,” she says.
Nicole noted that ‘crime guns’ are only one of the risks posed to the public and police by gangs and criminals, as
recent activity has involved a much wider range of weapons.