INDEPENDENT NEWS

Gun Lobby Responds To Robson's Comments

Published: Thu 23 Dec 1999 12:41 AM
The President of the New Zealand Council of Licensed Firearms Owners Inc., Mr Michael Reeves has in the last few days responded to recent publicised comments with the Corrections Minister, Mr Matt Robson.
Mr Reeves' initial comment was "Mr Robson's initial point calling for stricter gun control laws were big on words, weak on facts" as fundamentally there are no gun control problems in New Zealand, nor justification to spend hundreds of millions of tax payer's dollars.
However, there is a great demand to bring about adequate penalties for the criminal misuse of firearms and adequate funding of our fragmented mental health system.
Our position on proposed registration of firearms, is despite calling for evidence, there is no international evidence to support Mr Robson's contention that registration of firearms will in any way shape or form save lives or improve the welfare of our society, but it will impose oppressive economic sanctions against the legitimate law abiding citizens of New Zealand, amounting to some 220,000.
COLFO's position in respect of semi-automatic firearms with the exception of approximately 2,000 used in legitimate sporting activities, the balance of some several thousand should be subject to an equitable buy-back at rates equivalent to the buy-back that has occurred in Australia.
COLFO's position in respect of an independent firearms authority being set-up, the reality is we need to adequately fund and resource the Police as they have the respect and desired integrity. COLFO categorically rejects the need for an independent authority.
Mr Reeves said COLFO is committed to working with the Government in the interests of the wider community as realistically COLFO are the most ardent supporters of gun control laws when they focus on those that pose a risk to our community, being the criminal fraternity and the mentally ill.
ENDS....

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