11 Sep 2010

Call for prohibited persons register for firearms

10:06 am on 11 September 2010

A firearms lobby group is calling for a register to stop what it describes as people unfit to hold firearm licences obtaining them.

It follows the inquest into the deaths of Constable Len Snee and gunman Jan Molenaar during the Napier siege last year.

The Coroner's findings, released this month, fault the police for a lack of appropriate intelligence-gathering about Mr Molenaar.

A review of the Arms Act was also recommended and the police say they are working on that.

Council of Licenced Firearms Owners chairman Michael Dowling says a robust mechanism to positively identify people who are not fit and proper to hold licences is needed. Such a register could be held by both police and medical professionals, the council says.

The National Rifle Association, which represents fullbore target shooters, says having this type of register could enable police to better identify the risks such as those posed by Mr Molennar.