15 Jun 2017

Govt's gun law plans put public at risk - Police Association

11:50 am on 15 June 2017

The government is putting peoples' lives at risk by rejecting new recommendations around gun laws, the Police Association says.

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Stricter rules over the sale of ammunition have been rejected by the government. Photo: 123rf.com

Police Minister Paula Bennett yesterday rejected 13 of a select committee's 20 recommendations, including stricter rules - such as a requirement to have a firearms licence - for the sale of ammunition.

She said there would be tougher penalties for offences, and rules would be introduced to block gang members or prospects from getting a firearms licence.

Police Association president Chris Cahill told Morning Report the minister had made a mockery of the select committee process.

"Currently, as it stands, I can get a firearms licence, I'll have my security check when I ask for that license, I can then go and purchase 100 other firearms and no-one would know I'd even purchased those firearms, and it would be 10 years before I went for renewal and anyone would inspect whether my security was appropriate. We don't think that's good."

He said gun serial numbers should be recorded and people should need a permit to purchase a gun.

Despite the criticism, the ACT Party is backing the government's stance on gun laws.

Leader David Seymour said the police wanted to restrict people's freedoms by cracking down on gun rules.

"The real problem is criminals that get guns.

"The things that the minister has accepted out of this report that are worthwhile is that you can go on a gun prohibition list if you do break gun laws.

"So we're punishing people that break the laws, rather than people that follow them."

Mr Seymour said gun registries would be costly and had not worked overseas.

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