Police Association members have come out swinging at the Government’s failure to take meaningful action on illegal possession of firearms, the Green Party said today.
The Police Association’s election year policy document shows that frontline staff support stricter control on firearms flowing into New Zealand, following a Select Committee investigation earlier this year.
“We agree with the Police Association that Minister Bennett has missed a crucial opportunity to prevent further violence and threats to public safety by taking real action on illegal firearms possession," said Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon.
“Her refusal to take meaningful action will put Police at further risk. Having fewer unlicensed and illegal firearms would also reduce the pressure from some quarters to arm Police.
“The Law and Order Select Committee Inquiry made some very simple and straightforward recommendations, for example that Police record serial numbers of all firearms upon renewal of licence or inspection of premises.
“New Zealand has a very high level of gun ownership, but no accurate record of the stockpile of firearms at any given time.
“Horrifying incidents like those in Kawerau last year are indicative of how serious the situation is.
“The Green Party supports the Police Association’s efforts, and we are joining their call on Government to take genuine action to prevent the supply of firearms to criminals," said Mr Clendon.