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National’s List MP, Maureen Pugh, is welcoming the response of Police Minister Paula Bennett to an inquiry by the Law and Order Select Committee on issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms.

Minister Bennett accepted 7 of the Select Committee’s recommendations and rejected 12. One recommendation will proceed with some changes being made.

“While public safety is an important issue, we need to ensure the right balance is struck to ensure the rights of law abiding firearms’ owners are not unduly affected. As Deputy Chair of theLaw and Order Select Committee I welcome the sensible response of Minister Bennett,” saidMrs Pugh.

“The inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms was of particular interest to many recreational firearms owners in the West Coast-Tasman electorate. I am sure the many constituents who expressed their opinions to me over the past couple of months will be pleased with the Government’s sensible approach.”

A summary of the Government’s response can be found below.

 

Recommendation Number

Summarised Recommendation

Government Response Summarised

Sale and supply of firearms and ammunition

1

A firearms licence required to possess ammunition

Reject

2

A dealer’s licence required to sell ammunition

Reject

3

Dealers required to keep records of ammunition sales

Reject

4

Registration process for websites facilitating trading in firearms, parts, or ammunition

Amend recommendation - Do not introduce registration but clarify ‘mail order’ process applies to online sales in Arms Amendment Bill

5

Permit to procure extended to cover all sales or transfers of firearms (i.e. include A category firearms)

Reject - but improve efficiency in current licensing and permitting processes. Mail order applies to online sales

Definition of military-style semi-automatics

6

Investigate the creation of a category of restricted semi-automatic rifle and shotgun

Reject

Effectiveness of licensing, training, and registering firearms

7

Implement firearm prohibition orders

Accept - include in the Arms (Firearm Prohibition Orders and Firearms Licences) Amendment Bill

8

Codify the ‘fit and proper’ criteria in the Arms Act

Reject

9

Implement a stand-down period after licence revocation

Accept - include a 12 month stand down period in the Arms (Firearm Prohibition Orders and Firearms Licences) Amendment Bill

10

Clarify that gang members or prospects must not be considered ‘fit and proper’ to possess firearms

Accept - include in the Arms (Firearm Prohibition Orders and Firearms Licences) Amendment Bill

11

Require Police to record serial numbers of all firearms upon renewal of licence or inspection of premises

Reject – voluntary process to continue

Criminal offending with firearms

12

Review the penalties in the Arms Act

Accept - progress in Arms Amendment Bill

13

Treat dealer offending as aggravated at sentencing

Reject

14

Determine appropriate security standards for A category licences

Accept - Police/firearms community advisory forum already commenced this process

15

Secure storage confirmed before licence or endorsement received

Reject

16

Allow Police to enter premises to inspect security of A category firearms

Reject

17

Failure to comply with storage regulations to result in mandatory revocation

Reject - but note new suspension of licence

 

Reducing the number of grey firearms

18

Clarify and publicise the extent of amnesty provisions in the Arms Act 1983

Accept - to progress in Arms Amendment Bill

19

Police publicise amnesty provisions

Reject

20

Check that firearms brought in on visitors permit are exported or transferred legally

Accept (administrative)

Additional Government Recommendations

1

Provide the power to suspend licences

Include in the Arms (Firearm Prohibition Orders and Firearms Licences) Amendment Bill

2

Police to improve its consultative processes with the firearms community

Propose to give a Ministerial Directive to this end

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