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Police seek public consultation on firearms

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Police are asking the public for consultation and input regarding new firearms regulations.

Further changes to the Arms Act 1983 come into force on June 24 this year and regulations are required to support them.

Proposals for regulations are being released today and anybody interested is invited to make a submission.

“The aim of the public consultation is to give people an opportunity to understand the impacts of the proposals and provide feedback to ensure the regulations are fit for purpose,” says New Zealand Police deputy commissioner Jevon McSkimming.

“There have been significant changes to the Arms Act over the past two years, with more aspects still to come into force.”

Police state that to best enable their intent to make communities safer, while enabling legitimate use of firearms, they must ensure they get supporting regulations right.

“The regulations will help specify how Police, as the regulator of the Arms Act, make the law work in practice, so are an important step in implementing the new laws,” says deputy commissioner McSkimming.

“We want to test the proposed regulations with our firearms communities as these laws will impact on them the most.”

Police say it is important these communities engage with the proposals and have their say.

“We are already engaging with our existing partners and this process provides those interested from the wider community to contribute as well,” he continues.

The majority of the proposals are technical and aimed at those who already have a defined role in the system, such as licensed firearms dealers.

However, they also include proposals based off a recommendation from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019.

Applicants should be required to produce police or criminal history checks from countries in which they have previously resided and Firearms Vetting Officers should interview family members or other close connections in other countries using technology if the applicant does not have near relatives or close associates living in New Zealand.

The regulation proposals relate to:
• types of, and conditions on, dealer licences
• security for firearms
• ammunition sales requirements
• marking of firearm parts
• pistol carbine conversion kits
• mail and internet orders
• review of decisions to refuse to issue a firearms licence or revoke a licence
• add processes and detail to the vetting requirements for applicants who have lived outside of New Zealand for substantial periods of time and and introducing new criteria for finding that a person is not fit and proper to be in possession of a firearm to respond to the Royal Commission recommendations.

Submissions will help Police decide whether the proposals meet the objectives of the legislation, and if not, how they may be amended.

The consultation document and template for public submissions can be found on the Police website at: www.police.govt.nz/consultation-regulations

Submissions are open until 25 April 2021 and can be sent to:

consultation@police.govt.nz with the subject line Proposals for new Regulations under the Arms Act; or
• Firearms Policy and Partnerships, 13th floor, Police National Headquarters, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140.

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3 Comments
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@Shadow1

Posted on 23-03-2021 13:04 | By morepork

I agree that in this digital age it SHOULD be possible to automate an audit trail for each weapon, as you suggest. The problem is that the "bad guys" will import weapons without going through a legitimate dealer and it is very hard to stop that. However, it is not impossible, and it should be further investigated. I agree also that it should not be taking Police time but should be treated as a clerical admin task with specific staff to do it. As The Caveman mentioned, it is important that existing legislation be enforced as well.

Shadow1

Posted on 23-03-2021 07:34 | By

At the very least the new regulations must include a registration system that identifies the last purchaser. The Police have resisted this in the past as taking up too much of their time. They have had the system in the past but it was purely manual. A digital record stemming from the importer, the retailer and the identity checked purchaser could be developed by the police using hired staff. Every time the firearm changes hands the record must show the new owner.

Well, one of the PRIME

Posted on 22-03-2021 21:44 | By The Caveman

Problems identified EX Christchurch is that the Police did not follow what were EXISTING arms licence requirements when giving the "S _ _ T" his licence! They DID NOT interview a FAMILY member !!!!