Association welcomes calls for firearms inquiry

NZPA | Thu March 10th, 2016

“If any good can be said to have come from the Kawerau shooting of four police officers, it is that the public of New Zealand and, more importantly, the politicians are becoming aware of the extent of the firearms situation in our country,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

“The Association has for some time now been voicing the concerns of frontline police officers around the proliferation of firearms in the hands of offenders and calling for an inquiry into the reasons for that.

“This week’s shooting of police officers in the Bay of Plenty, and the discovery of military-style firearms in Auckland are symptoms of a much larger problem,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Politicians should be wary of stop-gap measures, which are unlikely to make a difference in the long term, before we fully understand the reasons why so many people in New Zealand who should never have access to firearms are in possession of these weapons.

“The onus falls on firearms users, owners and others in the firearms industry to support such a call before there is a more serious incident involving multiple deaths and which would necessitate just such an inquiry taking place, but in an emotionally and politically charged environment,” he said.

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