Why are criminals so heavily armed?

NZPA | Wed February 3rd, 2016

“While it is tempting to focus solely on the safety implications for police officers and the public following instances of criminals using firearms against Police, it is important to broaden the discussion to why so many criminals are now armed, and why firearms are so prevalent among those who should never have them,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

Mr O’Connor was commenting on the incident in Counties Manukau overnight when a lone police officer was fired at numerous times by an armed offender.

“The Association believes the time has come for an inquiry into why firearms are so readily available, and to examine the laws and regulations around firearms to ensure they are adequately framed and enforced,” Mr O’Connor went on to say.

“If New Zealand wishes to retain an unarmed police, and at the same time respect the rights of legitimate firearms owners and users, it is essential we fully understand the reasons why firearms are ending up in the wrong hands and put in place strategies to minimise the risk of that occurring.

“‘Our frontline members are reporting that firearm availability and carriage among criminals has increased exponentially in recent times, and they are rightfully asking why,” Mr O’Connor concluded.

Mr O’Connor said the Association would be writing to the new Police Minister to ask for an inquiry.

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