PRESS RELEASE distributed to media on 25 August 2016


The Council of Licenced Firearms owners are disappointed at the comments suggested in Parliament yesterday to enact registration of all firearms. COLFO’s Chairman Paul Clark has previously advised the Law & Order Select Committee that registration of firearms will not stop criminals using them.

“People that do not own firearms must be asking how can listing a firearm on a database stop criminal use? Well the answer is, it won’t, but will the New Zealand tax payer forfeit tens of millions dollars to find that out?” he questions. “Canada and Australia have already spent millions on firearm registration to find it has little impact on criminal use. In New Zealand all of the restricted firearms that require endorsement are already registered, require stouter security and extra vetting of the licenced holder.”

Clark goes on to remind Police Association Spokesman Greg O’Connor who is suggesting a firearms amnesty that Police already have that amnesty in place. “Let’s not reinvent the wheel here, firearm amnesty has been in place for some time now, it still is.” Clark goes further to suggest that “If Mr O’Connor truly wanted to get insight into this country’s firearm culture he could potentially gain at least some respect, guidance and backing from the law abiding firearms communities if he focused on accurate information.” COLFO’s Chairman Paul Clark views the Police Association’s recommendations as pious hopes of unworkable solutions that will cost the tax payer tens of millions of dollars if implemented. “Why put our country to such expense and divert resources from real crime fighting? There is no way that a list of firearms will prevent violent offending” says Clark.

Representatives from the firearms community appeared before the Law & Order Select Committee with intelligent, workable suggestions that Parliament should consider. “We are one country, we are a small country, COLFO will continue to work together with Police and Government to find a solution that impacts the criminals who have firearms, not the legitimate user, at an affordable cost to the country” suggests Clark.