(ACT media release)

“New Police proposals for licensed firearms owners include making them pay for the cost of Police attendance at a burglary, the Government wants licensed firearms owners to pay for the privilege of being burgled,” says ACT’s Firearms Reforms spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Licensed Firearms Owners deserve the same rights as any other victim of crime. They go through many checks and balances to be able to legally own their firearms, they should not be treated as if they are in the wrong for doing so.

“The Police should be encouraging people to report stolen firearms, not charging them a fee.

“The proposal for licensed firearms owners to pay for police attendance is part of the Arms Regulation: Review of fees 2022, which was released in December and closes for consultation on 16 February. The document proposes numerous new fees that will make it unaffordable for many people to continue as licensed firearms holders, and will put many dealers out of business.

“Keeping costs affordable provides an incentive for people to stay within the system, keep their firearms secured properly and be accountable. Being within the system means you receive essential firearms safety education, training, security is checked, and you have been vetted as a fit and proper person.

“New Minister of Police Stuart Nash should rule out charging law abiding citizens for being burgled immediately, and he should apply an extension to the June 2023 implementation date for new regulations to be enforced.

“This would ensure the firearms community isn’t constantly barraged with endless proposals and due diligence can be carried out.

“It’s time we get back to really protecting our communities from firearm misuse and that means relieving New Zealand Police of their administrative duty that Labour and NZ First placed upon them. ACT will achieve this by re-introducing a new firearms law, starting from scratch, that puts our communities, not the pockets of Government at the heart of good firearms legislation.

“We will begin by removing the administration of arms control from New Zealand Police leaving them to deal with their core business of enforcement.

“This means the Police can focus on dealing with actual criminals, instead of treating licensed firearms owners like criminals.”