FIREARM COLLECTION EVENTS GOOD, BUT NOT ENOUGH
SATURDAY 31 AUGUST 2019
The Council of Licenced Firearm Owners (COLFO) says the Government needs to do whatever is necessary to make its programme of collecting banned firearms a success.
COLFO chair Michael Dowling visited the Porirua collection event today with Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement. Some firearms owners at previous events had reported heavy-handed behaviour from armed police, and an intimidating environment.
Mr Dowling was present at the event for around two hours. The public events were a good option, but alone would not be enough to ensure all affected firearms could be collected by the December 20 deadline, he said.
“These events are understandably highly managed, and some owners will be okay with that. But the attendance probably reflects the majority are not.
“We are pleased to hear that additional channels are being launched to allow law-abiding firearms owners a less stressful way to turn in the newly banned firearms.”
On Friday, police announced a two-week pilot starting Monday for owners to hand in firearms at a Hunting & Fishing outlet in Franklin. The scheme is expected to be extended from mid-September.
“It’s long overdue, but we are pleased to see pilot schemes get underway, with police assessors available at dealer outlets by appointment.”
This will allow firearm owners to work through the details with a person they know and trust, making a difficult conversation a little easier.
“The pickup service for larger numbers of firearms needs to be rolled out, and certification of people who can modify firearms, so firearm owners can have their firearms modified to comply.”
COLFO said firearm owners did not ask for the ban, but as it was now law, the collection programme has to succeed. COLFO was optimistic the number of firearms being collected would increase significantly once police added more ways to return firearms and compensation improved, said Mr Dowling.