LICENCED OWNERS SHOULD DELAY RETURN OF PROHIBITED FIREARMS
MONDAY 12 AUGUST 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) has today suggested that members hold on to banned firearms until the Government announces better channels and compensation before the 20 December 2019 amnesty deadline.
In a message via its Fair and Reasonable campaign website, COLFO says some collection events currently run by police are becoming hostile environments due to the heavy presence of armed police, intense participant management, and interrogation of some owners.
"The first to return their firearms are the most conscientious, so they’re naturally taken aback by the intense treatment - herded, guarded and interrogated," said COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee.
"The Government wants rid of these firearms, and the amnesty and collection is critical to its success. Nothing else is more important.
"Owners have until 20 December to comply, and the collection events will not be the only part of the amnesty and hand-in system.
"We are insisting the Government make other channels available for return, including dealers and home visits as soon as possible."
The Council’s message to licensed owners is people who want to comply as soon as possible via the collection events should return only the firearm and remove all legal accessories such as scopes, as these were not being compensated. They are also urged to take detailed photographs of firearms before attending any hand-in event.
"The Government has tried to cut costs, but success depends on not being cheap and hurried with the safety of New Zealanders. It must offer better compensation terms, as Australia did," McKee said.
The Council message advised that licensed owners determined to attend collection events should also "mentally prepare yourself for rigorous scrutiny, and if you believe treatment is unfair, take notes and names of police officers involved".