New Zealand police support gun owners

Radio New Zealand
Call for ban on military-style weapons
Posted at 7:52pm on 07 Nov 2006
Gun control advocates are calling for military-style semi-automatic weapons to be banned.
It is estimated that New Zealanders own more than a million guns, some of them powerful enough to blow up a tank.
Police figures show there are more than 8,000 military-style semi-automatic weapons in circulation, of the type gun control advocates say should be banned. They include rockets, anti-tank projectors, grenade launchers and machine guns – but many of these are held by collectors.
Gun control advocate and former police officer Mike Meyrick says automatic and semi-automatic weapons have no place in an urban society. He says there are so many firearms in the country that it is easy for them to fall into the wrong hands.
The Green Party says the Government should hold an investigation into why there are so many semi-automatic guns in New Zealand.
Gun laws are adequate – police
However, the police national manager of gun licensing and vetting, Joe Green, says a permit is required to import and obtain the most dangerous weapons.
He says police opted for a system that focuses on tracking gun owners, not the guns themselves, while recording more dangerous firearms. He says other countries are commenting positively on the New Zealand system.
The Council of Licensed Firearm Owners agrees gun control laws are working well in New Zealand, and there is no need to ban semi-automatic guns. The council’s chairman, John Howatt, says licensing and vetting processes are adequate and do not need to be changed.
Copyright © 2006 Radio New Zealand


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