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Fair and Reasonable Update: Royal Commission report - and yes the Police let us down

By Michael Dowling, COLFO

The Royal Commission report is now out. You can read the full document by following the link below. The part that covers how the terrorist was able to get a firearms licence and details how we were so badly let down is Part 5.

 

Link to the Royal Commission Report.

 

As you can imagine we are pouring through the report and you’ll likely hear from us in the coming days as we consider the implications of what the Commission has said.

 

In the meantime, I’ve copied my statement to the media below which is a succinct summary of our reaction from the perspective of law abiding licenced firearms owners.

 

In short, the failures of Police to follow existing firearm licensing law means further changes to firearms laws are unjustified.

 

As you’ll see below we’re also calling for an apology to all licenced firearms owners from Police and their Minister.

 

Thank you for making this work possible.

 

Michael Dowling

Chairman

Council of Licenced Firearms Owners

(on behalf of the Fair and Reasonable Campaign)

 

Keep up with Fair and Reasonable on Facebook.

 

PS. Coincidentally, Nicole has just given her maiden speech in Parliament. Click here to watch.

 

MEDIA RELEASE: RC REPORT SHOWS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR FIREARMS CHANGES

The failure of Police to follow the firearm licensing law, unjustly providing one to Australian terrorist Brenton Tarrant, means there are no reasons for changes to firearm laws says the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO). COLFO Chairman Michael Dowling says:

 

This revelation shows that changes to firearm laws immediately following the shooting were unjustified, and further changes are unnecessary.

 

The shooting did not arise out of a problem with the New Zealand public, but with Tarrant himself and the government agencies that enabled him to carry out this atrocity. It is not New Zealanders that need to be fixed, but our institutions.

 

Dowling says the Royal Commission of Inquiry report shows that Police failed to uphold the law when erroneously providing Tarrant with a firearms licence.

 

“The Police Minister stood in front of media, showing off destroyed firearms and deriding opposition as “gun nuts”, knowing the only reason Tarrant had some was that his own department had not followed the law.”

 

Police did not follow the law that required them to check criminal records and interview family members before issuing a firearms licence. We see too often with our agencies, the individuals responsible for the decisions walk away with a new role and medal for attendance. We demand someone is held accountable for this grave error.

 

Dowling says the response of the Government and Police toward firearm owners was unjustifiable.

 

The Prime Minister and Minister of Police has known about the mistake ever since the shooting, but said nothing: encouraging people to blame and demonise our members.

 

The Police released a statement on 22 March 2019 claiming they followed correct processes in awarding Tarrant a firearms licence.

 

The Police Minister stood in front of media, showing off destroyed firearms and deriding opposition as “gun nuts”, knowing the only reason Tarrant had some was that his own department had not followed the law.

 

“The failure of Police to follow the law underlines the need for a new agency to administer the Arms Act. The New Zealand Police are not the right agency for the job.”

 

Instead of fixing the error immediately, the Government and Police acted like it was the fault of licensed firearm owners, confiscating our property, raiding our homes, and changing unrelated ownership rules.

  

Dowling says that law-abiding licenced firearm owners deserve an apology from Police and their Minister.

 

We demand an apology to New Zealand for making this country a less safe place, and unjustly stirring hostility against law-abiding firearm owners.”

 

The failure of Police to follow the law underlines the need for a new agency to administer the Arms Act. The New Zealand Police are not the right agency for the job.

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