Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster says the Firearms Registry launched at the weekend will help create a comprehensive picture of all lawfully held firearms and arms items in New Zealand linked to each individual firearms licence holder.
“The Registry will give us a much clearer picture of where all the licensed firearms are, and especially when they are changing hands,” the Police Commissioner said.
“This will allow us to better identify suspicious looking transactions, and to be better able to trace firearms that might turn up in crimes.”
He said the registry would give Police a new and powerful tool to disrupt the diversion of firearms.
“It fits alongside the work of Police investigations that go after gangs and criminals directly. It’s part of intelligence gathering and making it hard for criminals to have firearms in the first place.”
Commissioner Coster also noted that the Registry would also have a direct impact on the safety of frontline Police staff.
“Over time as firearms licence holders add the firearms in their possession to the Registry, Police attending incidents will be able to check in real time if an address they have been called to has registered firearms. This will improve their risk assessment prior to arrival.”
Te Tari Pūreke – Firearms Safety Authority – Executive Director, Angela Brazier said the registry was about making New Zealand communities safer.
“With responsible firearms licence holders filling in the Registry, that makes it harder for criminals and gangs to acquire firearms unnoticed. It allows all licence holders to be part of the solution,” she said.
Licence holders will also benefit from the Registry when they come to buy or sell a firearm, says Ms Brazier.
“The Registry will give licence holders more confidence when buying or selling firearms, as it will let them know if they are dealing with a current licence holder and if the firearm is in the Registry.”
“We have also noted the concern of the licence holder community with regard to the security and privacy of information. I want to reiterate that security had been a key element of the design and development of the Registry system.”