Duncan Garner: New Zealand was a ticking time bomb on gun licensing, and no-one did a thing until it went off

OPINION: The Islamic Association has effectively pre-empted a crucial part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack by pointing the finger at police.

They have been brutally clear - police should have stopped the gunman getting a license. It would have made his mission to kill 51 innocent worshippers so much harder.

It's a harsh assessment, but it's not entirely unfair either. 

Now, to be very clear off the top, we know who is to blame for this tragedy and he's sitting in a prison cell - but how could it have been avoided?

That's where the Royal Commission comes in and that's why this information is so interesting.

Put simply, had police followed their own rules, they would never have given the shooter a license because his referees did not meet the test.

Rather than someone close to him, his referees were an online gaming friend and their father. That rings alarm bells surely?

Sadly, it didn't - he got his license. 

Police appear to have just rubber-stamped the application because they had "deprioristised" gun license checks to focus on other areas. 

How many other applications went through like this? How long has that been the case? How many other potential threats are out there? How many other people have licences they should not have?

I get that police can't be everywhere but if that's the case, scream out and ask for help. 

Because successive Governments knew the risk too - that our gun laws were loose. 

It's easy to blame police - but other lawmakers knew the risk too.

Collectively, we were a ticking time bomb - and no one did a thing until it went off.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.