Gun law reforms 'meaningful and positive' - Police Association

The Police Association is strongly supporting the second round of gun reform proposals.

It's backing the Government plan to introduce a gun register and to renew licences every five years.

President Chris Cahill told Newshub it needs to be done.

"The current Government has really listened and acted and these are really meaningful and positive changes."

He's hoping the Government keeps in mind how the process will work for gun owners and make it as easy as possible.

"The key is to make sure these things can be done easily, that they can use the most appropriate technology, and that it's not putting them to a lot of inconvenience."

The Police Association has long called for a gun register, Cahill appeared on The Project more than a year ago asking for one.

"At the moment we don't have any idea where the vast majority of firearms in New Zealand are," he told the Project in February 2018.

More than 18 months later he's confident the Government's proposals will lead to a strong register.

"Rolling out over five years in line with the reduction to five-year licences makes sense and we'll get a good strong registry out of that."



Council of Licenced Firearms secretary Nicole McKee isn't in favour of the register, which she believes would be wasteful.

"It's a waste of taxpayers money for little benefit to the community when it comes to registration because the evidence just isn't there that it will keep New Zealanders safe."

McKee said the changes are unnecessary and will add to the workload for police.

The National Party has signalled it won't support the second tranche of reforms, after supporting the initial move to ban assault rifles and military-style semi-automatics.

"While National hasn't been briefed on all of the detail, the second tranche of the Government's reforms focusses on imposing more regulation and costs on law-abiding New Zealanders," National Party police spokesperson Brett Hudson said in a statement.

"Instead, it should be getting tough on illegal firearms users, the importation of illegal firearms and gangs."

The first tranche of reforms had support from every party in Parliament except for Act. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on March 16 - one day after 51 people were fatally wounded in a shooting in Christchurch - that New Zealand's guns laws would change.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: