No point in gun owners waiting for a better offer - Police Association

The Government has rolled out new gun reforms six months on from the Christchurch mosque attack.

It includes the creation of a firearms registry, and licenses will now only last five years instead of 10. 

Police Association president Chris Cahill says any Government contribution to making it harder to get dangerous weapons is welcome.

"It makes a lot of sense that this has come out six months on from the tragedy in Christchurch, because it just reminds us of the reason New Zealand needs these reforms."

Penalties for those who break gun laws are also toughening. Anyone who fails to supply details for the register can be fined up to $20,000, and even face two years in prison.

"What we know is that the alleged terrorist was stockpiling ammunition and guns - that would have raised a flag," Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

Police admit they don't know how many illegals guns there are in the country at the moment. They estimate only 10 percent have been handed in so far.

"We don't know how many of the banned firearms there actually are in New Zealand," said Cahill. "We need to make sure that we know and that they're secure - that lessens the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals in the first place."

Cahill says owners waiting for the Government to increase the compensation offer are deluded.

"These people now have to come to the party... and get this thing working better."

More than 18,000 firearms offences were committed between 2015 and 2018.

The Bill for the changes will go before Parliament later in September.



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