“Pressure from the ACT Party has seen the Government do the sensible thing and give extensions to existing firearms licence holders whose renewals have been delayed,” says ACT’s Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“ACT has been advocating for firearms licence holders after the rushed firearms laws created more administration. It meant that almost 9000 people are waiting more than a month for their licence to be processed.
“This was creating delays that meant the safety of New Zealanders was being put at risk. If someone seeking a renewal and wasn’t renewed in time, they had to remove their firearms from their property and find somewhere else to keep them.
“This led to people driving their firearms to other locations when they would have otherwise been safely locked away in their already Police approved secure safes.
“I’ve heard of firearms owners in Level 4 lockdown whose licences weren’t renewed in time, desperately looking for a place to store their firearms, only to find their trusted friend who they might have stored them with is also waiting for their licence to be renewed.
“After our nation’s tragedy in Christchurch, we needed to get better at vetting, now the system is more broken than ever.
“I wrote to both Police Minister Poto Williams and COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins asking for an extension to be made. I welcome the extension as an interim measure.
“I’m now calling on the Police Minister to put more resources into fixing the broken system, these are legitimate and law-abiding people who are being treated like criminals because they enjoy a recreational sport.”