“How are we meant to trust Poto Williams with an entire firearms register when she’s already failing to look after licensed firearm owners’ information?” Asks ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“When questioned in Parliament, the Minister revealed she has known since 26 May that criminals obtained the private details of licensed firearms owners by stealing them from a disused police station, but she still doesn’t even know how many people are affected.
“Even worse, she couldn’t even provide a guarantee that they would ever know how many people have had their sensitive information stolen.
“Media have described the details stolen as a “shopping list for criminals seeking to steal lawfully obtained guns.” That is exactly right, and a full firearms register will be the jewel in the crown for any aspiring criminal.
“Much like with the gun buyback, responsible firearm owners will be forced to comply while gang members will carry on their merry way and ignore it. There will be no change to the number of illegal guns on the street, but a conveniently developed list of addresses where firearms are stored would be catastrophic if it fell into the wrong hands.
“ACT agrees it’s time for action on gangs and wants to see Police getting illegally held firearms off the streets, but registration is not the way to do it and endangers the security and wellbeing of law-abiding members of the public.
“Three weeks ago Labour voted down my Bill that would have allowed Police to freeze and seize assets from gangs upon finding an illegally held firearm at a raid. The PM says they’re now working on their own legislation to do the exact same thing, but who knows how long that will take them.
“We have also proposed Gang Control Orders that would allow Police to apply to the courts for an injunction against an individual on the National Gang List.
“The gangs are not interested in talking, and they won’t sign up to a silly register. It’s time to allow Police to protect our communities by going after the gangs hard.”