Judith Collins, Police Minister has set-up the required 'Inquiry' into criminal usage of illegal firearms.
"It was important that the inquiry focused on illegal gun use and did not penalise legitimate owners and sellers of firearms," Collins said.
- Now, The Police know who the criminals are - such as the shot-gun thug who recently injured four officers conducting a rural drug grower raid. - Surely they must know how and where these known criminal offenders are getting their weapons from?
Several times I have listened to senior Police Officers state that most criminal activity in their area is by the members of a few well known families - suggesting that if they could remove these known people from the scene - the crime numbers would immediately drop.
There are an unknown number of firearms held legally in New Zealand - perhaps more than one Million if you include all the farmers and farm workers - It would be futile trying to introduce registration for them .. and our police don't have the staff or the funding to even try it.
- An Australian style "Buy-Back Scheme" or amnesty (theirs' has not reduced shootings and gang violence anyway) - is impossible here as our Government couldn't afford to buy even half of them back - The 1996 Australian buy-back was estimated to cost A$500 Million and there was a further handgun pay-out in 2003. . My Aussie mates joke that "The crims queued-up four deep right round the block to hand-in their guns".
British Style Queue.
I'm suggesting that increased funding for the police with a much improved police/population ratio would give better criminal control and more convictions - but then we'd need more prisons to keep them in - safely locked away and off the streets.
Increased police and prison funding could easily be paid for by reversing the Forty Percent Tax Reductions that Corporate big business and Banking are enjoying over past decades.
No doubt there will be some opportunity for our legal gun owners voices to be heard - but will they be listened to?