Burglary from Police station Jeopardises Lives – COLFO

Media Release COLFO

The burglary of firearms owner’s details from the old Auckland police station is confirmation that Police cannot administer the Arms Act for the safety of New Zealand citizens, says the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO).
COLFO Spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says the personal details of licensed firearm owners are a ‘shopping list’ for criminals which Police have failed numerous times to keep secure.
“The burglary of a New Zealand Police station is an embarrassment for Police, but the theft of private files and equipment is life-threatening.
“The information had clearly been kept by the thieves, which meant they recognised its value. They may have already used it to break into homes of licensed firearm owners. The firearms they stole may have already been used in crimes.
“Information on the locations of firearms is highly valuable, and licensed firearm owners supply that information to Police on the promise they’ll treat the information carefully. They continue to fail to do this very basic and essential job. This is an appalling situation.
“The burglary reveals the real danger at the heart of the pointless firearm register – that the weak link is inside the Police themselves,” Devereux-Mack says.
Devereux-Mack says the stolen information would have been worse under a firearm register regime.
“If the firearms register was in place, that list would not only have names and addresses, but a dollar value next to them, telling criminals which licensed firearms owners would make the highest value targets.

“Criminals could break into family homes knowing exactly what they’re looking for. They’ll already be armed with illegal guns not on the register, endangering the families they are stealing from.
“Once they have the firearms, the serial number is filed off and those guns become ‘ghost firearms’ – which Police have admitted make it next to impossible to trace back to the original licensed owner.
“A firearms register won’t hinder criminals – it’s a potential advantage. An advantage that could prove deadly for a licensed firearms owner and their family.”
Devereux-Mack says Police only became aware of the recent breach when they found the list while executing an unrelated search warrant.
“They had no idea the list had been stolen, and they have no idea how many licensed firearm owner’s names are on other stolen lists currently being passed between criminals.”
“Previous breaches have been discovered through sheer luck. How many other documents do we not know about that have ended up in the hands of criminals because of Police bumbling firearms administration?
In 2019, the details of more than 37,000 firearm owners, including the guns they possessed and bank account information, were open to access in a breach of the gun buyback website.
“It wasn’t the Police that found the breach – it was a firearm owner who found they could access more than their own details, and raised the alarm.” 

For further information contact: Hugh Devereux-Mack. 027 362 0853

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7 Responses to Burglary from Police station Jeopardises Lives – COLFO

  1. Hendrik de Grout says:

    Oh no! Not again? Remember in 2019, a burglar was able to steal 11 firearms from Palmerston North police station because a door was left open by officers? Now this latest theft of firearm owner details from Auckland police, surely raises the question as to are the police competent to manage a firearms register, the prime minister proposes.
    It still hasn’t dawned on the PM Ardern that a register will be of law abiding firearm owners but the criminals and gangs are (a) not licenced and (b) the firearms they have are smuggled in or stolen.
    Or is the PM playing ‘smoke and mirrors’?

  2. Frank Henry says:

    What was that about the Keystone Cops?
    What has Police Commissioner Costner to say about this latest theft from under police eyes?

  3. Rupert Pye says:

    The NZ police are unbelievable. Stolen firearms from a Manawatu police station a few years ago, faking evidence in convictions of innocent people and now this theft of firearm ownership details. Poto Williams seems unable to manage her portfolio, Stuart Nash was a failure when minister–the police and police ministers are public servants.
    Police are living off the public purse but are being aggressive to public, especially lawful firearm owning public.

  4. Paul Revere says:

    The NZ police are a joke.
    Ask any gang member and he will tell you so.

    They cannot protect their own property let alone anyone else’s.

    They have become tax collectors and oppressors of the people who are forced to pay their wages.
    They are armored and offensively armed because they are fearful of the people they are paid to serve and protect.

    Individually, the workers in this police “enterprise” might be reasonable and decent people but the corruption of the institution forces them to act otherwise.

    Politicians and government employees ought to be respecting and serving the people who pay their wages and salaries instead of oppressing and exploiting them.

    Not much change likely when so few people have so much political influence and power over the rest.

    There are always Omnipotent Moral Busybodies and other tyrants who wish to force their will and agendas on everyone else.

    Naturally, many such people gravitate toward and become influential in politics to gain the authority and power they lust after.

    Such people try to justify their agendas as being “for our own good” but that is usually a lie.

    It is said that “God created men to be equal but Samuel Colt enabled them to be equal”.

    They rightly perceive and fear citizens with guns as a threat to their authority, power and tyranny and wish to prevent us from being able to protect our lives, property and civil rights from their predation.

    It would be best to defend our selves, property, privacy, independence, liberty and equality by discussion, negotiation and participation in the process of choosing who represents us in the government but this is failing in New Zealand because the influential minority of people who control the main political parties refuse to listen or negotiate.

    The possible solutions are perhaps.
    1. More ordinary people should join become active and influential members and change the culture and choice of the politicians who represent the main political parties.
    2. Voters should boycott the main parties, vote for the representatives of the small ones and introduce more diversity of people, opinions and ideas into the next government.

    The good times and prosperity of the post war “golden age” are gone and will not be restored by continuing to elect the representatives of these politically influential busybodies who have destroyed them.

  5. Lew says:

    I guess all these cockups are keeping people in work, what’s the next one going to be?

  6. Sporting Shooters' Association of NZ (SSANZ) says:


    The revelation that documents stolen from an abandoned Auckland police station contained the names and addresses of licensed firearm owners has outraged gun owners.
    said Chaz Forsyth, President of the Sporting Shooters Association.
    “The fact that these documents have lain in an empty police station for several years, shows great incompetence on the part of police, they have clearly been negligent in their protection of this important personal data. Someone needs to be held to account.”
    “It would appear that the theft of these documents was discovered by chance when police executed a search warrant, so they clearly had no idea that the documents had been left behind or stolen. What does this say about their data security protocols?”
    Will the new planned gun register be any more secure when it is designed by an Australian Firm currently under investigation by the commerce commission?
    “One of the main objections of gun owners to the proposed firearm register is that the data may be stolen and used by criminals as a shopping list to source firearms from licensed owners. This incident reinforces that argument. The register should be abandoned as it serves no practical useful purpose,” said Forsyth.

  7. Stewart Hydes says:

    More Police incompetence.
    The Police have shown time and time again .. they are simply untrustworthy .. when it comes to administration of the Arms Act, and the security of private information regarding Firearms Licence Holders.
    How are the Keystone Cops ever going to establish and maintain an accurate (let alone secure) Firearms Register?
    The simple fact is .. they’re not.
    We’ll spend hundreds of millions in the attempt .. and then abandon it, just like Canada did.
    The sad thing is .. the opportunity cost from all of the wasted time, effort, and police resources in the meantime.
    We desperately need the independent firearms authority we were promised (and the government has since reneged on).

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