Data undermining Firearm Registry was not Disclosed

COLFO Press Release


Hugh Devereux-Mack -“They are guilty of deception”

The Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) has today called for the resignation of the Police Commissioner after evidence emerged that suggests data proving the impracticality of the Firearms Registry was never shown to Parliament.  COLFO has also called for a Ministerial Inquiry into what previous Labour Prime Ministers and Police Ministers knew about the damning data discovered in Police databanks by Official Information Act requests from journalist Victoria O’Brien.

The data includes the facts that only 1.9% of all firearms seized by Police since 2020 were legally imported (that is, were recorded on importation permits), and 95.5% of those with serial numbers were never recorded on import permits. This means that 98% of firearms seized from criminals by Police in the past three years would never appear on the Firearms Registry because they were either imported illegally, or constructed locally without serial numbers.

The proportion of firearms seized by police without a serial number has also increased since the registry was announced, to over 65% by the end of November 2023 – which could signal a concerted effort from criminals to avoid the registry. The existence of this data shows Police have long known that a Firearms Registry would be of limited use, and that many registered firearms would have already been recorded on Police import permits. All legally imported firearms are listed on a Police importation permit by serial number. Police did not provide this information to the Government or Parliament during deliberations.

COLFO spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says the evidence is the “smoking gun” that shows the Police, and probably Cabinet Ministers, knew a Firearms Registry was never the solution to firearm crime they claimed it to be.

“This is clear-cut evidence that up to 98% of firearms used by criminals will never appear on a Register. The Registry has been a massive deception of the public, to fool them into feeling safer when they are not, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Previous Ministers claimed a Registry would make New Zealanders safer. If they knew this data at the time, then they are guilty of deception. They must tell the public what they knew.”

Devereux-Mack says the deception by authorities appears to have been continued by not releasing data that indicated the Registry was not working in practice. The OIA information shows that of all firearms seized with serial numbers since 2020, only 6.9% were on the Arms Information System (now the Registry). Of these, 56.7% didn’t match the record in the registry, 15.8% were a likely, but not definite, match.

“The Police Commissioner must be called before Parliament to explain the withholding of this information. A Ministerial inquiry must search the records of Labour’s previous Police Ministers to find whether they knew this critical information but proceeded anyway,” Devereux-Mack says.

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8 Responses to Data undermining Firearm Registry was not Disclosed

  1. Paul says:

    The truth is now coming out about registration. The public need this to see the actual facts here. What we need next is the facts about the poor vetting of the terrorist by the police. This is only fair for legitimate firearms owners.

  2. J Morton says:

    Sad to say the police seem fully incompetent re administration of firearms. When there’s zealots like Police Assn president Cahill at the helm, common-sense goes out the window. Prejudice rules.
    Good comment by Paul re Australian terrorist Tarrant inexplicably being given a firearm licence.
    Where is Tarrant now. NZ? Australia? Elsewhere.

  3. Chaz Forsyth says:

    Has anyone who has registered their firearms compared the list from the police with what they have registered?

    It seems there are some differences between these two lists, possibly arising from duplication of individual firearms, because the total number of firearms in the two lists remains the same.

    This suggests there re some difficulties with the data processing within the registry.

  4. John Dyer says:

    So why are we waiting until June to review this very expensive waste of everyone’s time?

  5. pete says:

    More and more unbelievable facts coming out every day. From data breaches to this. The comments our beloved police minister at the time of inception was making told us there was no should or shouldnt we have a register. He had been told it was happening and to roll with it. Makes me wonder what the real reason behind flogging this dead horse was?? Is there some collusion between web designer or consultants and a high political figures family ?? Just asking as it seems it was pushed with zero credibility or hope of achieving the set out goals it was supposedly designed for

  6. Teddy Roosterveldt says:

    I presume the wait until June before a review of this ludicrous waste of time, effort and money is to allow the newly hired bureaucrats to embed their snouts deeper in the trough so that the Luxon government will not have the courage to fire them.
    Scrap the register NOW!

  7. Chaz Forsyth says:

    It’s expensive alright:

    “The cost of the Firearms Registry
    It has cost $10.4 million to establish the Firearms Registry. We estimate it will cost $8.5 million per annum to continue operating.
    (Source:, downloaded 29/01/2024).”

    And it employs 70 EFTS at the average police salary of $103,207 (Police Annual Report for YE 30JUN2023, pp. 82, 83) and has increased its workforce, “… by over 225 staff (80 percent increase) since February 2022” (op. cit, p. 136).

    Broadly, overall police spend per capita of entire population has increased by 30% over the past five years, while that for the management of firearms in private ownership, per licensed firearm owner, has trebled.

    I hope the greater investment is worth it! Or is it at the wrong target?

  8. Honest Dave says:






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