Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says raising firearms license fees by up to 400% during a cost-of-living crisis will prohibit many people from renewing their firearms license, but some will keep hold of their firearms.
“Police are reaching into the pockets of firearms owners to fund excessive paperwork processes that are abysmally operated and do not improve public safety.
“It got so bad the Government was forced to pass law extending licenses because firearms owners were waiting over a year for renewal.
“We understand the need for fees to be moved up as they haven’t moved for more than 20 years, however an increase in fees for this mess is an insult. Kiwis out on the farm and people keeping pests away from our native birds and flora are being asked to pay so the Police can hire more Wellington pen-pushers.
“The gall of Police to ask for more money to pay for its hopeless service is beyond belief. License wait times have skyrocketed to the point where Police failure has made criminals of ordinary Kiwis.
“Police regularly require people to take time off work to undertake interviews and compliance checks. In these hard times, raising fees could push many firearm users to forego their license, stock up on ammo, and store their firearms in a safe place for the summer.
“For some firearm owners the ability to gather food and put meat on the table is through access to firearms.
“If Police continue to treat firearms owners as taxable criminals, it will drive firearm-owning kiwis to abandon the licensing process altogether. That’s a terrible outcome for all New Zealanders.
“Licensed firearm owners are again being punished to support a system that will not keep New Zealanders safer or curb rising gun crime.”
For further information contact: Hugh Devereux-Mack. 027 362 0853