The NZ Police are reported to be paying $13m to an Australian software company to develop a firearm register that will make not a single New Zealander safer.
Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) Chairperson Michael Dowling says he is dismayed to hear reports that a five-year contract to build and run a firearm register is going to an Australian company facing a court case by the Commerce Commission.
“If the Police want to waste money on a register that won’t prevent firearm crime, the least they could do is waste it here in New Zealand.
“No excel spreadsheet nor super modern online database will prevent the crimes seen in Auckland last week, nor would they have prevented the Christchurch Mosque shootings,” Dowling says.
The Police Minister has consistently avoided describing the exact mechanism by which a register will prevent firearm crime.
Dowling says that is because a register would not;
1. List firearms already held by criminals or otherwise in secret, because those people would never register them
2. List firearms smuggled into the country along with other contraband
3. List home-build or 3D-printed firearms unless they were voluntarily registered
4. Prevent a stolen firearm from being used against a person
5. Find the person who used the firearm in a crime
6. Track the origin of registered firearms when stolen and used in a crime, where serial numbers and other distinguishing features are removed
7. Guarantee anonymity to licensed firearm owners whose details are on the register
For further information contact: Michael Dowling. 027 442 3310
It cannot be overstated, that by definition crims & gangs don’t follow registrations or any laws; being tribal in nature they fancy themselves as warriors and will remain 1-100 side steps away from any authorities trying to run them to ground, [ & they know it]. As we speak right now a number of firearms’ cache will be hidden away & there will be no compliance with ANY laws no matter the Macbeth “sound & fury”it will “signal nothing” to these thugs living by stone age codes, UTU & might is right.police $13 mil wastedto achieve nothing
Those who have retained some of their memory and are a bit long in the tooth will remember the time the New Zealand police contracted IBM to deliver a computer program.
Millions of dollars were spent before IBM elected to pull the pin to save this Global company further embarrassment.
The shambles was the subject of several case studies when I completed an MBA in the 1990s. One of my lecturers was even involved in the debacle.
Computers like firearms require a modicum of expertise and understanding
While law abiding licensed firearm owners handed in their semi-automatics after March 2019, career criminals and gang members did not, so there is still a large pool of firearms including semi-automatics circulating on the black market. A register will not capture these illegal firearms because criminals by definition will not register them and even when seized by police are invariably untraceable because identifying numbers are ground off. Added to this the pool of black market arms is being supplemented with guns smuggled in from abroad.
What this shows is that while the PMs decisive action after March 2019 may have reduced the number of semi-automatics in the country, the subsequent arms legislation changes have done nothing to impede the criminal use of firearms by gangs and neither will a register. $ 208 Million funding for the register should be reallocated to ridding New Zealand of its gangs. This would have a two fold benefit, reducing gangland shootings and illicit drug supply, whereas a register will achieve nothing other than satisfying the governments curiosity as to roughly how many guns are in New Zealand, a no brainer really.
Was the tender process duly observed? was there not a local (within-New Zealand) group of software designers who could have devised such a program?
I note that even countries with FFR (full firearm registration) almost never indicate the exact number, there are always estimates provided of the number (e.g. http://www.gunpolicy.org). Maybe a problem involving stocks and flows?
And Customs records of imported firearm numbers do exist, over many years!