Record low trust in Police explains small firearm registry turnout

COLFO’s latest Trust and Confidence Survey, conducted in 2023 after the introduction of the new firearm registry, shows rock bottom levels of confidence in Police and the new Firearms Safety Authority.

The annual survey asked licensed firearm owners how confident they were in Police administering the Arms Act 1983. Respondents answered questions on a scale of 1-10, one being little to no confidence, and 10 being very confident.

Trust in Police to “fairly balance the promotion of possession and use of firearms with the need to impose controls on unlawful activity” scored the lowest of all questions with an average of 1.3 out of 10.

Police administering the act without personal bias scored an average of 1.6 out of 10, down from 2.1 in 2022 and 2021. Confidence in turnaround time for licensing scored a 2.0 out of 10, only slightly up from the 2022 score of 1.9 which came at a time of 12-month waits for license renewals.

COLFO spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack said the survey shows the relationship between Police and Licensed Firearm Owners has continued to deteriorate.

“Our survey shows that 100,000 firearms on the registry is only evidence of compliance, not confidence in the Police or system.

“Firearm owners are registering because the law requires them to do so when they reapply for a license or endorsement, move address, or purchase a new firearm.

“Dealers are reporting drops in gun sales of up to 75%[1], as licensed firearm owners attempt to avoid these ‘activating circumstances’ which require them to register their firearms before the end of the 5-year grace period.”


Hugh Devereus-Mack

Devereux-Mack said repairing licensed firearm owner’s trust and confidence in the system should be top of mind for the new Government.

“There’s an increasing view among license holders that Police, the previous Labour Government, and Gun Control NZ were united in their dislike of the common firearm owner. This is reflected in the survey through the extraordinary perception of bias amongst the Police.”

“This impression has only grown as Te Tari Pūreke – Firearms Safety Authority use surveys by Gun Control NZ as addendums to their press releases[2], while ignoring surveys that show most Kiwis think the registry is unlikely to reduce gun crime,”[3] said Devereux-Mack.

The establishment of the Firearms Safety Authority has not bettered Police relations with firearm owners. Firearm owner confidence in the new authority scored a meagre 1.9 out of 10.

“Only 3 months on from the launch of New Zealand’s firearm registry, Te Tari Pūreke was responsible for the leaking of 147 firearm license holders’ details,”[4] said Devereux-Mack.

“The same basic error, putting emails in the carbon copy (cc) field rather than the blind carbon copy (bcc) field was made again in August, with the details of three firearm owners leaked.”[5]

“It might be a flashy new brand for Police, but it keeps making the same mistakes. It’s clear there is little confidence among firearm owners in its performance.”

This year the survey also asked firearm owners who had registered their firearms about their experience with the system. “I found the register easy to use online” scored 2.5 out of 10, and “I found the staff I encountered competent” scored 4.1 out of 10.

Footnote: COLFO surveyed 1,130 members in November – December 2023. 97 percent of those surveyed were currently licensed firearms owners.

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



[3] Clarity Insight, representative survey of 1012 NZers, August 2023: Full report here



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9 Responses to Record low trust in Police explains small firearm registry turnout

  1. J.P. says:

    The police have only themselves to blame.
    The 2019 mosque tragedy sheeted back to police as to how the Australian would-be terrorist obtained his firearm licence despite no valid referees, applying in Hamilton instead of his place of residence, Dunedin, that he was on Australia’s surveillance list, and other irregularities which should have rung alarm bells.
    How/why did the police give the okay for Tarrant to purchase 2000 rounds of ammunition?
    Did the enquiry disclose these questions?

    • Honest Dave says:

      And don’t forget that Killary Clinton’s “job” handler, one John Podesta
      was in Parliament a few days before this false flag event speaking with our ” Beloved Leader” & MP Robertson & was checked out leaving Chr.Ch in a hired Lear jets within a VERY short ime of the Mosques incidents.

      Anyone else smell a LARGE rat????

  2. John Dyer says:

    2,500 rounds of ammo actually, for the 2x Military Styled Firearms that police listed on the same form – the one they did not want anyone to later see, but which appeared on Social Media. That form showed he was given a firearms licence almost as soon as he landed in NZ. Police were told by COLFO these new changes in their procedures were “crazy” and “dangerous”, but they ignored that just like the 4 complaints by shooters about Tarrant being totally unsuitable to own guns. What I want to know is, can I now drop by the abandoned police station in downtown Auckland and leave my registration list in the old rubbish skip, because it was good enough for the last 5,000 firearms licence forms criminals found there. They tried to hide that too. Did anyone answer for that?

    • Honest Dave says:

      Very similar scenario to the Dunblane incident in Scotland many years ago.
      Police ignored Pistol Club complaints about Hamilton’s undesirability to have a
      Pistl license. Rubber stamped by the Chief Constable even tho his Deputy agreed with the pistol club.

      You could almost suspect a wee bit of collusion to aid & abet a shooting incident!!!! Bit like Port Arthur in Tassie.????

  3. Paul Peychers says:

    This is all expected news from the surveys. The new government is on the case thankfully so we just need to be patient to see what they come up with. I have faith in Nicole to sort this sad state of affairs out.
    Reporting on the recent enquiry did not seem to mention the lax process Police took at the time. The truth is still hidden unfortunately.

    • Honest Dave says:

      AND: The TV reporter on the Friday night reported that
      ” the police removed a stash of firearms from BOTH mosques” NOT reported anywhere else in NZ & nothing anywhere!!! I checked for weeks after. ZILCH.

      (a) Mosque cannot own firearms &
      (b) Why was this report suppressed VERY quickly????

      A rat for the smelling of!!!!!

  4. Chaz Forsyth says:

    I am aware of duplication of records when printouts of firearms registered are received. These amount to more than 20% of duplicated records, displacing firearms that have previously been registered, so the total number of firearms (and arms items registered) remains the same as shown before (in previous printouts).

  5. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    Make no mistake, all conjured up hysteria over guns has one path & that leads to the eventual disarming of the public,on the grounds of thegun equips the owner to be a killer.
    Just like the female is equiped to be a prostitute, butit does not follow neither need necessarily be one??!!

  6. Lew says:

    We wouldn’t be putting up with this b.s if Tarrant wasn’t allowed into this country, plenty of warnings of his ineligible entry but still allowed a firearms licence. It would appear all the legislation in the world won’t stop people such as Tarrant entering NZ if the police do their job.

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