Resignations Appropriate Response for Police Firearm Data Breach

Press release

COLFO says the Police Minister should treat very seriously the latest data breach caused by the new Firearm Safety Authority, by promising an explanation, a fix, compensation for affected people, and resignations if errors are made again.  

COLFO spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack says the Government cannot spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an Authority and registry but dismiss its failures as inconsequential.

“If the safety of New Zealanders hinges on the performance of the Authority and firearm regulations, then its failure yesterday endangered lives. Resignations of Ministers and executives at the Authority are a proportionate response to endangerment of citizens, he said.

The Minister must demand a detailed explanation, and a fix that ensures this doesn’t happen again. Extra staff training is a bare minimum response.

“An apology and compensation to affected citizens is also called for, as they have been put at risk and trouble by an Authority that promised them total data security, said Hugh Devereaux-Mack..

The Minister must also ask why there appears to be at least one error in the information, in which a licensed firearm owner was incorrectly identified as having a faulty address.

” This is the sort of error we warned about, and that rendered the Canadian firearm database useless, he added.

Thirty-three days ago, the security and privacy of data held by the Authority was claimed by Authority Executive Director Angela Brazier to be a “key element” in designing the registry. The minister claimed “we’ve done everything we can to ensure people’s information is held securely in the system.”

Hugh Devereaux-Mack said it is not good enough that the Authority has tried to downplay the matter as human error, not a database weakness. Most data breaches occur via human error, just like this one, and the previous data breach in Auckland.

“How people handle data is as much part of the system as where data is stored.” Mr Devereux-Mack said.


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


NOTE:- If Police claim  that licensed firearm owners are the main source of firearms for criminals, they must provide the evidence to support it.

Police have stated that the registry is needed because the majority of firearms held by criminals are intentionally diverted by licensed firearm owners (also known as straw purchasing). According to available data, this is not true. Police have not supplied any new evidence to support the claim.

COLFO recently asked the Police for information on the number of seized firearms that have been traced to licensed firearm owners, after Police Association President Chris Cahill also claimed criminals sourced most of their firearms from licensed owners. Police said the request could not be fulfilled because they do not collect the data. Therefore, the Police do not have data to support what they are telling journalists. COLFO has complained to the Ombudsman.

Historic material provided by Police in response to OIA requests shows that only one effort has been made to track the source of firearms seized from criminals. That was a study of seized firearms from a 6-month period in 2015, which found only 10% came from licensed owners either through burglary (4%) or sourced from individuals illegally (6%).


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7 Responses to Resignations Appropriate Response for Police Firearm Data Breach

  1. "Tikka" says:

    Keystone Cops!

  2. F. Hemi says:

    Talk of Disinformation! Call in the Disinformation Squad and the “only source of Truth” — the High Priestess Jacinda Ardern. She can deal to the Police Association president Cahill and other incompetents.

  3. Teddy Roosterveldt says:

    All licenced “fit and proper” firearms owners are very conscious of the need to keep their guns secure. One of the best security measures is not letting on what guns you have or where they are kept. Telling any Tom, Dick or Henare that you own guns is asking for trouble. And that especially applies to the government and police who have proved time and again that they cannot be trusted with details we wish to keep private and confidential.

  4. Charles Baycroft says:

    This register of firearms is neither necessary, affordable, beneficial or safe.
    It will only effect responsible citizens who are not a problem for other people.

    The people who are administering the justice system have failed to protect us from dangerous criminals and are trying to blame innocent citizens for their failure.
    Innocent owners of firearms are being accused of arming criminals without evidence or proof of fault.

    The sensible thing to do would be to identify and deal with the criminals instead of trying to criminalize innocent citizens just because they own firearms.
    The people in charge of the justice system don’t seem to be able to identify and deal with criminals so they blame responsible citizens for their failure.

    Some people will comply with this register and others will not.
    Those that do not comply will illegally have firearms that they cannot legally sell.
    This will only increase the risk that more guns will be owned by unlicensed people and criminals.

    Responsible LFO’s do not want to commit or be victims of crime. They do not want criminals to be armed and dangerous.

    The information in this register will not be completely secure and that endangers the people who would prefer to comply and discourages them from doing so.
    The result of this wasteful and dangerous registration system is likely to be the opposite of what it is intended to achieve.

    That is more people illegally owning firearms and more risk of crimes involving guns.

    The Minister of Justice drove dangerously while drunk and resisted arrest.
    This is an indication of the serious lack of good judgement by the people who have imposed foolish, wasteful and harmful legislation on responsible citizens and consistently failed in everything they tried to do.

    Our real problem is having the wrong people in positions of government authority and power.

    We have a chance to fix that in October when we vote.

  5. Paul Peychers says:

    Well said Charles! There is nothing further to add to this comprehensive reply.
    No doubt nothing will change till we get a new responsible government after October

  6. Jim Hilton Batchelor Science Hons Biology 1971 says:

    If there are any politicians or senior public servants who understand how democracy works it’s about time they started practicing what they understand. Democracy is long dead. Government is now corporate authoritarianism where Politicians, senior public servants and rich corporates do as they please.
    New Zealand Police pretended to consult gun owners via the select committee process about their plans to register all firearms. They took no notice of what they were told by the majority of people who legally own firearms. We told them it is not going to work, that it has been an expensive failure everywhere else it has been tried and that there would be data breaches. f But NZ Police are accepting the $21 million, spread over 5 years to try and register all firearms. Sounds like bribery and corruption to me.
    It’s certainly not democratic. Party voting Act might reduce some of the damage because they have already have a re write of the Arms Act which does not include a gun register which they have promised will be a bottom line if they get enough seats in this years election on 14 October. This latest failure to keep firearms information secure by the Police’s new Firearm Safety Authority was predicted by anyone who understands human nature and how difficult it is to keep data secure.
    New Zealand will be a lot safer when gun registration is abandoned .

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