Association President Chris Cahill says ACT’s failure to acknowledge the significant safety enhancement of a firearms registry for all New Zealanders is a failure of responsibility.
"Nearly every day across Aotearoa New Zealanders are confronted with the reality of firearms violence - from dairy owners to innocent families in their homes to police officers risking their lives to protect others.
"The evidence is now clear that most of these illegal firearms come from licensed firearms owners - either stolen from poorly secured homes or vehicles, or more often through the practice of straw purchasing in which a licensed owner on-sells firearms to unlicensed buyers. Too often they end up in the hands of gang members," Mr Cahill says.
The value of a firearms registry to prevent this has been clearly explained and most firearms owners understand this is a justifiable need that also enhances their own safety.
The reasons ACT puts forward to oppose a registry have been discredited many times and their repeat of these false or misleading accusations does them no credit.
"It is also extremely disingenuous of ACT to trot out the same old nonsense that the registry will not succeed because "gang members will carry on their merry way and ignore it". ACT knows full well, for the reasons outlined above, the advent of a registry will severely impact on the gang pipeline for acquiring guns."
"The fact they would support a registry for some of the most dangerous firearms shows the hypocrisy of their position and that they don’t actually believe their own arguments".
Ironically as ACT tries to hinder this major advancement in New Zealand’s safety, Australia is introducing a national registry, citing New Zealand as a leading example in the value of one.
"ACT cannot claim to be the tough on gangs party when they lobby to remove the best opportunity to prevent gangs from arming themselves."
The Police Association calls on National Leader Christopher Luxon to distance himself from this attack on the safety of all law-abiding New Zealanders and confirm his party’s ongoing support for the Firearms Registry.