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NZ’s Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) says Police failed to follow the firearm licensing laws, which resulted in Australian terrorist Branton Tarrant who shot and killed 51 and injured 40 on March 15, 2019, at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton, continuing at Linwood’s Islamic Centre.
There are no reasons for changes to the firearm laws says COLFO Chairman Michael Dowling.
“This revelation shows that changes to firearm laws immediately following the shooting were unjustified, and further changes are unnecessary,” he said.
“The shooting did not arise out of a problem with the New Zealand public, but with Tarrant himself and the government agencies that enabled him to carry out this atrocity. It is not New Zealanders that need to be fixed, but our institutions.”
The Royal Commission inquiry report into the Christchurch terrorist attacks shows Police failed to uphold the law, which provided Tarrant with a firearms license.
“Police did not follow the law that required them to check criminal records and interview family members before issuing a firearms licence,” said Chairman Dowling.
COLFO is demanding someone to be held accountable.
“The Prime Minister and Minister of Police have known about the mistake ever since the shooting, but said nothing: encouraging people to blame and demonise our members.” –“The Police released a statement on 22 March 2019 claiming they followed correct processes in awarding Tarrant a firearms licence,” said Chairman Dowling.
The Minister of Police stood in front of the media showing ‘destroyed’ firearms and opposed the opposition as crazy gun enthusiasts. Tarrant had only acquired guns because his own department did not follow the law at the time.
“Instead of fixing the error immediately, the Government and Police acted like it was the fault of licensed firearm owners, confiscating our property, raiding our homes, and changing unrelated ownership rules,” said Chairman Dowling.
Law-abiding licensed firearm owners are looking for a well-deserved apology from Police and their Minister, and that is all they’re asking for. Still, it has not been that simple for the departments responsible for speaking up and be straight about it.
“We demand an apology to New Zealand for making this country a less safe place, and unjustly stirring hostility against law-abiding firearm owners. The failure of Police to follow the law underlines the need for a new agency to administer the Arms Act. The New Zealand Police are not the right agency for the job,” said Chairman Dowling.