24 June 2023

With law-abiding firearms licence holders filling in the new digital Firearms Registry, it will make it much harder for gangs and criminals to acquire guns, says Police.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says the Firearms Registry launched today [Sat 24 June], will over time create a comprehensive picture of all lawfully held firearms and arms items in New Zealand linked to each individual firearms licence holder.

“The Registry will give us a much clearer picture of where all the licensed firearms are, and especially when they are changing hands,” he says. “This will allow us to better identify suspicious looking transactions, and to be better able to trace firearms that might turn up in crimes.

“The Registry gives us a new and powerful tool to disrupt the diversion of firearms. It fits alongside the work of Police investigations that go after gangs and criminals directly. It’s part of intelligence gathering and making it hard for criminals to have firearms in the first place.”

Commissioner Coster also noted that the Registry would also have a direct impact on the safety of frontline Police staff.

“Over time as firearms licence holders add the firearms in their possession to the Registry, Police attending incidents will be able to check in real time if an address they have been called to has registered firearms. This will improve their risk assessment prior to arrival.”

Te Tari Pūreke – Firearms Safety Authority – Executive Director, Angela Brazier, says she believes everyone in New Zealand wants our communities to be free from gun crime, and the Registry highlights a key role responsible guns owners have in that.

“The Registry is all about making our communities safer. With responsible firearms licence holders filling in the Registry, that makes it harder for criminals and gangs to acquire firearms unnoticed. It allows all licence holders to be part of the solution.”

Licence holders will also benefit from the Registry when they come to buy or sell a firearm says Ms Brazier.

“The Registry will give licence holders more confidence when buying or selling firearms, as it will let them know if they are dealing with a current licence holder and if the firearm is in the Registry.

“We have also noted the concern of the licence holder community with regard to the security and privacy of information. I want to reiterate that security had been a key element of the design and development of the Registry system.”

The platform has been through multiple security assessments by Government approved independent security experts. These are the same security experts that do assessments of New Zealand banks, telecommunication providers, government departments, and insurance companies.

“The privacy of licence holders’ information is critically important. I can reassure them that we have met or exceeded all government communication security standards,” she says.


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