How an Australian Terrorist Was Able to Access Arms and Ammunition in NZ

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While a new Muslim lobby group is focussing on creating a database of “hate speech” and “hate crimes” as a reaction to the terrible act of terrorism in Christchurch a practical and useful response would be to focus on how an Australian terrorist was easily able to arm himself in New Zealand.

No amount of hate crime databases, gun bans, suppression of free speech, or persecution of law-abiding legal gun owners will make a lick of difference to a terrorist’s ability to arm his or herself here in New Zealand.

We can virtue signal with useless new laws or we can ask if the existing laws are the problem or whether (just maybe) the existing safeguards were not applied properly by the police. If the failure was a failure to follow the law correctly then no amount of new laws will fix the problem. If the failure was due to a recent law change that made it easier for a criminal to access firearms then the law will need to be changed back.

The man accused of the March 15 terror attack was supplied 2300 rounds of ammunition by using a police mail order form that also revealed to police he had an AR-15, a parliamentary select committee has been told.

McNeill, who is also director of the Aoraki Ammunition Company, appeared before the committee on Friday via video link[…]

He told the committee he received a police mail order form from the Dunedin arms officer in December 2017 to supply the accused with 2300 rounds of ammunition.

“At the time, Brenton Tarrant was issued with a 10 year [firearms] licence, expired 8 September 2027, indicating he was issued a licence in September of 2017, which from my information was only a matter of five or six weeks after he arrived in the country,” McNeill told the committee.

“This time, he has no family, no partner, no job, no footprint in the community, yet he was vetted as being fit and proper and obviously given a full licence which allowed him to arm himself.”

McNeill said the mail order form also said the accused was in possession of a Norinco semi-automatic rifle as well as an AR-15 – the type of military-style semi-automatic firearm the Government made illegal in the aftermath of the March 15 attacks.

“So the police were aware he had these firearms,” […]

The Government’s second round of gun law reform would establish a national register and tighten the vetting process for firearms licence applications, but has been criticised not only from the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, but also farming, hunting and fishing groups.

The main opposition has centred around whether these measures will make any difference in terms of public safety, with a common request being to hold off until the royal commission of inquiry into the March 15 attack reports back.

Critics have also suggested the current system is good enough, if only the vetting process was done properly.

NZ Herald