So with less than a day in the job the new Police Association President has begun his reign with an unprecedented attack on licensed firearms owners. The first wave of his assault commenced with a media campaign in which he has blatantly lied and deliberately tried to misinform the public.
Here is what Radio NZ said:
Newly elected Police Association President Chris Cahill will focus on frontline staffing and restriction of firearms.
The veteran detective told Morning Report that making sure firearms were registered would minimise the risk of them entering the wrong hands.
“The big issue is to actually get the guns off the street.”
Mr Cahill, who replaces Greg O’Connor after 21 years in the role, said the law should be changed so all guns were registered.
Anyone with the right licence can import military assault style rifles, he said, but the problem was where they go once they’re in the country.
“Because they’re not registered to individual owners they go missing, they get stolen, and we don’t even know what’s out there.” The importation of firearms also needed to be restricted, he said.
Here are FOUNZ’s comments:
1. It has been proven that universal registration is a waste of resources and does not have a measurable effect on illegal firearm possession. The process is incredibly easy to defeat and only tells the Police where the legal guns are, not the illegal ones that they are worried about. Believe it or not registered guns can also be stolen!
2. “Military Assault Style Rifles” are not a thing. That is a made up term. “Military Style Semi Automatics” are a thing but ALL MSSAs are already registered to their lawful owners. Actual assault rifles are “Restricted Weapons” limited to collectors only. They too are already registered.
3. Yes anybody can import a firearm that they are lawfully permitted to own. All firearm importations are subject to a Permit to Import that is issued by the Police. Cahill makes it sound like you can just buy a gun overseas on the Internet and have it sent to your home.
4. The importation of firearms is already heavily restricted. Every single request has to be individually approved by the Police. Funnily enough, the import permit itself shows exactly who brought the gun in and therefore provides an auditable record. If that can’t stop the gun from later being stolen, how would registering the gun do so? To “restrict” importation further would essentially result in a ban of some sort.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like this is an attempt to gain public support by convincing the unknowing public that gun owners are importing scary assault rifles by the container load without Police knowledge and then sending them off to criminals. The only solution? Ban semi-automatics (aka “assault weapons”), register all firearms and stop individuals from importing firearms.
Make no mistake people, this man is not a bumbling idiot who doesn’t understand the law. He knows exactly what he is saying and is out to finish what O’Connor started.
We have a battle ahead of us.