How much would an expanded gun registration system cost New Zealanders?

We asked the Green party, because they are pushing for this. They didn’t provide a number.

We asked the NZ Police Association, because they are pushing for this. They didn’t provide a number.

We asked the NZ Police if they have ever estimated this price. When we get their reply in a few months we will let you know.

In the meantime, the closest guess we can make comes from Canada.

Our Canadian friends have just abandoned their gun registration system. In 2002 their tax payers were quoted initial cost estimates of $2 million Canadian dollars for their new system.

In short order their auditor general released a report saying that the costs had increased to $1 billion Canadian dollars.

You read that right.

That is a lot of hip operations and schools and roads.

The billion dollars was the cost of almost registering the estimated 15 million guns owned by Canadians.

Then it became weirder when the Canadian Shooting Sports Association discovered that the Federal Government had spent C$380,000 to hire a private lobbyist – to lobby itself. For funds for the failing firearms registry. Yes that was taxpayers’ money.

But before Canada dumped its registration system the results were in.

It didn’t have any discernable impact on preventing crime.

Canada’s gun homicide rate was unchanged.

From 1997 to 2005, only 13% of the guns used in homicides were registered.

The registry was plagued with duplicate serial numbers and millions of incomplete records.

A hero from Manitoba even managed to register a Black and Decker soldering gun.

But using their figures as a guide – it would cost $80,000,000 New Zealand dollars to register our guns. But that was fifteen years ago. If we account for inflation then the cost comes in at $110,000,000.00

It will cost that to expand a system that is already known for inaccuracy and proven worthless for crime solving.

Oh and then there is another issue.

Kiwis will ignore it.

Because the TRUE cost of gun registration is of course much worse than wasted money.

The only real reason that guns are ever registered, is for later confiscation. That is not paranoia. That is experience. Shooters know this.


So shooters will only register some of their guns.

Germany required registration in the 1970s because of terror attacks. They were only able to record 3.2 million of the estimated 17 million guns in that country.

England tried to register pump-action and semiautomatic shotguns in the 1980s. They were only able to record about 50,000 of the estimated 300,000 guns.

History shows that registration only catches about 1/6 of lawfully owned guns and of course none of the criminal guns that are the problem.

But – Registration makes criminals of the lawful. This can then drive once legal guns to the gangs.

What other area could a political party seriously suggest a hundred million dollar spend to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

Even the average sheep voter is going to wake up when they hear that number.

Once again the Kiwi Gun Blog is the first to even ask the potential price here. Thanks mainstream media.

News just to hand: 

It has been confirmed that during the Law and Order Select Committee inquiry into the criminal misuse of guns, the question of a total gun registration system in New Zealand was indeed raised and considered.

But according to the Green Party MP on the committee; “…there have been no concrete figures presented as to the total cost of such a system”.

They have certainly made no effort to learn the financial impact of their own policy.

In their departmental report to the Committee, the New Zealand Police indicated that “attempting the universal registration of all firearms owned by firearm licence holders within say five years would be resource intensive and very expensive.”

That report also cites a 2003 figure from a Rutherford Sloan Ltd report on the possibility of full registration; that figure is $17.2mil to $26.7mil over 10 years.

The Kiwi Gun Blog have contacted Rutherford Loan to ask how they arrived at this figure. We will advise you of their response.

So there we have it. A fifteen year old quote with a variance of around 30% that seems impossibly optimistic by a factor of five. 

This is definitely a case of ‘Sell the idea and then find the money for its blow out costs later’.