Many readers will remember the shock of Police admitting to the recent Law and Order select committee that 29 gang members had gun licenses. The Kiwi Gun Blog have been trying to find out what happened to them. The press have also been chasing this at our insistence. Now we know.
This information was only released after complaints were lodged with both the Ombudsman’s office and the IPCA.
Even then – this response breached the response deadline. Despite itself only being a follow up on the original request made ten months ago. Police were clearly not in a hurry to have these facts known.
After an in person meeting this writer was assured that the matter would be followed up. It wasn’t. Then the following email response:
On 7/5/2017 7:48 AM, MCILRAITH, Michael wrote:
In respect of the 29 gang members with firearms licences. I have asked the question of where Police are with this. More information is coming but from what I am told the majority have been addressed appropriately. Will let you know once I have a proper update.
Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith DipNZPol, GradDipBusStud, GradDipEmergMgt, MSS
Officer in Charge | Arms Act Service Delivery | New Zealand Police
| E email@example.com
The promised update never occurred. But nearly a year later – here is the result:
So of the original 29 gang members known to have a firearms license –
19 still have their gun license.
At least three committed a gun crime.
Four have surrendered their license.
Only five were revoked.
One is dead.
Five people STILL ON THE GANG LIST have been left armed.
Fourteen people who were known criminals have been left armed. Assumed to now be fully rehabilitated.
The police ignored our question as to whether the physical licenses had been recovered.
The police ignored our question as to when any actions were taken. Did the gun crimes happen AFTER the Police were aware of these armed criminals. It would appear so. How slow were they to act on the rest?
What we do NOT want is shooters losing their licenses on a rumor. But if you are on the gang list – with evidence – then it is inexcusable for such criminals to keep one. ‘Fit and proper’ means just that.
The renewal system achieves nothing. What works is Police taking action when people come to their attention.