This From Joe Green – a follow up from his recent opinion piece.

In my opinion piece published in the DomPost on 20 March 2019 I said that “Legislators would do well to begin with a close review of the firearms licensing process as it was applied to Friday’s offender. It is after all the mechanism by which he gained lawful access to firearms”.

I now understand that the firearms licensing process as it was applied to the offender in the Christchurch shootings was compromised in that:

  • The offender applied for his firearms licence in a Police District in which he might have an increased chance of getting it approved.
  • It seems that there was no interview of the offender’s spouse, partner or next of kin (the person who knows them best).
  • The process requires the interview of an unrelated referee. I understand that two people were interviewed. They knew the offender primarily through an on-line chat room. Both referees are recorded as saying the same.
  • The offender declined to be interviewed at his home. He was interviewed at his place of work.
  • There is doubt as to if a home visit and security inspection took place.
  • It is apparent in the vetting process that the offender has no friends as such.


This outlines a classic scenario for someone setting up to obtain a firearms licence for nefarious purposes, and because due process was not followed, he succeeded.


Having obtained a firearms licence it is but a short step to obtaining firearms. A step he took.


Changing the law in terms of the possession and use of firearms by law abiding people will have little effect on safety unless the integrity of the licensing process is maintained.