Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive

Rethink on Gun Licensing Long Overdue

New Zealand Herald, Editorial

15 May 2009

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Changes to gun laws are usually the product of tragedy. The last significant amendment to the law occurred after David Gray killed 13 people at Aramoana in 1990, and Australia's legislation was spurred by the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in which 35 died. Now, the Napier siege sparked by Jan Molenaar's shooting of Senior Constable Len Snee should be the catalyst for further change.

Two disturbing facts have emerged. The first is that Molenaar did not possess a firearms licence. The second is the size and scope of his arsenal, which numbered 18 guns, including military-style semi-automatic weapons. Those issues cannot go unaddressed.

Molenaar was one of an estimated 50,000 people who did not respond to calls to renew their licence or surrender their guns in 2002, following the Government's 1992 scrapping of the lifetime licence for 10-year licences. Since that campaign ended, police efforts to pursue expired licence-holders seem to have been desultory. Unlike Australia, there has been no amnesty, backed by a financial inducement, to mop up guns and increase registration….

ID: N145

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