Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
Government to Discuss Gun Control
23 August 2001
ALOFI -- Niue police and cabinet are discussing gun control measures to be introduced on the island following the fatal shooting of a prison inmate last week.
The shooting, the second of its kind in 10 months, has prompted calls for temporary confiscation of more than 300 shotguns held by the island's 1750 residents.
Officials on the island nation confirmed there are a number of unregistered firearms.
The Police department attempted to inspect registered shotguns each year and control the sale of ammunition.
This however has not deterred gun owners from illegally importing their own ammunition. Over the past five years several men have been convicted of smuggling boxes of ammunition from New Zealand.
The shotguns are used for shooting wandering pigs, pigeons and flying fox.
The weapons are often left in the back of cars and vans or lying around in homes.
Police are reportedly in favour of a ban on the further importation of shotguns and a temporary confiscation of weapons.
Conservation officers said there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of pigeons and flying foxes in the country over the past few years because of overshooting. An American researcher into flying foxes recently recommended a five-year moratorium on shooting the mammals to preserve the species in the island.