Is it time to license guns as well as the people who fire them?
Police register licensed firearms owners, not the firearms, even though there are thought to be anywhere between 700,000 and 1.2 million firearms in New Zealand.
There have been a spate of gun thefts in Wairarapa. The stuff website says police fear they have been stolen to order and have fallen into the hands of criminals (no kidding – stolen firearms are in the hands of criminals. Duh.)
The story reads… “Thirty firearms – including pump-action shotguns, rifles and handguns, as well as ammunition – have been stolen from Wairarapa properties this year. In the latest raid, nine guns were stolen from Dalefield Hall, in rural Carterton, last weekend. The thieves made off with the sporting rifles used by a gun club, complete with rifle bolts. Two weeks earlier, thieves broke into a house in semi-rural Masterton, smashed their way into a gunstore on a study wall, and made off with a locked gun cabinet and weapons. The guns included a .270 rifle, a .303 rifle, two 12-gauge shotguns, three air rifles and an air pistol.”
I have done many stories for the police/Mountain Safety Council over the past 10 years for a Farming The Year Ahead feature I write for the DomPost. Separate guns and ammunition, lock them away, bolt the cabinet to the building, hide it…. and still the thieves come.
We license cars as well as drivers. Why not guns. They’re just as lethal in the hands of stupid people.
Added grammar question – license something with an s (s for skip, which is a verb) or get a licence with a c (noun) – something someone taught me once… I must have been sort-of listening but is my memory correct?!