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Otago academics welcome Govt's quick response to gun laws

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Firearms researchers from the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Dr Marie Russell and Dr Hera Cook warmly welcome the ban on military style semi-automatics and assault rifles announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon.

This prompt response which includes a ban on related parts that can be used to convert firearms into weapons used in mass killings, including all high capacity magazines is a major step towards improving New Zealanders’ safety and bringing us into line with other similar countries.

Dr Cook says she is somewhat concerned by the long list of potential exemptions, however. "I look forward to the Select Committee process in which I would like to see close examination of evidence for these exemptions."

Dr Russell says she hopes the researchers will be able to contribute to the promised development of stronger more effective licensing rules, storage requirements and penalties for not complying with gun regulations.

"There is an open question over the government’s intention regarding a gun register."

The researchers continue to call for a register of all firearms.

"A register in which all firearms are recorded would help police trace guns used in crime and to identify individuals building up an arsenal," Dr Cook says.

"When guns are registered, owners then become accountable for each firearm that they own. Furthermore, registration motivates gun owners to lock up their firearms, which is a major contribution to protecting household and wider public safety."

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