14 July 2010
The Government should resist pressure from the Police Association to arm frontline police officers, Green Party Police spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
Police Association President Greg O’Connor has pushed for officers to carry guns on a more regular basis, in the wake of the shooting of two officers in Christchurch yesterday.
“We want to do all we can to protect our Police, but having more officers carrying guns is not the answer,” said Mr Locke.
“Overseas, criminals have tended to arm themselves in response to Police carrying weapons, with more officers ending up shot or killed.
“One way to assist the Police and lessen the possibility of them being shot in the line of duty is to register all firearms.
“Police would then have a better idea of what weapons are at an address and take appropriate precautions.
“Given the carnage guns can wreak, it is time we kept track of exactly where weapons are in our communities.
“The Green Party supports making quick progress on the Arms Amendment Bill which has been languishing in Parliament for some years,” said Mr Locke.
Mr Locke considers that such a database should include high-powered air guns such as the weapons which killed Sergeant Don Wilkinson in 2008.
“It would be a sad day in New Zealand if we departed from our long tradition of having a mainly unarmed police force.”