“Gun Control welcomes the launch of New Zealand’s gun registry today. Registering guns will make it much harder for criminals to access guns and will reduce firearms-related violence. A registry also helps solve crimes and makes police officers safer,” says Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek.

“The recent gang-related gun violence in Auckland was fuelled by guns bought by licensed firearms owners. The licensed firearms owners did it because they thought they would get away with it. From today, all dealer sales will be recorded in the registry, ending impunity for people diverting guns to criminals,” says co-founder Nik Green.

“An extensive review of the evidence shows that gun registers are an effective crime-fighting tool. The introduction of firearms registration in the European Union has been credited with making it more difficult for criminals to access firearms. An evaluation of the European registers concluded that the costs were reasonable in light of the benefits that were generated,” says Philippa Yasbek.

“In Canada, firearms-related violent crime and firearms thefts declined when their register was in place but increased again when it was abolished (for partisan political reasons). The Canadian Police resisted the destruction of their gun register because it was helping them to prevent and solve crimes,” says Nik Green.

“The Australian government recently announced that they will be consolidating all the state gun registers into a single national register. This is in response to the tragic shooting in Wieambilla of two police officers and a neighbour in late 2022. The new national firearms register will provide police across all Australian jurisdictions with accurate and up to date information to assess firearms risks,” says Philippa Yasbek

“We won’t see the benefits of the registry overnight but they will happen, if the register is fully implemented and stays in place,” says Nik Green.


Background information supporting this press release

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Gun Control NZ commissioned a literature review on the value of firearms registers. This was undertaken by Jeff Loan (now a principal at Sapere). The literature review is available here:

Highlights of the literature review can also be found in this op-ed by Philippa Yasbek and Jeff Loan:

“The recent gang-related gun violence..,” Marty Sharpe “ 21 rifles bought in Napier were destined for Auckland during spike in gang gun crime” 12 May 2023.

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