TODAY |

How do we stop gangs getting their hands on military style weapons?

A suggestion all guns in New Zealand need to be registered in a move to stamp out guns in gangs has been dismissed by the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners. 

"I'll be quite blunt, absolute crap. It won't work, nowhere in the world has registration worked," Paul Clarke says.

Plus he says it would be too expensive.

It's an idea that has arisen from those who feel the Law and Order Select Committee's focus on finding out how gangs are getting military style weapons is all wrong.

Gun City Owner David Tipple says, "Let's look at the root of the problem. The root of the problem is these bad guys have got money from drugs. Let's go for the drug dealers."

But some experts strongly believe regulations around gun buying and licensing need serious scrutiny, especially given the fact that shotguns and rifles don't have to be registered here.

Law Expert Professor Alexander Gillespie says, "International best practice on arms control suggests that all firearms should be traced and tracked at all times. That way you can see where they are diverted from legal sources".

But he's not sure we should follow Australia's lead which banned semi-automatic rifles and shotguns after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996.

"The debate is a hard one because the cost would be very high and we need to be very clear we must not demonise the shooting fraternity."

That fraternity, now topping 240,000 licensed firearm users.