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Police banned from Wairarapa gun club

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/03/2017

Police have been caught off guard after a Wairarapa gun club banned them from its premises.

The Wairarapa Pistol and Shooting Sports Club has banned officers from using its range as a training facility, and says it's a bid to force Police National Headquarters to change its attitude on certain gun policies and procedures.

The club's president, Gary Rawlinson, told Fairfax members had become increasingly frustrated with what they see as arbitrary changes to gun law enforcement, citing changes to rules around firearm measurement and gun dealer licensing.

The changes were demonising legitimate gun owners but not tackling the issues of unlicensed criminals, he said.

However, the Police Association says it's alarmed at the decision, and that it readily accepts that the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens.

"Very few gun owners have issues with registering their own firearm, or who they may on-sell to. The aim is to control who has access to firearms, not penalise licensed firearms owners," association president Chris Cahill said in a statement.

"Like it or not, the reality is that criminals often acquire their guns from burglaries of legitimate gun owners and dealers, or, guns are on-sold to people who have no intention of registering them and using them within legal parameters."

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