Wellington, Nov 30 (IANS): New Zealand on Wednesday launched a new firearms regulator called Te Tari Pureke Firearms Safety Authority, to ensure the legitimate possession and use of firearms in the country.
Also launched was an online portal to apply for firearms licenses, marking a significant step towards modernization and improvements in gun safety, said Police Minister Chris Hipkins.
"Establishing a regulator is part of the government's commitment following the Christchurch terror attacks (in March 2019), to reform New Zealand's firearms laws," Xinhua news agency quoted Hipkins as saying.
He added that this keeps the communities safe and at the same time provides efficient services for the firearms community.
The newly launched online portal "MyFirearms" will become part of the firearms registry when it goes live in June next year. The portal allows people to apply and pay for licenses and some endorsements completely online.
The online portal goes towards modernizing services for the firearms community and foreshadows the firearms registry, Hipkins said.
"Once the registry is in place next year, and as it becomes fully operational, all firearms will be linked to license holders, so for the first time we'll have a picture of all the legally held firearms across New Zealand. This will allow the police to be better able to trace firearms," said the Minister.
The firearms safety authority will enable fit and proper people to legitimately use firearms in New Zealand and seek to protect the public from the harm that may be caused by misuse of firearms, he added.