Source: New Zealand Government – Dunne to review unsafe and illegal gun use

Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne is urging the hunting community to keep gun safety at the forefront of their minds following two tragic fatal incidents during the weekend. The first involving a teen in the Bay of Plenty and the second a young man in the Central North Island were both the result of the (accidental) discharge of their weapons.

“New Zealand has again been sadly reminded that without following best practice and taking the utmost care the use of firearms can kill. Unfortunately there seems to be an increasing frequency of firearm incidents causing injury or death. The worst aspect is that these incidents are largely preventable”, says Mr Dunne.

“Incidents such as those over the weekend have led me to begin the process of initiating a review of unsafe and illegal gun use in the outdoors. Such a review will be asked to establish what the problems are, where responsibility might lie, and ultimately what we can do to reduce the risks of death and injury due to improper gun use.

“Following the review I will request the Game Animal Council to take the review’s findings and work with the hunting and outdoors communities to improve the situation. The Game Animal Council is the right body to do this as the representative of the hunting and outdoors communities. I am confident that with their leadership we will see an improvement to outdoors safety.

“Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders love to get out in the bush to hunt, tramp and enjoy our beautiful environment. I do not wish to discourage anyone to stay at home in fear. I stress that everyone who enjoys the outdoors needs to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around us” said Mr Dunne.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.