New Zealand isn’t the United States, especially when it comes to guns. Even though private citizens could lawfully possess AR-15s up until after 2019, they still weren’t much like the U.S. on guns.
However, a recent crime in the country illustrates part of the problem with how some want to dispose of firearms.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said he only relayed what police had told the City’s metro police department, in that the serial number on a firearm confiscated in Hanover Park showed it was supposed to have been destroyed by police in 2008.
This came as police, on Monday, slammed as “devoid of truth” claims by Smith as reported in the March 8 edition of the Cape Argus that the firearm found in the illegal possession of a suspect two days prior was destroyed, according to the serial number.
Police spokesperson André Traut said the firearm Smith referred to was reported stolen by the licensed owner on July 1, 2003 in Bellville and recovered when a suspect was arrested during a crime operation on December 17, 2004 by members of the Elsies River Crime Prevention Unit.
“Following a hearing in terms of Section 102 of the Firearms Control Act, the owner was found unfit to possess a firearm and it was forfeited to the State, and subsequently destroyed in 2008.”
Traut said the allegation that this firearm made its way back into circulation prompted an investigation by the Provincial Organised Crime Investigation Unit.
Traut claims that this particular serial number didn’t actually show up in their system, that the truth is so much more convoluted, but I can’t help but think about how sweet a scam it would be to take firearms meant to be destroyed and instead selling them on the black market. Especially if you can find some way to make sure they can never pin you on having had the gun.
Right now, there are many that lament departments selling seized weapons to local gun dealers via auction, arguing that the guns end up back in criminal hands. They want the guns destroyed.
Yet if this would happen in New Zealand–and I’m not sure I buy the official explanation by any stretch–then what makes anyone think it wouldn’t happen here? Of course it would. Our criminals are much more likely to seek guns than those in other countries and we know it.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that this does happen fairly often. We just don’t know about it because it just gets lost in the noise about how we need gun control.
If so, it’s really kind of pathetic.
Regardless, it’s a good reminder that there’s literally nothing you can do that will stop criminals from obtaining firearms. You can even try to destroy them. It won’t stop them from ending up in criminal hands.
So, what do you do then?
That’s easy. You arm the good guys, mostly by getting out of their way and allow them to arm themselves. Soon enough the bad guys will mess with armed good guys and the problem will take care of itself.
It’s nature’s way.