The newly formed Firearms Safety Council of Aotearoa New Zealand includes shooting clubs, associations and affiliated organisations like Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) concerned about community safety with firearms.
“Rural Women New Zealand have an authoritative rural voice and are pleased to be included on this Council” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.
RWNZ are represented on the Firearms Community Advisory Forum and are also members of the Police and Rural Stakeholder’s Partnership.
Rachael Dean, RWNZ’s Finance Chair and representative on the Firearms Safety Council, is looking forward to collaborating with other groups to reduce accidents involving firearms. “RWNZ want to work with associations to improve safety, and encourage firearms' owners to learn more about the safe use of firearms.”
RWNZ has made several submissions to government regarding rural policing, safety and emergency services. In August last year, RWNZ presented a submission at the Law and Order Select Committee on illegal possession of firearms. The submission stated concerns about the shortage of police in rural areas, and the impact of organised and firearm-related crime on community safety.
RWNZ has also expressed concerns about changes to firearms’ licensing, training and testing. RWNZ believed there needed to be further consultation with stakeholders and rural firearms’ owners.
Interim Chair of the Firearms Safety Council, retired Police Inspector Mr Joe Green, says “one of the key objectives of the Council is to provide advice to government agencies and other organisations, such as the media, on firearms safety related matters.”
The membership of the Firearms Safety Council includes the NZ Deerstalkers Association, Pistol NZ, NZ Shooting Federation, NZ Pig Hunters Association, Sporting Shooters Association of NZ, NZ Sporting Industry Association, Antique and Historical Arms Association, Federated Mountain Clubs, Target Shooting NZ, Firearms Safety Specialists NZ Ltd, NZ Black Powder Shooting Federation, NZ Service Rifle Association, Rural Women NZ and Safari Club International (NZ).