The terrorist, who pleaded guilty to New Zealand’s worst mass shooting in March, was not properly inspected by police vetting staff when he applied for a firearms licence in 2017.
Stuff has been told that, among other errors, police failed to interview a family member as required, instead relying on two men who met the terrorist through an internet chatroom.
The error was overlooked when police granted him the firearms licence, allowing the Australian citizen to stockpile the semi-automatic guns later used to murder 51 people.
You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.
Police gave Tarrant a firearms licence on the basis of two referees who he met through an Internet chatroom!!!! They didn’t talk to a single person who had ever interacted with him in real life. This is damning.
Sadly this is a not a huge surprise. I talk to a lot of firearms owners and almost without fail they are scathing of the Police’s role in vetting owners, as in they are nowhere near thorough enough.
If this report is correct, this tragedy was preventable. If the Police had demanded proper referees, they may have found out that Tarrant was unsuitable.
Any further changes to firearms laws should be conditional on taking vetting away from the Police, and transferring it to a dedicated agency.