Firearms License Security Breach – it’s worse than initially revealed

The report in the NZ Herald today that the documents stolen from the abandoned Auckland Central Police Station in May actually spanned a much longer time frame, 2003 to 2018, has further angered licensed firearm owners.

As Sporting Shooters President Neville Dodd explains “This is a very serious security breach of sensitive information which now has the potential to affect thousands more lawful firearm owners. It would appear to cover a period much greater than the Police first advised and covers a number of license renewal cycles. This is by far the worst security breach in NZ firearm history and is all due to Police negligence.

We demand that those responsible for this negligence, that puts the security of licensed firearm owners and their families at risk, be held to account”. Said Dodd.
It further illustrates why licensed firearm owners are so opposed to the planned full firearm register, that will cost $1 Million per week, as police have now shown on a number of occasions that they are not capable of protecting private and sensitive information.

Police followed up with their own media release:

Police operate a decentralised firearms licensing office model in each policing district. Auckland City a district has 5,602 firearms licence holders as at 1 April 2022. Note the following media release from this afternoon. 

Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander:

Police are continuing to analyse more than 4000 documents that were stolen and later recovered from the old Auckland Central Police station. 

As part of this, Police have identified over 2000 documents dated between 2003 and 2018. Of this, 444 data sheets containing names and address details of firearms licence holders have been identified and Police are engaged in notifying them.

The other approximately 1500 documents recorded only address details, which means further collation and analysis is required to understand how many individuals those documents actually relate to.

Police are continuing to work through contacting the people that have been affected by this breach.

As Police have previously proactively released, there have been two firearms related burglaries in Auckland Central since the Police burglary occurred. 

Offenders were apprehended in both instances and there has not been any link identified between those incidents and the Vincent Street burglary.

Police continue to undertake daily monitoring of any incidents involving firearm licence holders, which includes theft or burglary reports.

There remains no known organised crime link established by our investigation into the burglary at this time. Police can advise that there have been no incidents linked to information obtained as a result of the burglary.

Police have established a dedicated 0800 line for firearms owners who wish to discuss the incident, 0800 462 379 along with the email address