Firm deadline

Firm deadline

That existing weapon licences and pending applications have been extended (see related story) while the current 2016 policy is reviewed appears logical. The intention is to prevent persons with a properly registered weapon and proof of requesting a renewal from getting into legal trouble.

However, this was not the first extension. The same happened on March 3, when they were already prolonged to December 31.

It will now be until June 30, because more time is needed. The Justice Ministry was obviously busy and the COVID-19 pandemic with all its consequences should be considered too, but 10 months have passed since the last extension.

Then again, this remains an important issue. International research shows many firearms used in crimes were originally lawfully obtained.

One cannot deny that some may need the extra protection and deterrent they offer. However, owning weapons is a huge responsibility and those who abuse this privilege need to be held accountable.

That is why gun permits are not endless and must be regularly evaluated. This requires clear and unambiguous conditions for such, including frequent maintenance, target practice and provisions for safekeeping.

If that takes up to six months longer so be it, but the minister would do well to set herself a firm deadline.