The government’s firearms buyback programme is in turmoil and police minister Stuart Nash has been called on to resign after a data breach of the buyback website revealed full contact details, firearm licence numbers and bank address details of more than 37,000 gun owners.
The breach was revealed by the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) which issued a statement at 12:23pm saying it had just learnt that information on 70,000 firearm hand-in notifications were accessible to users of the buyback web site.
Two minutes later NZ Police issued a statement saying it had been made aware of the breach and had closed down the site.
However COLFO said people were able to log into the system for up to three hours before the Police shut it down, and it was unclear how long the information had been publicly available.
It said the breach had revealed that 37,125 owners had registered 280,000 individual newly prohibited items, and called for the buyback programme to be immediately suspended.
ACT New Zealand also called for the register to be suspended and for police minister Stuart Nash to resign.
“The potential for such an outcome is why ACT stood alone against the Government's rushed legislation in April. This data breach is the inevitable result of a law that was made in just nine days,” ACT leader David Seymour said.
The National Party’s police spokesman Brett Hudson, said it was not the first significant data breach under the current government.
“There was a breach at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage where information on children had been accessed; staff at NZTA were at risk of personal identity theft after a USB drive containing staff identity cards was lost; private details were stolen from the Commerce Commission; and even Treasury has been breached,” he said.