New Zealand’s high profile gun buyback scheme, enacted by the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, after the Christchurch mosque attacks, has been thrown into disarray after police admitted that at least one person had been able to access other firearm owners’ personal information online.
The error became public on Monday when a gun lobby group said it had spoken to 15 people who were able to access information on a website where firearms owners registered weapons to be relinquished. It included their names, addresses, dates of birth, firearms licence numbers and bank account details, the group said.
“It’s a shopping list for criminals,” said Nicole McKee, from the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners. She added that gun owners who had not turned in their weapons were “now being told they have to comply with a system that cannot be trusted”.
The website was shut down on Monday morning and would not be used until the police could guarantee the safety of information, officers said.