15 Jul 2010

Air gun used in another killing

8:44 am on 15 July 2010

A powerful model of air gun used to shoot a police officer in Auckland two years ago has again been used in a homicide.

Police have confirmed Keith Kahi, 44, who was found dying in his driveway in Botany Downs on 4 July, was shot with a Monsoon FX air gun.

It's the same model that was used to kill Sergeant Don Wilkinson during a covert surveillance operation.

As with all air guns, the Monsoon FX does not require a licence and is available without restriction to people aged over 18.

Sergeant Wilkinson's mother, Bev Lawrie, says licensing must be introduced to help prevent further deaths.

The Police Association also says the Government must make restricting air guns a priority.

It says legislation to restrict powerful airguns has been languishing in Parliament and that is not good enough.

Association president Greg O'Connor says such guns are a weapon of choice for many criminals because they know if they are found with them, they can't be arrested for it.

Firearm body supports licence

The Council of Licensed Firearms says powerful air rifles should be sold only to people with a licence.

The council says air rifles, which are a semi-automatic weapon, are being sold to people who don't have much training with guns.

It says any one over the age of 18 can buy an air rifle, which cost between $2000 and $3000.

The council says changes would have to be made to the Arms Amendment Bill, which is before Parliament's Law and Order Committee at the moment.

Federated Farmers supports an increase in restrictions on high-powered airguns.

But it opposes any restrictions on traditional low-powered airguns, which are commonly used by farming families.

Police Minister Judith Collins says she expects a report on the control of high-powered air-rifles in about a week.

Ms Collins says the issue is being taken very seriously.

She says technology has moved on a long way and the 'BB' gun is a far cry from the gas-powered guns that are being used.