The headline-grabbing effect of the illegal “crime gun” guarantees it more attention than the lawful, homely firearms which kill nine-tenths of shooting victims. Accordingly, public opinion seems willing to tackle the problem of guns in crime while little attention is paid to the much more common “sporting gun” stored, seemingly harmlessly, in sports shops, on farms and in homes.
This study shows that both weapons are one and the same, separated only by a change of intent or a lapse of security. We hope the information contained here will assist gun owners, police and policymakers to restrict the frequent movement of guns from lawful to unlawful use.
Philip Alpers, New Zealand Police Association, GunPolicy.org 1996