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Ed Sheeran

Public health experts included in gun advice panel

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Public health experts, sociologists and a representative of the Muslim community are joining pro and anti gun control advocates on a new Ministers Arms Advisory Group.

Police Minister Poto Williams says the group will give balanced advice to Government on firearms independent of Police.

She says the Government is committed to maintaining the balance of keeping communities safe, while still enabling the safe use of firearms for legitimate purposes.

The group will be asked to provide advice on any matters relating to firearms including legislative proposals, policies for regulating the firearms regime, and the promotion of firearm safety.

It is chaired by farmer and forest owner Don Hammond, the previous chair of the Statutory Game Animal Council.

Members include Public Health Association chair Maxine Shortland, Otago University senior lecturer in sociology Shayne Walker, GP Dr Cathy Stephenson who lectures in sexual violent and intimate partner violence at the University of Otago, Queens Counsel Simon Mount, who was counsel to Sir Thomas Thorp assisting the review of firearms control in 1996-1997, Council of Licenced Firearms Owners president Michael Dowling, another COLFO founder member and former competitive shooter Debbie Wakker, Gun Control New Zealand co-founder Philippa Yasbek and Rehanna Ali – member of the reference group for the Royal Commission of Inquiry and founding member of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand.

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