New Zealand firearm laws to be changed

The Christchurch mass killings have prompted promises from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that our gun laws will change. yesterday in a statement on the killings:

I’m advised that there were five guns used by the primary perpetrator. There were two semi-automatic weapons, and two shotguns. The offender was in possession of a gun licence.

I’m advised that this was acquired of November 2017.

A lever action firearm was also found.

While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change.

There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017.

Now is the time for change.

It is ridiculous that military style semi-automatic weapons are readily available in New Zealand. On a gun selling site right now:

Some of those weapons are legitimate hunting and sporting and pest control firearms.

Some are obviously military style and serve no practical or useful purpose.

The Christchurch killer obtained a standard ‘A Categhory’ New Zealand firearm license. This is quite an involved task – I renewed my own last year, and this involved an in depth interview of myself, and separately of my partner, and a separate phone interview with a friend. It takes more to obtain your first license. You have to first pass a firearms test (I did that at the local police station), and recent changes require young people to receive firearm training.

I note that if you filter the above selection of firearms by ‘Cat A’ the military style weapons drop off the list. Have they already taken voluntary action to make them harder to obtain?

Newsroom –  Ardern: Shooter had five guns legally

The gunman at the centre of the Christchurch terror attack used weapons that appear to have been modified, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

The ability to modify firearms has long been a weak point in New Zealand’s firearm laws, allowing licence-holders to legally hold weapons akin to those used in the military on relatively low-low-level gun licenses.

Ardern promised this morning that gun laws would change in New Zealand, with a ban on semi-automatic weapons mooted. This afternoon she also singled out the modification of weapons.

“We need to look at the modification of guns that can lead them to become essentially the kind of weapons that were used in this terrorist attack,” she said.

From what I have heard modifications involved or included the addition of high capacity magazines. Apparently these are not difficult to obtain.

She said there were a “raft” of issues she would look at.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Tarrant would not have been able to purchase the gun, in the form it was used, with his Category A licence, but he did not give further information on how the weapons had been acquired, or the exact process followed by police when Tarrant was issued a gun licence in 2017. Bush said these details were still under investigation.

The Christchurch killer is reported to have purchased five firearms in December 2018. This should have raised red flags. It should be simple notify of purchases to a central database, and to flag multiple purposes in a short time, especially where military style weapons are involved.

Stuff:  Prime Minister says NZ gun laws will change in wake of Christchurch terror attack

Asked if banning semi-automatic weapons was an option, Ardern said that was “certainly one of the issues” that would be looked at. She had not fully considered whether a buyback scheme, similar to Australia’s after a mass shooting there in the late 1990s, would be appropriate.

A semi-automatic weapon allows shooters to discharge weapons at a much faster rate as they automatically reload the chamber after every shot is fired.

While semi-automatic weapons generally require an E-licence in New Zealand to obtain, there are some loopholes to this law.

There’s a number of rifles in that list under Semi Auto and Cat-A that look suspect. Like this one:

Barrett REC7 (edited).png

A selective-fire assault rifle and semi-automatic rifle
Aavailable in either 5.56×45mm NATO or 6.8mm Remington SPC

RNZ:

Meanwhile, a loophole in the law may have allowed Tarrant to get hold of the semi-automatic weapons that did so much damage in Christchurch.

Mr Bush said he only had a Category A firearms licence which would have prevented him from legally owning semi-automatic weapons.

But it may still have been possible for him to have bought his firearms legally and then to have altered changed them into semi-automatic, he said.

“A Category A firearms holder can purchase the firearms without the magazines or the things that will enable them to be in the state that they were. I was very happy to hear the prime minister’s comments this morning that there will be a change in the gun laws.”

I’m confused about this. I purchased a semi-automatic on a Cat A license about ten years ago.

The gun site shown above lists 37 firearms filters by Cat A and Semi Auto (I don’t know if this has changed over the last couple of days). These all appear to be either .22 or shotguns – these are less dangerous than high calibre rifles but can still be lethal.

I have used the .22 semi auto for pest control, possums and rabbits. Semi auto is of little use for rabbits but quite useful for possums. If the laws are changed I may have to hand it in.

What the Government will have to do is balance the legitimate use of firearms against public safety due to the rare use of legally obtained firearms for mass murder.

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78 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  March 17, 2019

    methinks that nobody (except perhaps Cops) need these weapons in Cities !

    IF people ‘feel the need’ to do so, then perhaps join a gun club (weapons kept on-site only) OR join the Army ??

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 17, 2019

      Indeed. Nobody needs them anywhere, really.

      Reply
    • Shane Le Brun

       /  March 17, 2019

      Ive been critized on Facebook for recommending enthusiasts wanting to handle high power/capacity weapons just enlisting…

      Reply
  3. Reply
    • Ray

       /  March 17, 2019

      Interestingly I received an email from Trademe TopPicks this afternoon, amongst which was a M14, which for the uninitiated is the a semiautomatic rifle used by the US and another semi auto in 45acp which is definitely an assault rifle.
      Just why I got these is a mystery as I have never bought a rifle on Trademe and have zero interest in assault rifles.

      Reply
      • Dave

         /  March 18, 2019

        Probably because everybody started searching them on TradeMe with the sale of them being on the news.

        Reply
  4. David

     /  March 17, 2019

    Seems a bit over the top to change the laws just because of one event, NZ is a pretty safe place aside from Fridays event. Kneejerk legislation tends to be poorly thought through especially when done emotionally.
    I find Arderns :gun laws will change” statement appalling, we have a parliamentary democracy and she is just the PM, parliament is sovereign so she can propose legislation and put it before the house. We are not a bloody dictatorship or monarchy.

    Reply
    • I support changes. Our firearm purchase laws have been too lax.

      If it means me giving up my rile so be it – for the greater good. A statement should be made.

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 17, 2019

        That may be true, I dont own one and probably never will, but changes to legislation should be well thought through and done based on fact not emotion so the changes are effective, this will be a challenge for Ardern and Labour as I dont think we have seen anything other than superficial legislating so far.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  March 17, 2019

          ‘based on fact ‘….what fact are you unsure about?

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 17, 2019

            Base changes on facts not emotions, pretty simple really. If you want legislation to be effective it needs to be thought through.

            Reply
    • Blazer

       /  March 17, 2019

      ‘ just because of one event, ‘…’:gun laws will change” statement appalling, ‘

      very,very poor form David.

      P.M’s are entitled and frequently do make calls.

      Would you like some examples?

      Reply
      • David

         /  March 17, 2019

        She should have said she would have parliament look at gun laws and tighten them/amend them where they needed to. Words are important we are a parliamentary democracy.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  March 17, 2019

          ‘not on my watch’!

          Reply
          • David

             /  March 17, 2019

            No idea what your watch has to do with things

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  March 17, 2019

              this is a the term political leaders use….i.e John Key on raising the age for Super…’not on my watch’…comprenez?

            • David

               /  March 17, 2019

              So that is Key saying he isnt going to change legislation, its a campaign commitment and its a stupid comparison.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 17, 2019

      50 innocent people have just had their rights permanently taken away from them purely because of their religion, how can the loss of the right to own semi automatic rifles come anywhere near equalling their and their families loss.

      Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 17, 2019

      @David,

      So how many one-off events involving multiple fatalities do you propose before gun laws are tightened? How many slaughters do you consider acceptable before we do something about it? Go on. Put a number on your bullshit defence of the existing gun laws that enable massacres.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 17, 2019

        People can’t buy arsenic and cyanide now, although they used to be able to. The majority who used them lawfully to kill rats and wasps had to lose that right to stop murderers using them.

        My right and that of everyone else to stay alive is, I think, greater than the right of someone else to have one of these weapons.

        Reply
      • David

         /  March 17, 2019

        I realize Joe you struggle a bit reading before you go off half cocked but I have no problem at all changing gun laws, destroy them all I dont care I dont own one and probably never will.
        My point is legislation should be considered so its effective and achieve the aims desired not just knee jerk and not getting it right.
        Also Ardern is not a monarch so she needs to put legislation to the house not just say arbitrarily she is going to change the laws in NZ because she says so. If one persons rights are to be removed because of a one off event then lets have this debated in a considered fashion through a select committee.

        Reply
  5. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    This is going to be a shit storm. The 2017 review recommendation, not adopted, was for a new classification that captured the “piece of additional plastic” rifles to sold and purchased to circumvent the MSSA E cat licence.
    The E licience has more stringent vetting and owners have to be members of a gun club.
    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/otago-rifle-club-shock-accused-bought-gun-dunedin

    Reply
    • Wayne

       /  March 17, 2019

      It won’t be a shit storm. The likely changes will be uncontroversial with the vast majority of New Zealanders. I imagine that there will be an almost unanimous majority in parliament to change the law. The major points of reform are well known. Ban semi autos, register of each weapon, strict limits on how many can be owned, and proper reasons to actually own.

      Reply
  6. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    He was a member of a gun club Zeed. There goes that theory.

    Reply
    • Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 17, 2019

        The rifle club says it will carry out a review of its culture in light of the terror attack, but strongly refutes its culture bred a killer.

        Breidahl, a long range shooting instructor who owns a hunting business, told Stuff on Saturday he was “heartbroken” by the terror attack in Christchurch.

        While living in Dunedin, he said he went to the Bruce Rifle Club three times. The first two visits were to check the range out and zero a rifle. The third, in November, 2017, was a military shoot day.

        “The conversations I had and the people I met literally terrified me to my core and I left early.

        “The place just stunk of inadequacy compensated through use and ownership of semi automatic firearms. It was pretty f…ing disturbing.”

        He said he went to the Dunedin Police Station not long after and lodged a formal complaint with the arms officer.

        “I was advised they were well aware of the Bruce Rifle Club – ‘they’re just a bunch of silly old duffers, that’s just what they’re like down there, they’re a bit funny but it’s nothing to worry about’.”

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 17, 2019

          The rest of them probably compensated themselves for having pricks the size of toothpicks by blasting away at targets.

          Look at Corky’s big talk about his ‘big gun’ (if it exists) He’s probably fairly typical of the type of person who owns these guns.

          Reply
  7. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    I don’t believe the the old mantra that “responsible shooters should not be impacted by the occasional irresponsible murderer” is going to have much clout in the future narrative.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 17, 2019

      I totally agree.

      Was it you who had the excellent plan about these weapons ?

      Reply
  8. Duker

     /  March 17, 2019

    “The Christchurch killer obtained a standard ‘A Categhory’ New Zealand firearm license. This is quite an involved task…”
    I have heard that as an Australian he could produce his Australian gun license and for a $25 fee get a NZ one for 12 months , no further questions asked.

    The question has to be asked – Did he decide to come to NZ for his planned massacre as he found out online you can buy legal MSSA here but not Australia ,which can easily be converted to large magazine capacity.

    Reply
  9. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    I bet the author of this one is glad his name wasn’t attached..
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/opinion/98986694/why-our-gun-laws-are-working

    Reply
    • The Consultant

       /  March 17, 2019

      From that article, all of which I can attest to with a recent re-issuing of my firearms licence.

      The process of obtaining a firearms licence involves a search by police of an applicant’s records for criminal activity or criminal mental health issues, an interview with the applicant to determine why they should want a firearm and how and where they intended to use it.

      They also require testimonials from the applicant’s spouse and friends that this person is a fit and proper person to own a firearm.

      The police not only want to know the purpose for which firearm is to be used but also to see the owners’ storage facility to ensure that no one else could have access to the firearm.

      Most of the talk I’ve seen has been about banning semi-autos. Little or nothing about how this POS got through all of these safeguards, though I’ve seen some mention of a loophole via which foreigners with gun licences simply walk through the NZ system.

      Banning semi-autos won’t affect me in the least. But I’m not impressed by “caring” people who will use this as the excuse they always wanted to ban guns, starting with semi-autos. The British solution is what you want and you’ll get there incrementally.

      Oh – and just to repeat a key fact from the BBC report I put in below:

      Police figures show that in the decade to 2017-18, there were 28 homicides involving a firearm where the offender had a current firearms licence, and 126 homicides where the offender had never held a firearms licence.

      Nothing being proposed here will reduce that last figure. But of course that’s not the intention.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  March 17, 2019

        We might spare a thought for the nation’s healing process?

        The less we can play the blame game the better IMHO, although it seems inevitable.

        Where exactly is the most identifiable harm?

        Sometimes the best measure to cure or contain a cancer is to remove an organ or amputate a limb …

        Reply
  10. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    Duker It’s been said he was planning this for sometime and in Australia for those rifles it is unlikely he would have been eligible for a Cat D Australian licence.
    Has been reported he claimed he chose NZ because he consider it a soft target but not if the different gun laws where as Cat A weapon could be easily converted into a MSSA. were a factor.
    I guess this will all come out in Court.

    Item just on 3 news how the 2017 review recommendation was rejected by the pollies.
    Wonder how the ” suits” feel now?

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  March 17, 2019

      A basic NZ license gives him access to MSSA in NZ, only change to (illegal) magazine makes it out of his license category.
      Too easy
      There werent soft targets in NSW ?
      I think the acess to his guns of choice bought him and then he looked for a possible target, which is why he lived in Dunedin

      Reply
  11. Patzcuaro

     /  March 17, 2019

    “Police Minister Paula Bennett consulted with independent firearms experts, and accepted seven recommendations, but rejected 12”

    This is in 2017 it would be interesting to see what the 12 were. Was one of them banning semi automatic rifles?

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  March 17, 2019

      Independent ? They were the Gun lobby

      We saw what happened when the ‘independent experts ‘ (ie Meth cleanup industry) were involved in the taskforce to set up ‘standards’ in that area.

      Reply
  12. Finbaar Rustle

     /  March 17, 2019

    Changing gun laws is grasping at straws. In fact there are no straws.
    The frightening truth is there are no solutions.
    Can we prevent more events like this? The answer is simply no.
    Even if we banned gun ownership to the public 100%
    how can we prevent some one among those authorized
    to bear arms from having an “episode”.
    Arming the police might happen and will if
    nothing else put us in line with most other countries.
    But in itself is unlike to deter such an individual.
    Even if there are no guns at all in NZ there are other ways
    of causing great damage i:e pipe bombs, car bombs,
    driving vehicles into crowds, arson,poisoning, causing mechanical failure in planes or ships.
    So many vulnerable sites e.g. schools, sports arena’s, shopping malls, airports, hospitals.
    Essentially no where in the world is safe.
    One positive is that post the end of colonization 1865 despite
    the rancour expressed by New Zealanders about political/social/racial issues
    this is the first politically/racially based mass murder in this country
    and the primary perpetrator is an Australian.
    A little ray of hope I know but every one needs something to hang on to.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  March 17, 2019

      Your ‘comment’ doesn’t give me any hope Finbaar …

      I guess none of PG’s or anyone else’s best efforts can ever rid this blog or this nation of such ubiquitous, incipient, ‘subtle’, creepy, everyday or institutional racism?

      You think colonization ended in 1865?

      I guess you’ve never heard of the massacre at Handley’s Woolshed 1868 and the invasion of Maungapohatu 1916?

      Or Parihaka 1881? How many people must die for something to become a “massacre”? Is it possible to “massacre” the hopes of a people?

      I look upon what you’ve written as a thinly veiled message from and for The Right Brigade …

      Or worse … considering your list of possible methods and potential targets, possibly even a message from inside or nearby the circle of those involved in Christchurch … ?

      Take comfort in your “little ray of hope” Finbaar … Hold fast to it … especially if it quells something of the monster in you.

      Reply
  13. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    iTEM 6 Patzcuaro.

    1. A firearms licence required to possess ammunition. Reject.
    2. A dealer’s licence required to sell ammunition. Reject.
    3. Dealers required to keep records of ammunition sales. Reject.
    4. Registration process for websites facilitating trading in firearms, parts, or ammunition. Partial rejection – not registration but clarify “mail order” process applies to online sales.
    5. Permit to procure extended to cover all sales or transfers of firearms (i.e. include A-category firearms). Reject.
    6. Investigate the creation of a category of restricted semi-automatic rifle and shotgun. Reject.
    7. Implement firearm prohibition orders. Accept.
    8. Codify the “fit and proper” criteria in the Arms Act. Reject.
    9. Implement a stand-down period after licence revocation. Accept.
    10. Clarify that gang members or prospects must not be considered “fit and proper” to possess firearms. Accept.
    11. Require Police to record serial numbers of all firearms upon renewal of licence or inspection of premises. Reject.
    12. Review the penalties in the Arms Act. Accept.
    13. Treat dealer offending as aggravated at sentencing. Reject.
    14. Determine appropriate security standards for A-category licences. Accept.
    15. Secure storage confirmed before licence or endorsement received. Reject.
    16. Allow Police to enter premises to inspect security of A-category firearms. Reject.
    17. Failure to comply with storage regulations to result in mandatory revocation. Reject.
    18. Clarify and publicise the extent of amnesty provisions in the Arms Act 1983. Accept.
    19. Police publicise amnesty provisions. Reject.
    20. Check that firearms brought in on visitors permit are exported or transferred legally. Accept

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  March 17, 2019

      The fire arms lobby really spanked Bennett over those recommendations
      6. Investigate the creation of a category of restricted semi-automatic rifle and shotgun. Reject.
      8. Codify the “fit and proper” criteria in the Arms Act. Reject.
      13. Treat dealer offending as aggravated at sentencing. Reject.
      16. Allow Police to enter premises to inspect security of A-category firearms. Reject.
      17. Failure to comply with storage regulations to result in mandatory revocation. Reject.

      I bet Bennett will make herself scarce from the media at Parliament this week.

      Reply
      • sarineal

         /  March 17, 2019

        It’s more than Bennett that should make themselves scarce, what little did make into legislation in term of firearms prohibition orders to deal with illegal weapons lapsed as a bill on the election, was resubmitted as a private members bills and then in a fine fit of partisanship was voted down at first reading. Usually they don’t do that, but give an initial vote so that the matters can be debated even if later they wish to modify significantly or support is withdrawn. The police very much supported the bill and it was modeled on successful Australian legislation.

        I know the changes may well need to be more comprehensive and there appears to be loopholes covering those that hold overseas firearms licences but it really is poor and very, very depressing when there is an opportunity to strengthen the law the opportunity is lost.

        Reply
  14. Patzcuaro

     /  March 17, 2019

    3 Definition of military-style semi-automatics

    Problems with the current definition of military-style semi-automatics
    MSSAs are defined as any semi-automatic firearm that has any of the features listed in section 2 of the Arms Act. MSSAs require an “E” endorsement to possess, and are subject to increased security requirements, as set out in the Arms Regulations.
    We are concerned about whether the current classifications are sustainable or enforceable. They make a distinction between MSSAs and other semi-automatic firearms (rifles and shotguns). However, it is difficult for legislation to take into account the interchangeability of parts and the wide variety of firearm grips. In particular, the way MSSAs are currently classified raises three grounds for concern:
     “A” category firearms can be converted to MSSAs
     dealers can manufacture MSSAs
     “A” category parts can be imported and used to make MSSAs.
    To address this, one possible option would be to amend the Arms Act to require all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic shotguns to require an “E” category endorsement. Consequently, there would be a requirement to have an “E” endorsement for the possession of any semi-automatic firearm or shotgun, and to provide special reasons when applying to import these firearms.
    Many submitters were opposed to this option because they feared it would entail significant costs for the firearms community. These costs include additional fees, paperwork, and security arrangements. Submitters also noted that many people have semi-automatic rifles and shotguns for sporting purposes.
    Another option would be to classify as MSSAs all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with detachable magazines, and those with integrated magazines that have a capacity of more than 15 rounds. This option would cover the majority of semi-automatic rifles that have detachable magazines.
    Our preferred option is to redefine an MSSA as a semi-automatic with a magazine holding, or capable of holding, 11 rounds or more. This proposal was put to the Government in 2010 but did not progress. One difficulty with this proposal is that, unless there are controls on the purchase of large magazines, there would be many “A” category firearms in the community, subject to minimum controls, that could readily be converted to MSSAs by fitting a large magazine. Recommendation

    6 We recommend to the Government that the Police investigate the creation of a category of restricted semi-automatic firearm (rifle and shotgun) to replace the MSSA firearm endorsement category.

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 17, 2019

      All semi automatic firearms capable of taking magazines should be banned.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 17, 2019

        AGREED.

        Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  March 17, 2019

        AGREED

        Reply
      • Griff.

         /  March 17, 2019

        I would make an exception for Rimfire rifles. Firearms like the rugger 10/22 do have legitimate use for pest hunting with the 10/22 style being probably the most popular weapon for such use in NZ. While a rimfire rifle is still able to kill it does not have the energy at impact needed for the mass slaughter of humans. In a situation like we just witnessed a rimfire .22 would not have resulted in near as many fatal casualty’s .

        Ban all center fire semi auto weapons.
        Maybe make an exception only for registered employed pest hunters in jobs like goat culling with restrictions on purchase, use, storage and sale with individual weapon registered on the owners license .

        Note.
        Though I have made this suggestion I would rather we banned all semi autos than continue with our present laws unchanged.

        Reply
        • The Consultant

           /  March 17, 2019

          I would rather we banned all semi autos
          Rifles or pistols as well? The Police seem to be well-satisifed with the control over them, so perhaps just bump semi-autos up to the same licence requirements?

          Still, if we did ban semi-auto rifles and not pistols that means we could have a mass-murder in the future along the lines of Seung Hui Cho:

          [Hui Cho was] a South Korean-born spree killer and mass murderer who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others armed with two semi-automatic pistols on April 16, 2007, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute

          Tricky term, “semi-auto”.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  March 17, 2019

            Arent pistols of any kind very restricted weapon in NZ ?
            anyway
            Cho picks up a Walther P-22 pistol he “purchased online” on February 2 from an out-of-state dealer at JND Pawn shop in Blacksburg, across the street from Virginia Tech.
            Cho purchases a 9mm Glock pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition from Roanoke Firearms for $571.
            Can you even buy these pistols in NZ unless police or military in NZ

            Reply
            • Griff.

               /  March 17, 2019

              Yip you can buy anything here if you have the right license as long as it is not full auto.
              From a 9mm Glock 17.
              http://gunsnz.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=57_106
              To a barret 50 bmg.
              http://gunsnz.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_263_268&product_id=1996

              Nether of which have any civilian use .

            • The Consultant

               /  March 17, 2019

              Arent pistols of any kind very restricted weapon in NZ ?
              anyway

              Can you even buy these pistols in NZ unless police or military in NZ

              Yes, but you can buy pretty much any pistol with – as I’ve written elsewhere on this thread – you have a special gun licence, belong to a pistol club and attend regularly. And records are kept and inspected by the Police.

              I’ve even fired a Desert Eagle at one range, the 0.5″ AE one. Utterly useless for anything than a target range given its weight.

              I have to admit that I was surprised to find out about pistol ownership in NZ. It’s a hell of lot more widespread than you would think – including in the cities, but very well monitored compared to the US.

              Still, given this piece of shit’s long-range planning for the attack, someone like him could, in theory, go the extra step of getting this sort of licence, but that’s pure speculation until we know more about how he beat the existing system at a lower level of control.

              But if you want to be absolutely sure of getting rid of semi-autos……

      • Ben Waimata

         /  March 17, 2019

        If a rifle has no magazine then it cannot be semi automatic. It is called a single shot rifle/shotgun.

        I’ve got several semi autos and use them constantly for pest control in farmland, forestry and native bush regeneration. Semi-autos allow for quick humane culling of pest animals. Single shot or low capacity rifles will not achieve pest control of large numbers of feral animals. Restricting these tools will have massive consequences in our rural areas.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  March 17, 2019

          How has it impacted Australian rural areas?

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  March 17, 2019

            But but… Others keep saying bolt action rifle can kill people just as quickly as semi automatic….so no gain from banning them…..refer bolt action rifle used to kill Kennedy a 1940 Italian Carcano

            Reply
            • Ben Waimata

               /  March 17, 2019

              Duker, lots of people died from bolt actions in WW1 and 2!

              Part of the issue with farm culling work is human culling. In a war killing is not ideal, kill a soldier and he’s out of action, hurt him and his 4 mates drag him away, 5 guys gone from the battlefield for the price of one bullet. When it comes to culling feral animals leaving one wounded is the last thing you want, you want to ensure a clean kill.

              Yes all guns kill people and feral animals, and yes semi autos do it more efficiently. Will public sentiment favour pest animals overrunning our native ecology if firearms were banned outright? Or blanket spraying of 1080 etc? No one wants to go that far I hope, but everyone needs to realise banning semi autos will increase the number of wounded feral animals that didn’t get that second fast shot. If we could guarantee banning semi autos would stop murder I’d be all for it. I don’t think human nature works that way though.

            • Griff.

               /  March 17, 2019

              So Ben you are really full of it.
              One minute you are pushing semiautos for culling the next you are talking clean kills.
              The two ideas are mutually exclusive .
              Shoot at a herd of pigs and they will run in all directions.
              Trying to hit another rooter is spray and pray.
              Just another wanna be rambo with a gun fetish.

          • Ben Waimata

             /  March 17, 2019

            My elderly father in law has been having a massive problem with pigs and wallabies during the ongoing NSW drought. With the Aussie firearms laws he’s out there with his bolt action .223 taking out one at a time, but after one shot all the surviving pigs run away, coming back a few hours later. He’s spending massive hours hunting them, and loosing many thousands of dollars to them every week, not to mention not doing other essential farm work. If he had my NZ E cat SKS with a few spare 30rd mags the situation would be altogether different for him. Yes it is having a dramatic impact on rural Australia.

            Didn’t I read deer have come near to plague levels in Tasmania since the ban and anti-firearms sentiment? I think TAS, might have been somewhere else…

            Reply
  15. The Consultant

     /  March 17, 2019

    BBC: NZ Gun Laws

    Police figures show that in the decade to 2017-18, there were 28 homicides involving a firearm where the offender had a current firearms licence, and 126 homicides where the offender had never held a firearms licence.

    And what law change is suggested to deal with this fact?

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  March 17, 2019

      Interesting stat Con but no surprise. And how long before we have our first murder at the hands of a nutter who downloaded a blueprint and ran the gun through a 3D printer? Will be a while before we see a semi auto produced in this way but the tech is improving all the time.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 17, 2019

        From what I gather, the maker has to know what they’re about or there will be an explosion that kills or maims them.

        Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  March 17, 2019

        Con & Con … The two Connies!

        Hey … These are great reasons for doing nothing about it … Well done!

        Reply
        • The Consultant

           /  March 17, 2019

          No counter-argument I see. No matter. With grief you won’t need one. I think you’ll get the control over others that you want, with this issue at least.

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  March 17, 2019

            see phantom snowflake below …

            Also: “And what law change is suggested to deal with this fact?”

            License and locate every single firearm …

            Control over lethal weapons is a good thing Con … We maintain control of motor vehicles … although some would say not enough of it …

            Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  March 17, 2019

          Sure pz let’s do something, anything’s gotta help, right? Knee, meet jerk

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  March 17, 2019

            The Right-Wing reactionaries here are clearly you two …

            Anything to do with restricting MSSAs has clearly and evidently “gotta help” … YES!

            Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  March 17, 2019

      I don’t believe that “homicides involving a firearm” are what’s at issue currently; a bit of a Straw Man there buddy. The issue is massacres or mass shootings, and any action which reduces the supply of ‘Military Style Semi-Automatics’ (which are designed to produce mass casualties!) is going to make it harder to kill large numbers. Nevertheless, we mustn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by a law change, which is at best only a partial solution.

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  March 17, 2019

        Military Style Semi-Automatics’

        .
        As can be seen above “MSSA” definitions are the problem: “Military style” actually means little more than lots of cosmetic crap, but there is no basic difference between a .223 (5.56mm NATO std round) semi-automatic hunting rifle with a wooden stock and a mag, and one with all sorts of bullshit doodads to make it look like a military weapon. Both could be said to be “designed to produce mass casualties!”, should you want to use that argument – rather than mass casualties of bunnies or possums.

        If you’re talking about extended magazines to make them more “military style”, then the same applies again and both “types” of semi-auto can hold them, although some minor modifications might be needed with some models of rifle for magazines above fifteen rounds.

        I’ve also seen Pete George use the term A selective-fire assault rifle…. That’s quite a specific term, one that is used for a military rifle that can switch from single-shot, semi-auto, burst-fire (3 rounds) to full-auto. I’m not aware of any but Police, military, and a handful of licenced gun owners in NZ who can get them – and the latter have to jump through even more hoops than usual.

        Same with the stupid term “assault weapon”, the difficulty of defining which led to the failure of the infamous “Assault Weapons bill” of 1994.

        And as I pointed out above, “semi-auto” also includes pistols, which can and have wreaked as much havoc in confined spaces as the much scarier-looking “Military Style Assault Weapon”.

        But perhaps we should just ban the scariest looking weapons. Like the Senators of 1994 in the US you’ll think you’ve done the job – while ordinary semi-auto hunting rifles that have been used for a hundred years, will continue to be used, and you’d never know.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  March 17, 2019

          I think we have moved on from what a gun looks like to identify the magazine as the problem , and those guns that are able to go from a couple of shots to much larger numbers.
          The US experience isnt NZ . They have a plethora of court decisions restricting what legislators can do. Doesnt happen here. we can define whatever weapon type we want and add to that every year if necessary to cover those ‘whatabouts’

          Reply
  16. The Consultant

     /  March 17, 2019

    Politicians never worry much about the rights of the law-abiding during the grief after a terror attack. Usually not much after the grief subsides either. WItness G W Bush, The Patriot Act and the TSA after 9/11.

    Taking a look at the NZ Police Homicide Report 2017, I note the following for the years 2007 to 2016:
    – There are an estimated 1.2 million guns in circulation for a population of 5 million. That’s quite high even compared to nations like Switzerland, Israel and the USA.

    – Nevertheless there were 65 murders by firearm in that period.

    – That’s just below seven per year on average for the entirety of New Zealand.

    – One in 10 homicides was caused by a gun. That’s lower – a lot lower – than the rate caused by stabbing/cutting weapons.

    Looks like our population of gun-owners, semi-autos and all, are a pretty peaceful, harmless, law-abiding bunch.

    But the perfect is desired.

    I don’t own any semi-autos because I think they’re a waste of ammo and a bane on accurate shooting. But it’s quite clear from that Police report that guns in general, including the “fearsome”, “military-style” semi-autos, are not the main issue even when it comes to murder.

    That won’t matter because of several factors:
    – the declining proportion of the population, mainly provincial, who use guns. Outvoted and already condemned as reactionary pricks on a range of issues anyway.

    – the steady rise of an urban population who never encounter or use guns and have a horrifed “Ewwwww – you use guns” reaction, encouraged by media figures, politicians and activists.

    – the associated demonisation of anybody owning a gun (“Potential mass shooter”)

    – The overwhelming desire of New Zealanders to control eachother, outside of drugs an sex, where they have improved a bit.

    – The overwhelming NZ attitude that other NZ’s can’t be trusted and “Gummit should so something”

    – A semi-British culture that will lead us down the same path. Two decades from now we’ll be arguing over rising levels of knife crime and restricting their sale and carry, as Britain is now.

    – Self-defence using a firearm is already outlawed in NZ for all practical purposes. During the police interview for a gun licence the question is always asked about doing that: a “Yes” is an automatic disqualifier.

    – Self-defence is also effectively impractical given the storage requirements of firearms. Unless you’re willing to break the law by having a loaded weapon ready to hand, which most gun owners are not willing to risk.

    I’d like to think that a compromise will be that buying a semi-auto will require the same licence level required right now to buy a pistol. But given the hysteria of “Don’t you care”, I’ve no doubt that semi-autos will simply be banned.

    And yet our rate of mass shootings, over time and given our population, will be affected no more than it has been since Aramoana. Statistically it will happen again in the next twenty or thirty years, at which stage the control freaks will go for the full Chavez/Maduro solution – which will be fully supported by the Police.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 17, 2019

      The chances of killing 50 people and wounding all the others (and had it not been for one man’s unimaginable courage, it could have been so much worse) with an ordinary rifle are minimal.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  March 17, 2019

      Gun deaths dont just cover ‘murder’, have you intentionally left out the more general case of homicide which covers manslaughter.
      Murder – suicides are overwhelming by gun.
      Then there is suicide/self inflicted by gunshot ( as suicide is strictly defined as evidence of intent to kill yourself.)

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  March 17, 2019

        “intentionally”? I interchanged the terms, but the NZ Police report specifically talks about “homicides”, even down to the title. You can read it yourself if you’re interested in further detail and think I’m spinning it.

        Reply
    • Ant Corke

       /  March 19, 2019

      Regarding self defence, I answered ‘yes’ when asked the question, but qualified it by stating the law regarding using any force deemed nessesary under the circumstances to defend myself or others. We all have the right of self defence as long as it is justified, and the police accept that because it is New Zealad law.

      Reply
  17. NOEL

     /  March 17, 2019

    Looks like the gun lobby have made it clear where their sympathies are.
    https://kiwigunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/bnd.jpg?w=400&h=200&crop=1

    Reply
  18. Zedd

     /  March 17, 2019

    I just went to the Octagon for St. Pats (a few guiness)
    I saw a couple of cops; armed with Glocks, on the hip :/

    Reply
  19. Andrew

     /  March 17, 2019

    You do know there are no MSSA’s on that ad? There is one (L2A2) fully auto only available to collectors, no A or E endorsed license holders can own that. The Lithgow L1A1 is about the closest and it’s certainly not a MSSA. Though it does have a pistol grip so may qualify.

    The most intimidating rifle there, the 308 Savage 10 Bat/S-K is a bolt action!

    Reply

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