Significant but not drastic firearm law changes

The Government have announced a significant ban on ‘military style’ semi-automatic firearms and magazines, effective immediately, but have given practical semi-automatics such as .22 and shotguns a reprieve. More stringent licensing requirements and measures will be introduced later, and a buyback scheme is yet to be announced.

I think this is as far as the Government could reasonably go in a very short timeframe, and most legitimate firearm users should be happy with this. It looks good banning ‘military weapons’ but doesn’t go as far as some people wanted.

Order in Council:  Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms) Order 2019

Federated Farmers approve:

There has been a strong positive reaction from the US.


New Zealand bans military style semi-automatics and assault rifles

  • Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles banned under stronger gun laws
  • Immediate action to prevent stock-piling

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch. Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.

“Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme. Further details will be announced on the buyback in due course.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.

“When Australia undertook similar reforms, their approach was to allow for exemptions for farmers upon application, including for pest control and animal welfare. We have taken similar action to identify the weapons legitimately required in those areas, and preclude them.

“Legislation to give effect to the ban will be introduced when Parliament sits in the first week of April. We will provide a short, sharp Select Committee process for feedback on the technical aspects of the changes. We are looking to progress the amendments to this legislation under urgency and expect these amendments to the Arms Act to be passed within the next session of Parliament,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The Bill will include narrow exemptions for legitimate business use, which would include professional pest control. Police and the Defence Force will also have exemptions. Issues like access for mainstream international sporting competitions are also being worked through,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

“We have also acknowledged that some guns serve legitimate purposes in our farming communities, and have therefore set out exemptions for 0.22 calibre rifles and shotguns commonly used for duck hunting. These will have limitations around their capacity.

“While the legislation is being drafted, I am announcing the Government will take immediate action today to restrict the potential stock-piling of these guns and encourage people to continue to surrender their firearms.

Earlier this afternoon, an Order in Council under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act was signed by the Governor-General to reclassify a wider range of semi-automatic weapons under the Act. It came into effect at 3pm today.

“This interim measure will ensure that all of the weapons being banned under amendments to the Arms Act are now categorised as weapons requiring an E endorsement on a firearms licence.

“The effect of this is that it will prevent the sale of MSSAs and assault rifles to people with A category gun licences. The Order in Council is a transitional measure until the wider ban takes effect.

“We are introducing transitionary measures for gun owners to hand in their guns to Police to hold until details of a buy-back are announced. Likewise, the Police continue to accept guns for destruction.

“Again, we encourage gun owners to phone in to Police ahead of time to advise them they are bringing their guns in to the station,” Stuart Nash said.

“The actions announced today are the first step of the Government’s response. We will continue to develop stronger and more effective licensing rules, storage requirements and penalties for not complying with gun regulations. It is the Government’s intention that these amendments will go through the full legislative process,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you, and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.”

 

 

37 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 21, 2019

    Good politics. Ahead of the security review of the attack we won’t know if this would have stopped or deterred it but that doesn’t matter because it is a vote-winner.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 21, 2019

      It would at least have made it difficult to get the weapons without attracting attention.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 21, 2019

      We will never know if it would have stopped the attack but banning the ownership of high powered automatic weapons would have reduced the number of casualties.
      A semi automatic .22 would have caused many less fatalities. Semi automatic shotguns usually have no more than 5-7 shot capacities and are time consuming to reload.

      My gut feeling this would never have happened if we had this legislation in place before, we were a soft target and 50 people paid very dearly for that. Politicians of all shades who have been in parliament over the last 25 years should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Duker

         /  March 21, 2019

        Yes it would. He would have stayed in Australia when he found out he couldn’t arm himself to the teeth mostly legally here. Black and White.
        He had no friends here, he lived in a fantasy world online

      • Chuck Bird

         /  March 22, 2019

        Patzcuaro, how many fewer people would have been killed if the terrorist had pump action shotguns and hunting rifles instead of AR15s. I think it would not have made a lot of difference.

        • yeah he would have been overpowered while trying to reload, unless he had like 6+ weapons slung on his back to drop as soon as empty instead of reloading.

    • Corky

       /  March 21, 2019

      National could be looking at 10 years in the wilderness, either way.

      I wonder if nutters will find it harder to get weapons on the black market? We will probably never know..it’s not the type of thing buyers and seller advertise. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 21, 2019

        Yes, this event is a gold-mine for Labour. But it is a reminder that politics is driven by unpredictable events. They can give or take away.

        • Kimbo

           /  March 21, 2019

          As per Harold Macmillan’s answer to the question about the principle driving force of politics: “events, my dear fellow, events”.

          And what goes around comes around. Key excelled and was the leader we needed after the Christchurch earthquakes, and, for the moment Ardern’s outstanding (albeit limited) range of skills have been what we have needed in this crisis. For the future? Events my dear fellow, events…

  2. Corky

     /  March 21, 2019

    A police officer allegedly told Barry Soper when gun law changed in the 90’s, 150, 000 guns disappeared from circulation.(?)

    $100 million for the buy back. Will these guns be sold overseas..or will they be used as a photo opportunity at the dump?

    As I predicted, alleged irregularities have surfaced regarding how Tarrant obtained his gun license. I would hate to be the person who signed off on that paper work.

    If National was in government – what would they have done? Does it really matter? Jacinda is now known in Fiji as ‘daughter.’

    There was an interesting IQ test in all of this…gun owners who acted hours after the incident v panic buyers who have just wasted thousands of dollars.

    Meanwhile Jordan Peterson books have been removed from the shelf.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 21, 2019

      We all saw the news, thank you.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 21, 2019

        And it’s not Fiji; she has been referred to as the daughter of Niue, a different country altogether.

        • Gezza

           /  March 21, 2019

          TV1 news said in Fiji they call her a daughter.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  March 22, 2019

            Google said Niue.

            • Troy

               /  March 22, 2019

              Don’t believe everything you read on Google, Kitty.

              [You sound familiar. If you have commented here before then you know you are required to advise of a change of name. PG]

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 22, 2019

              I don’t; especially the first item.

              I never cease to wonder at the stupid questions some people ask on Google ! They even have to ask for a name for their cat or dog.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 21, 2019

      Maybe there were irregularities on his obtaining a firearms license, but he only obtained it because he knew, once he had it he would be able to obtain semi automatic weapons which he could later add high capacity magazines to. That is the nub of the problem. You don’t need that sort of weapon for hunting, pest control or on farm use. I query the moral character of anyone who owns a military style semi automatic. If you want to use one join the army.

      I’m not sure what you IQ test is about, it is pointless buying semi automatics post the shooting. I query the morals of the stores continuing to sell them. Why did Hunting & Fishing stock them in the first place?

      • Corky

         /  March 21, 2019

        Have another squizz.

        ”There was an interesting IQ test in all of this…gun owners who acted hours after the incident v panic buyers who have just wasted thousands of dollars.”

        Oh, I see. Yes, not well written. It may come out in the wash at a later date.

    • Gezza

       /  March 21, 2019

      Only Whitcoulls so far, I think. He posed with a man wearing a “I’m a proud islamophobe” T-shirt during his speaking tour. This has been drawn to their attention.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2019/03/jordan-peterson-s-12-rules-for-life-removed-from-whitcoulls-following-christchurch-terror-attack.html

      • MaureenW

         /  March 21, 2019

        Poor taste on the other guy’s behalf, but taking Peterson’s book off the shelf because of someone else’s t-shirt seems a bit knee jerk.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  March 21, 2019

        What does the OMG in the background stand for? Oh My God?

        Does Whitchoulls still exist?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 22, 2019

        Here’s the t-shirt – note at the bottom it reads “Hate Islam but not the individual”:

        PNG file so not sure it will show…

        • Corky

           /  March 22, 2019

          It’s kind of hard to separate the two, High Flyer. It’s a little like that liberal lament:

          I love you..but I hate what you are doing.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  March 22, 2019

            I disagree. The concept is not unusual:
            “Hate the game, not the player!”
            Or in Christianity – “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
            It may be difficult to live by, but it is an important concept to aspire to.

            And just for clarity, I do not endorse the shirt sentiments in any way. I posted for context.

            • Corky

               /  March 22, 2019

              Yes, but the individual player defines the game. No players..no game.
              If we are to hate the game and not the player then we must impute the game has life and is able to make decisions like a sentient being.

              I make no judgement on your views regarding the shirts sentiments. Thankyou for clarifying though.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 22, 2019

          Many of the shirt’s sentiments apply to all peoples and some are just nonsensical generalisations.

          They grossly insult Muslim women, for one thing.

        • Blazer

           /  March 23, 2019

          good point…don’t forget to read the…small point!..on a T-shirt.🤢

  3. duperez

     /  March 21, 2019

    I see there’s cross party support with only Act not aboard. Fair enough too that David Seymour goes by the wishes of his constituents. Assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic guns are very necessary in Epsom.

    • Duker

       /  March 21, 2019

      He didn’t like migrants either – a special category who don’t share our values ,respect women, LGBT….that is Muslims .

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 21, 2019

        Neither did Labour. Campaigned on reducing immigration and seasonal workers.

        • artcroft

           /  March 21, 2019

          And then they teamed up with Winston “beware of the yellow peril” Peters.

        • Fight4NZ

           /  March 23, 2019

          On economic grounds, not discrimination. Same as why D Seymour supports it – drives capital gains up and wages down for his constituents. There’s votes in it, as you’re so fond of saying, only this time it’s actually relevant.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 22, 2019

        Not sure what you’re getting at Duker? Do you like immigrants who don’t respect women or the LGBT community?

        ACT is very pro-immigration. You need to look to the current Government for the anti-immigration rhetoric that only the Greens have resiled and apologised for.

        “ACT HAS
        Advocated for robust immigration policy by arguing that immigrants should go where they want to go, not where a points system tells them to.

        Supported the increase in the refugee quota and welcomed individuals who share the same tolerance and fairness that makes New Zealand unique.

        Stood up to racism and persecution of immigrants by political opportunists.”

        https://www.act.org.nz/immigration

  4. Gerrit

     /  March 21, 2019

    You have to be pretty naive to think this will take semi and automatic weapons out of the hands of terrorist or criminals. Sure they wont be able to buy them “across the counter” but they will be smuggled in. Whilst the procure of weapons stolen from a licensed gun owner will be closed, the importation of more weapons and ammunition will simply go on unabated.

    “Weapons found with criminals have either been imported illegally or stolen from a registered gun owner”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/77793063/gun-seizure-points-to-usgang-style-firepower

    Officials cant stop drugs being imported and will be just as powerless to stop weapon and ammunition being imported illegally.

    Sure the “lone wolf” will now find it difficult to procure weaponry but a cell of terrorist or criminals will have no problems.

    As there is no registry of where each individual weapon currently in New Zealand are, expect many to be coated inside and out with lanocote before wrapping in greased cloth, hidden and ready for sale on the black market.

    • There will always be a black market for such weapons, but they will become scarce/expensive with time, and due to that scarcity unlikely to be flaunted in the criminal underworld as much in order to reduce the risk of property loss, to police or otherwise.