Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ: Citizens have no good use for machine guns

Of all the issues the nation needs to address in the aftermath of the atrocity on Friday, the prohibition of military-style guns in civilian ownership is surely the low-hanging fruit.

Rapid-fire weapons such as the one that slaughtered worshippers in Christchurch mosques should not be in the hands of any private citizen.

After what has happened, it will be surprising if gun enthusiasts offer any argument. If only we had heeded warnings so often issued over the years.

Just a year ago, the Police Association's president, Chris Cahill, asked why New Zealand's 7000 registered owners needed nearly 14,000 military-style semi-automatic weapons between them.

Among other "restricted" firearms known to the police were 40,600 pistols and 4600 sub-machine guns and machine guns.

Cahill also gave some disturbing Customs figures showing 50,000-55,000 firearms are legally imported to New Zealand each year. That is half a million guns over 10 years.

He called yet again for the registration of firearms in this country, not just the licensing of owners.

As he said, "I can obtain a firearms licence and buy 100, 200, or whatever number of firearms I desire and there is no record of the size of my cache, just a record of my licence to own."

If evidence was needed of how easily guns can pass out of licensed ownership, it was provided in June last year when the Whangārei District Court heard that a Northland woman and her daughter were shot by an unlicensed gunman who had bought 10 firearms on Trade Me using the name and licence of a Whangārei acquaintance.

The latter admitted supplying firearms to him and also admitted unlawful possession of a military style semi-automatic.

The man accused of the mosque murders, Brenton Tarrant, was licensed to own firearms. He practised shooting his rifle at a gun club near Dunedin where he lived.

Sensible as the licensing of guns as well as owners would be, it would not prevent someone obtaining all the necessary licences and committing mass murder.

Gun control will never be the complete answer to atrocities but it would help.

A register of firearms owned by each licensed person would enable police to keep some track of them and to keep a closer eye on owners who are amassing quite a number of them.

Too often mass murderers are found to have collected a sizeable arsenal in their home.

Innocent collectors and gun enthusiasts have no reason to oppose a register of weapons but they might still protest if sub-machine guns and the like are to be prohibited in private ownership.

It is hard for the non-enthusiast to understand why they would want them.

But after this latest demonstration of their deadly potential they should be banned. No half-measures this time.

Get them out of private hands.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels