Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


MPs debate new gun laws: 'NZers want this change'

Legislation to ban a range of semi-automatic firearms and implement a buy-back scheme got the backing of all the major political parties during its first reading at parliament today.

The Arms Amendment Bill, requiring owners of semi-automatic weapons and military style semi-automatics to hand them in to authorities by the end of September, was debated by MPs in parliament this afternoon.

The buy-back scheme is expected to cost between $100 to $200 million, although Acting Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said this morning it could be up to $300m.

The debate began after ACT Party leader David Seymour failed to block MPs from passing the new legislation quicker than usual because he was late to the House after talking to media about his plans.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said gun-ownership was a privilege not a right.

"The most critical weakness in our firearms law is that too many people have legal access to too many semi-automatic firearms capable of causing significant harm.

"The current arms act has a legal definition for military style semi-automatics ... that is easily circumvented and is difficult in practice to apply."

He said the government was not targeting all gun owners.

"It is important to reiterate the legislation is not directed at law-abiding firearms owners who have legitimate uses for their guns.

"Our actions, instead, are directed at making sure March 15th never happens again."

National Party police spokesman Chris Bishop Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

National Party police spokesman Chris Bishop said the public wanted action on gun laws, and parliament had heard them.

"Parliament has heard those messages. We will act.

"This Bill strikes an appropriate balance ... between protecting legitimate, law-abiding, licenced firearm owners, our hunters, our shooters and our farming community while also making sure the public don't have access to things like military style semi-automatics weapons and assault rifles."

However, National's Amy Adams wanted more clarity on how the buy-back scheme would work.

"What I'm interested in is how the buy-back scheme would work so that the gun-owners that we are about to deprive of their lawfully held possessions ... how they are going to be compensated, when, under what schedule [and] what they can expect.

"I don't like, as a matter of practice, passing legislation and saying, 'don't worry, we'll compensate you but we'll tell you what the conversation looks like later'.

"I think the public of New Zealand deserve to know a little bit more about how that will work."

Judith Collins Photo: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King

National MP Judith Collins said she wanted to see a firearm prohibition order enable police to go into gang houses to seize illegal firearms.

"One of the opportunities for this new legislation is to think about, in the second tranche [of gun law changes], bringing in that firearm prohibition order.

"Best way forward is to give police the powers, give them the fire power to do it and get on and take them because I'm sick and tired of hearing people emoting about how they're feeling sorry, but they're not giving up their firearms."

Golriz Ghahraman Photo: RNZ Lynda Chanwai-Earle

Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman said previous gun laws failed the Muslim community, and fixing the gun laws was an urgent and necessary step.

"This is the beginning of the change needed to making New Zealand a place where we all feel safe and truly at home.

"New Zealanders want this change, they want it now, and with that strong mandate we are making the change today."

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>