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Arms Amendment Bill - Proactive release of papers

Arms Amendment Bill - Proactive release of papers

Please note that five papers related to the Arms Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament yesterday have now been proactively released.

They can be found on the Police website, here:

https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/arms-prohibited-firearms-parts-and-magazines-amendment-bill

Some information has been redacted from the papers pursuant to provisions of the OIA.

Background:

The papers seek approval to introduce a Bill to significantly restrict access to semi-automatic firearms, parts and magazines to improve public safety.

The provisions cover prohibited firearms, parts and magazines; who will be exempted and how they will be controlled; and the offences applicable to prohibited items.

The papers set out to ban a number of items, with a small number of specific exemptions for wild animal control activities and for dealers, collectors, museums and theatrical armourers.

A key proposal is to establish an amnesty regime to enable a reasonable period of time for newly prohibited items to be handed in to Police or licensed dealers. The existing amnesty for licensed dealers to receive certain firearms will be extended to prohibited firearms.

The Bill also affirms that in all other cases where firearms are handed in, Police have the discretion not to prosecute where the offence is considered to be one of possession only and there is no public interest in doing so.

Decisions around the buyback scheme remain under consideration and further papers on this subject can be expected in due course.

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