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

 

Urgent changes to gun laws – Expert Reaction


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced urgent gun legislation following last week’s mosque shootings.

The ban covers all military style semi-automatics and assault rifles, with exemptions for .22 calibre rifles and duck hunting shotguns.

An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme.

In the meantime, the weapons have been re-categorised as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms licence, preventing their sale to people with A category licences.

Legislation to give effect to the ban will be introduced under urgency when Parliament sits in the first week of April.

The SMC gathered expert comment on the announcement.

Dr Samara McPhedran, Director, Homicide Research Unit, Griffith University, Australia, comments:

Bans on MSSAs

“The measures PM Ardern has announced today are very, very different to the approach that Australia took after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. It appears that the New Zealand Government will restrict military style semi-automatic (MSSAs) and certain types of semi-automatics that can be readily modified into MSSAs with the use of detachable, large capacity magazines.

“In contrast, Australia essentially banned all semi-automatic firearms, both sporting configuration and military configuration. Australia also banned pump-action shotguns.

“New Zealand’s changes do not go anywhere near that far.”

What do we know about gun bans and mass shootings?

“Mass shootings are extremely rare events, even more so in New Zealand than Australia. From a research perspective, this makes them difficult to study. Because they are so uncommon in countries outside the US, this means we are not really able to draw conclusions about any relationships between legislative change and mass shootings.

“Regarding mass shootings, Australia has had 15 such incidents over the past 50 years. Our two most recent mass shootings occurred in 2014 and 2018. Most of our mass shootings (11 out of 15) involved domestic/family situations. Most – including Australia’s four public mass shootings – occurred between 1987 and 1996.

“Public mass shootings did not occur in Australia before 1987 or after 1996. It is easy to say that the 1996 laws explain the absence of public shootings post-1996. However, we have no explanation for why there were none of those incidents prior to 1987, even though the laws we had throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s were extremely lax by today’s standards. Semi-automatic firearms were widely available.”

Did Australia’s laws affect homicides more generally?

“Various studies have looked for general impacts of Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms, using a range of different statistical analysis methods. None have found evidence of a significant impact of the legislative changes on overall firearm homicide rates.

“Ultimately, firearm violence is a complex issue that merits complex discussion. It requires calm, objective, and honest dialogue about what works to reduce different forms of gun violence across different social and cultural contexts. Changing the law may sometimes be effective, and sometimes not – it depends on what type of law we are talking about, how it is implemented and enforced, and what form of violence we are trying to prevent.”

No conflict of interest declared.

Professor Alexander Gillespie, Professor of International Law, University of Waikato, comments:

“This announcement will start to address some of the loopholes in the law. It sounds like it’s a very strong step forward.

“This is an A Category and an E category ban, which includes centrefire semi-automatics. The centrefire semi-automatic was the one that did the damage in Christchurch.

“It will be good to see what additional steps are being considered with regards to other measures, such as registration of all remaining firearms.

“I think the vast majority of firearms owners will want to be fully compliant with the law, but there will be a small, tiny percentage of people who will hope to avoid the law.

“To encourage compliance, the compensation scheme needs to be fair and market-based. Lawful firearms owners have done nothing wrong and their compensation should be fair. It’s going to be very expensive.

“There’s a question on whether the Government will be trying to soak up some other firearms that are not covered by the ban, like old rifles. Best practice overseas would be to provide compensation for those firearms too. The Government should take the chance to soak up those things that are out there in the community. If you put on a financial incentive they will come back.

“You’ve got to be seeing this not just in terms of the reaction within New Zealand but the international reaction. A lot of countries are watching New Zealand right now, especially those, like the US, that are concerned with their own firearms issues. The stronger the action, the more serious Jacinda Ardern shows the Government is taking it, and she has shown she is taking it very seriously. This kind of response you only see once in a generation, if you’re lucky.”

No conflict of interest.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% and the Act Party is on 6.3%. Conditions continue to look terminal for New Zealand First. Despite being a stubborn brake on government tax policy and winning a few policy gains of its own, NZF is registering only a 1.9% level of support... More>>

 

Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>

ALSO:


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>

ALSO:

Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels