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Collectors reveal "deeply sad" loss of New Zealand history

Two Otorohanga collectors, Kath Arnold and Andrew Barker, have told the story of the loss of New Zealand and world history in firearm collections destroyed under the ban that came into force today.

The ban announced in April 2019 is widely thought by New Zealanders to affect only semi-automatic modern military-style weapons similar to those used in the March attacks on Christchurch mosques.

In a poignant video, these collectors show how rare antiques were cruelly included in the new firearm ban and destroyed.

Owners could seek special permission to hold the firearms, but most applications were refused, and even long-time collectors have decided that the weight of new paperwork and invasive supervision by the Police was too much to bear.

Heartlessly, the Police have refused to organise safe keeping of the historic firearms. That means firearms used by New Zealanders in past wars have now been destroyed forever.

Kath Arnold praised the empathy of front-line police who received her historic pieces at a hand-in event, but rues the loss to New Zealand: “You can’t get that history back now, it’s all bent up.”

Andrew Barker has managed to hold on to banned firearms like his prized 303 sniper rifle from Gallipoli, but worries what will happen without private collections in the future.

“Historically, it’s a huge loss to the country. A lot of people just don’t know how far reaching it [the ban] is. I can’t see how it’s going to make New Zealand a safer place.”


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