Select Committee Changes Water Down Gun Law Reforms
Changes recommended by the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee to the government’s gun law reforms risk watering down the new law’s effectiveness, says Gun Control NZ.
The recommended changes include leaving the 10 year firearms licence period in place for existing licence holders and only introducing minor restrictions on firearms advertising.
“We are very disappointed that the Select Committee has undermined the government’s commitment to 5 year firearms licences for everyone” says Philippa Yasbek, Gun Control NZ co-founder. This new proposal would give new applicants a 5 year firearms licence. Anyone renewing their licence could renew it for 10 years.
“The government’s own data shows that young gun owners are much more likely to engage in criminal activity than the average person. For those who get a firearms licence as a teenager, 31% have been convicted of an offence by the time they are 20. By the time they’re 30, 45% of them have a conviction.This is almost double the conviction rate of the rest of the population. At the very least, new licence holders should be vetted every 5 years until they’ve held a licence for 15 years” says Philippa Yasbek.
“Gun advertising should be regulated like alcohol. You can’t advertise alcohol in a way that promotes irresponsible behaviour. We need to similarly prevent the glamourisation of firearms. The select committee has copped out here by only requiring the inclusion of safety messages or legal requirements in advertising.” says Gun Control NZ co-founder Nik Green.
“They have also missed the opportunity to enable local governments to control where firearms are advertised through the use of billboards and signage.” says Nik Green. “Communities like Christchurch - which have suffered so much from gun violence - deserve that right.”