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Gun Control NZ Expresses Grave Concerns About Coalition Government Commitments On Firearms

David Seymour’s admission on Sunday’s episode of Q&A that ACT wants to bring back semi-automatic guns demonstrates the party cannot be trusted with firearms policy, say Gun Control NZ co-founders Philippa Yasbek and Nik Green.

The ACT Party leader said on Sunday that under their proposals it would take around 5 years for someone who has never owned a gun to get a licence and “graduate” to accessing an AR-15.

“This is the type of weapon that was used by the Christchurch terrorist and which Parliament overwhelmingly banned in 2019. There is no public support to bring back these guns, and so ACT have had lie to the public about their intentions,” says Nik Green.

“The ACT Party’s ‘consultation’ document on firearms policy, released in the run-up to the election, made no such proposal, nor did the ACT MP’s Member’s Bill from the last Parliament. This puts paid to all their empty words about ‘public safety’ and ‘fair’ laws”, says Philippa Yasbek.

“This is what happens when you put the gun lobby in charge of firearms policy. ACT MP Nicole McKee was a leader of COLFO, an organisation that used to brag about its connections with the American National Rifle Association. In 2017, McKee personally advised the then-police Minister to ignore the bipartisan Select Committee recommendations to change the definition of military style semi-automatic weapons. If implemented, those changes would have prevented the Christchurch massacre. McKee bears some moral culpability for enabling the Christchurch attacks,” says Philippa Yasbek.

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“We call on the other coalition partners National and New Zealand First to demonstrate that they are serious about public safety and law and order, and reject the extremist ACT gun proposals”, says Nik Green.

Background information supporting this press release

“The ACT Party's ‘consultation’ document…” McKee, N “Press Release: ACT Launches Consultation on Fair Firearms Law” 26 August 2023. https://www.act.org.nz/act_launches_consultation_on_fair_firearms_laws

the ACT MP’s Member's Bill…” Arms (Repeal for Practical Use) Amendment Bill https://www.parliament.nz/media/8618/arms-repeal-for-practical-use-amendment-bill.pdf

“...connections with the American National Rifle Association…” COLFO news Issue 2 2016 https://web.archive.org/web/20201001204640/https:/www.colfo.org.nz/news/9-colfo/latest-news/135-colfo-news-issue-2-2016.html

“Nicole McKee personally advised…” see Cheng, D “Past gun law reform attempts by Labour and National have failed” NZ Herald 22 March 2019 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/past-gun-law-reform-attempts-by-labour-and-national-have-failed/AG3AJ6YEROEXAM5A77HRZYMXRQ/ and Bennett, P “Independent advisors for firearms report” 2 May 2017 https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/independent-advisors-firearms-report and paragraph 47 of Ko tō tātou kāinga tēnei Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019 https://christchurchattack.royalcommission.nz/the-report/executive-summary-2/executive-summary/

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