New Zealand tightens gun laws post terror attack

22 Juillet, 2019, 16:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ardern said the March 15 killings had changed attitudes towards gun ownership in New Zealand

The new law would ban the sale of guns to overseas visitors, create a register to track all guns in the country, and require gun owners to renew their gun licenses every five years instead of every 10.

New Zealand's government said on Monday that it wanted to implement sweeping gun law reform, in the second measure to tighten firearm rules following a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in March.

But concerns have been raised by Federated Farmers and the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (Colfo), who say that a national register is impractical, costly, and unlikely to make New Zealand any safer.

The new law would also allow police to investigate others and potentially ban them for reasons such as if they were promoting violence or extremism, had serious mental health issues, or had attempted suicide.

"Not having any idea of how many guns are in circulation in New Zealand, who has them, and whether they are securely stored, adds a real pressure to the work of our members", he said.

"The new proposals, which include plugging many of the numerous other gaps in our gun regulations, and the buyback, bring us closer to comprehensive reform, including tough licensing conditions, firearms registration and strong penalties for misuse".

Police Minister Stuart Nash said "owning a gun is a privilege, not a right".

Today, Jacinda Ardern and Police Minister Stuart Nash announced the second tranche of changes to New Zealand's gun law.

The definition of "dealer" will also be broadened to anyone who "buys, sells, manufactures, repairs, invests in or otherwise carries out commercial transactions involving firearms".

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"They are vital to a full response to the bad events of March 15" says Nik Green.

"Our gun laws date from 1983 and are dangerously out date".

The reform would also enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege, she said.

"The changes announced today have been decades in the making".

"The government has paid close attention to numerous recommendations successive administrations have rejected over the last two decades - from the Thorp report way back in 1997 to the more recent 2016 select committee which had its recommendations gutted", Mr Cahill said. "It is now up to this Parliament to deliver in the interests of public and personal safety".

But Colfo spokeswoman Nicole McKee said criminals would ignore the register and continue to use guns for illegal ventures, a position supported by Act leader David Seymour, the only MP to vote against the previous round of gun law reforms.

The age at which a person can own a gun - 16 - would be kept the same, Ms Ardern said. Every year between 800 and 1000 firearms are reported stolen.

"Police have very few options for intervening when they see concerning behaviour".

"The legislation is being drafted and is due for introduction in late August".

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