A once in a generation opportunity to strengthen our firearms law has been denied by the Government, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“Police Minister Stuart Nash has said this is a once in a generation opportunity to fix our firearms law, yet he won’t give us the time to do it properly.

“National released 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms that address access to guns by gangs and those involved in criminal activity. The Government’s Bill has instead focused responsibility and regulation on law-abiding gun owners.

“Some of those changes were outside the scope of the Bill requiring Parliament to agree to an instruction to the Select Committee following the first reading, but the Government opposed this.

“National has discussed firearms law and reforms with Gun Control NZ, individual gun owners and firearms organisations. Our proposed amendments focus on people who could pose a risk to society, rather than those New Zealanders complying with the law.

“Some of our proposed changes that are outside the scope of the Bill include removing excessive regulatory powers from the Act, introducing new and consistent exemptions for sports shooting and providing for greater flexibility for pest control exemptions.

“Our Firearms Prohibition Orders would also automatically disqualify a person from being able to own, possess or reside near firearms if they are a member of, or have close affiliations to, a gang and have been convicted of a serious offence. This is just one sensible recommendation National has put forward.

“Today the Government was given the opportunity to ensure the second tranche of gun law reform is comprehensive, detailed and focuses on those who break the law. Instead it has chosen to put through legislation without listening to both sides of the debate.”

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