|I emailed you Monday, just after we received the Select Committee Report on the Arms Legislation Bill, with our first impressions.
Since then, our lawyers have now been through the detail of the proposed changes. You can read their report here: Arms Legislation Bill – Analysis of the Select Committee Report
There are many areas where the Select Committee’s report suggest they think they have fixed issues, but based on the actual changes to the Bill, we don’t think they have. Our lawyers say that there are changes that do not do what the Select Committee’s report says they do. Some of those are highlighted in the legal analysis.
What about SOP 408 and the definition of ‘parts’?
We’ve had lots of enquiries about where the Select Committee got to with the SOP 408 (which was separately consulted on) and how the Bill now defines “parts”.
The way the Select Committee has gone about changing the wording of the Bill in these areas is particularly hard to follow. There are new provisions which are, frankly, puzzling. Our lawyers think the Committee have mucked up some of them, but need another few days to track through all of the changes. We’ll send you the legal advice once we have it.
Select Committee Approve baning pump action firearms and don’t prevent the Government from banning more
In the report, the Select Committee gives approval for banning pump action firearms (regardless of whether it’s a rifle or shotgun) and the ability of the Police/Minister to introduce more bans. This is, of course, something we will strongly oppose.
This is part of the SOP 408 changes (hence why not in the analysis linked above). The original SOP 408 gave the Minister regulation-making power to ban pump action firearms.
It is just one example of how the Select Committee has stuffed up: the Committee has said that banning pump actions should not be done by regulation so instead have made it part of the Bill (‘because it is more transparent’).
So while we are totally against the banning, it supports our argument that if new firearms are to be prohibited, they must go through Parliament and not be done via Ministerial regulation (as the original Bill proposed).
But the Committee hasn’t taken away the regulation-making power for the future. It is a classic case of the Select Committee arguing they have fixed something but really they haven’t.
Copied at the end of this email is our media release from earlier in the week summarising our concerns. The team also made a short video where I discuss the key changes and what you need to know:
So where to from here?
Despite New Zealand First backing Labour at the Select Committee — we still think NZ First MPs are the most likely way to prevent the dangers a register would pose, and defeat the Bill.
So we are far from giving in, and must now focus our lobbying efforts onto Winston Peters and his eight Parliamentary colleagues – to convince them that this is a vote changing issue for the Party’s support base.
If you know a NZ First MP, or one lives in your local area, we’re going to need you to call, email, or go and see them if we are going to win this. Their contact details are here.
We’re working through the weekend and plan to get more information to you in the next week.
Thank you for your support.
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