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Further changes to firearms bill likely before becoming law

Radio NZ

The legislation setting up a firearms register and introducing tougher licensing controls is a step closer to becoming law.

But there are likely to be further changes to the Arms Legislation Bill, with Police Minister Stuart Nash still negotiating with New Zealand First for ongoing support.

In April, a law banning certain weapons and parts passed with near unanimous political support in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks that left 51 people dead.

The National Party joined forces with the government back then. However, Parliament is once again divided on the second tranche with the Opposition pulling its support – that means Nash has to rely on New Zealand First to get it through.

At the time, party leader Simon Bridges said the changes appeared to target “good, law-abiding people rather than criminals, gangs or extremists” and went too far.

This legislation would introduce a firearms register, tighter rules for gun dealership licences, and stronger penalties.

Nash told Parliament at the Bill’s second reading last night he had “worked closely and collaboratively” with New Zealand First to “get the best law possible”.

He also laid down the gauntlet to the two parties, National and ACT, which are opposing the legislation.

“I refuse to be the former Minister approached by victims’ families in 20 years’ time and asked why didn’t you change the law, why didn’t you take guns off gangs and bring in tougher penalties for gun cri

“These are the questions that will haunt Simon Bridges and David Seymour instead.”

Nash said for the first time the ‘fit and proper person’ test for a licence explicitly excludes gang members, associates, or members of an organised criminal group.

“Why is the Opposition trying to block this? They like to shoot of their mouth but do nothing about the actual criminal shooters.”

New Zealand First supported the second reading, but still had questions about some aspects of the law change.

It’s pushing for an independent Arms Agency, to leave police free to enforce the law without also having to run the national register.

MP Ron Mark told Parliament New Zealand First would look at further changes “around farmers who have serious problems with pest control…[and] there is a serious conversation to be had around sporting shooters”.

He said he would keep working with Nash as the bill progressed to the next stage, where changes could be made.

National MP Brett Hudson explained why the party was voting against the legislation, telling the House it “does nothing about genuine criminal activity in gangs and does everything about layering cost, administrative burden, and regulation on people that already follow the rules”.

13 COMMENTS

  1. ……”everything about layering cost, administrative burden, and regulation on people that already follow the rules”……

    Finally. A definition of the role of government in society.

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  2. ““I refuse to be the former Minister approached by victims’ families in 20 years’ time and asked why didn’t you change the law, why didn’t you take guns off gangs and bring in tougher penalties for gun crime”

    Bloody Nash is deflecting. Nobody has a beef with disarming gangs or tougher penalties for gun crimes; bring it on. But that has nothing to do with the changes he’s proposing which will have little to no impact on crime, and will seriously penalise LFO’s.

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    • It is possible he genuinely believes this legislation targets criminals, and actually is a genuinely ignorant fool. Quite recently he was still quoting the tired line about how Labour had ‘Banned military style semi automatics AND assault rifles”, when very clearly this was blatantly untrue. Yes they banned the MSSAs (by legal definition those rifles in E category only), but assault rifles have only been held on C category and were absolutely not banned by the first round legislation. Mot politicians in his position would make at least token effort to get his facts right, Nash either genuinely does not know his subject at all, or he is a stupid buffoon, and blatantly dishonest.

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  3. I watched some of the debate last night and have to say was disappointed with what I heard.
    I think Nash was yelling out at a National MP when he was speaking and appeared to pack up his papers and storm out,
    Nash seems to think anyone with a firearm is a criminal. Sad.

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  4. Nash is such an utter wanker, excuse my French, dredging up Sir Thomas Thorpe’s thoroughly discredited 1997 report, how weak is that?!

    Ron Mark was surprisingly, unexpectedly good. David Seymour was excellent. Mr Seymour mentioned patient doctor relations. As it happens I visited my doctor yesterday and found him practically frothing at the mouth with indignation at the absurdity of this legislation, the blatant political posturing by Labour and the unfairness of it towards the most law abiding and responsible people in the community. If I didn’t know him to be such a mild mannered, responsible and caring person I might easily think he had been radicalized by these Labour morons.

    For any shooter who values their sport the choice is crystal clear, come the election Party Vote Act.

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  5. NZ First need to stand up here and not attempt to have a bob each way with Minister Nash. I heard NZ First say their mission in part was to prevent the New Zealand way of life being destroyed by Labour and the Greens. Here is the opportunity to defend the way of life for law abiding New Zealanders. Simply do not support this Arms Legislation Bill.

    The Select Committee process was flawed and not acceptable. The weight of submissions was ignored. The RoyalCommission Report is important and should have been awaited.

    By all means have a go at separate legislation to deal with the emerging issue with gang number increases and their weapon use but including LFO, as the current Bill does, is a mistake they should stop now.

    How they act with this Bill will guide my voting decisions in September. The Bill should be stopped.

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    • Nah I am sorry Pete, If you were a NZ first MP why would you do anything that would upset your gravy train. The way wynstone is acting, your chances of getting back on the gravy train are virtually nil.
      They are not ever going to be paid outside parliament what they are currently getting on the taxpayer.

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      • A massive opportunity for National to scream how a National Govt will at least suspend if not repeal all the gun law legislation pending a proper investigation and consultation process, come on Simon show you can do the right thing.

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