The Law and Order Select Committee published its report on 7 April 2017, of the 20 recommendations only three address the issue of illegal firearms in the hands of criminals, while the remaining 17 propose further restrictions on lawful licensed firearm owners.

Three factors need to be remembered:

(a) these are merely recommendations, and will not necessarily form or become government policy;

(b) they are NOT the law, but may lead to changes in the law;

(c) Any law change will have to undergo due process, that is (unless urgency is taken by Parliament) undergo three readings, select committee processing (to hear public input) before being passed into law.  Timeline for this may be as long as two to three years.

The Select Committee recommendations are listed under six subheadings:

Sale and supply of firearms and ammunition

Definition of military-style semi-automatics

Effectiveness of licensing, training, and registering firearms

Criminal offending with firearms

Reducing the number of grey firearms

Importing firearms into New Zealand

Many of the recommendations suggest changes which are already in effect, of which already exist under the Crimes Act (1961, and subsequent amendments), the Arms Act (1983, and subsequent amendments) and the Arms Regulations (1992, and subsequent amendments).

The entire report and its recommendations may be found at:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/reports/document/SCR_72851/inquiry-into-issues-relating-to-the-illegal-possession

Members are invited to write to their local Member of Parliament to comment upon these proposals.

A full review of the Select Committee report by COLFO may be viewed here