Sporting Shooters NZ (SSANZ) fights for the rights of all Licensed Firearm Owners, whether you belong to a club, association or not.
Shooting sports in all forms are part of New Zealand culture and that culture is seriously under threat.
Numbers matter. By joining Sporting Shooters NZ you make us a more effective lobby group. You will be kept informed of issues that affect your shooting sport and together we will oppose issues that have an adverse outcome and support situations that encourage shooting sports.
Protecting Your Rights to Firearm Ownership
Sporting Shooters NZ is a large group of people who recognise that our chosen firearm related sport, hobby or occupation are under constant threat and are passionate about protecting and regaining the rights that have been lost.
SSANZ roots go back to 1986, reborn as Sporting Shooters Association of NZ in 1991 to protect the rights of New Zealand licensed firearm owners. Primarily a political lobby group we have campaigned with other organisations such as COLFO (which we co-founded in 1996) against various laws that seek to restrict the ownership of firearms.
However, laws are not the only way shooters are restricted in their activities, Regional Councils, District Councils, Government Agencies and Corporate bodies all bring about restrictions that can impact on our sport. Sporting Shooters NZ is constantly monitoring these restrictions for you.
For the cost of a packet of ammo annually, you can join us and help make a difference.
Sporting Shooters NZ supports all forms of lawful shooting activity, you will find a list of New Zealand Associations and Gun Clubs here.
SSANZ Objectives and Policies
Objectives of Sporting Shooters NZ
- To uphold the rights and responsibilities of New Zealand firearm owners who are lawfully engaged in the shooting or collecting pastime of their choice.
- To promote or oppose as may be deemed necessary all legislative and other measures which shall or might affect the interests of the members of the Association.
- To promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge between firearm owners.
- To promote legal and responsible shooting activities.
- To promote the safe use of firearms in the community
- To facilitate all lawful firearm and related activities such as gun shows and public displays.
- To actively support any Branch of this association.
- To actively support the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO)
Firearms Ownership – should for those assessed as “fit and proper” (see later re “fit and proper”) be a freedom/right. SSANZ wants the Arms Act changed to reflect this. There are many reasons why people wish to own firearms, be it for sporting purposes, as a tool for animal management and pest control or as a collection of historic artefacts. SSANZ recognises that firearms are not the greatest threat to public safety. The biggest causes of homicide in New Zealand, contrary to what the media and some anti-gun people portray, are knives, blunt instruments, arson, poisons, explosives and vehicles, which have all claimed more lives than firearms annually. In New Zealand over the last 30 years only 10% of homicides have involved a firearm (about seven a year, invariably with an illegally owned firearm) and less than 10% of suicides involve a firearm. Firearms are not a problem for the wider community.
Legislation – the present Arms Act as amended in 2019/20 is so big (presently 130 pages with more to come) and so badly written that thousands of firearms owners will routinely and unwittingly be guilty of breaking the law. That Act must be repealed and replaced with a new carefully thought out, simplified Arms Act finalised only after meaningful consultation with Licensed Firearms Owners.
Registration – SSANZ is totally opposed to any form of firearms registration. Nowhere in the world where it has been adopted has there been a successful record of it preventing crime or even assisting in the resolution of a crime. A database of gun owners and details of their firearms has the potential to allow criminals to target burglaries through hacking and corruption. We firmly believe that a firearms registration system is a gross waste of taxpayer funds and an imposition on the licensed owners who have been assessed as “fit and proper”.
Firearms licenses – in general terms SSANZ proposes that New Zealand return to a slightly modified variation on the system that existed 1983 through to 2018 BUT:
The administration must not be under the jurisdiction of New Zealand police.
We expect to see a more structured vetting process with each vetting officer being carefully screened, adequately trained and appropriately rewarded for the time and responsibility they bring to the task.
An additional criteria to “fit and proper” and the safety training program covering “awareness of the responsibility” be included.
In cases where there may be a negative aspect in the history of an applicant for a firearms licence that the provision for issuing a “probationary” license which will allow ownership and use but the physical storage to be with another nominated licence firearms owner.
Firearm Types/Semi Automatics/Other
- It is our policy that as “fit and proper persons” it is our right to own and/or use any firearm of our choice that we hold the appropriate licence extension for.
- Semi automatics have a legitimate place in various sport shooting competitions.
- Semi automatics have a legitimate place in the big game hunting (for that quick backup or second shot).
- Semi automatics have a legitimate place in pest destruction.
- Semi automatics have been used safely for sport shooting for over 120 year.
- Centre Fire Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine should only be held on an endorsed licence.
- Magazines for centre fire rifles, pistols and shotguns with more than a ten shot capacity should only be held on an endorsed licence.
- Requiring a permit to procure or import should be limited to:
ii. Actions and
Fit and proper Criteria – SSANZ believes that a firearm licence should be issued to any person who:
- Is a new Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Is over the age of 16.
- Has passed the prescribed firearm safety training and test.
- Has provided secure storage for firearms.
- Has been vetted and attested as being of good character by two referees and the person the applicant lives with.
- Has no criminal convictions within the past 10 years.
- Is not associated in any way with a criminal gang.
- Is not known to be suffering from a mental illness or alcoholism or drugs.
- Is not subject to a Restraining Order
Crime and Punishment
SSANZ believes that crimes committed with a firearm indicate a level of premeditation. We therefore support the notion that carrying or using a firearm while committing a crime against another person should be an aggravating offence. Any sentence imposed for firearm offences should be additional to those imposed for other offences and be served consecutively, rather than concurrently as present.
SSANZ does not support fixed term penalties for firearm offences, Judges should be free to set punishments having taken into account all the relevant facts of the offending.
Arms Act Administration
SSANZ is of the view that administration of the Arms Act should be taken from NZ police and placed in the hands of an independent agency. This would remove the conflict of interest where police currently draft, administer, enforce and prosecute firearm laws in New Zealand.
Police – SSANZ is extremely disappointed in the changed attitude emanating from police national headquarters. Licensed firearms owners have been the victims of police financial mismanagement on the one hand and the shift in attitude from cooperation to aggression on the other.
SSANZ will continue to respect and encourage compliance with the law because that is what fit and proper people do. However, SSANZ is committed to having firearms legislation returned to the 1983 act with a few modifications to enhance and simplify.
SSANZ wants the police confined to their proper role of policing and enforcing the law. Police should not under any circumstances be responsible for drafting firearms legislation nor should they be responsible for firearms administration. Both are a clear conflict of interest.
SSANZ recognises that while Police retain responsibility for Arms Act administration it is in everyones best interest for firearm owners to work constructively with them, in a spirit of co-operation.
Pest Control – SSANZ fully supports the use of recreational hunters in addition to professional hunters for this activity
SSANZ is ideally placed to assist farmers, regional authorities, local bodies with pest problems
Anyone with a pest problem should contact Sporting Shooters NZ for advice, support and introduction to licensed firearm owners who will be able to assist.
Poisoning for Pest Control (e.g. 1080) – SSANZ is totally opposed to the use of poisons for medium and large pest eradication purposes. The hunter must be the preferred option. This is because:
- Shooting is directed solely at the targeted pest.
- Shooting is by far the cheapest option.
- Shooting is the more humane option (have you seen the agonies 1080 causes an animal).
Firearms and Children
SSANZ is reminded that firearms safety and firearms use were at one time routinely taught in our schools.
The shooting disciplines are an excellent sport for boys and girls of all ages and ability teaching self discipline and responsibility.
SSANZ strongly recommends older children should be encouraged to join a shooting club where they will be shown “safe handling”. Parents should contact us for guidance on clubs near them suitable for older children (we suggest seven years upwards).
For younger children we encourage the mantra – Stop – Don’t Touch – Leave – tell Mum/Dad
Social media – SSANZ Supports the use of social media to communicate with members and the wider public and recommends:
- We represent 250,000.
- We must all use social media to promote our cause.
- We must be unified.
- We do not denigrate the other firearm users for their type of shooting sport or choice of firearm and we will take to task those who do.
- We do not use bad language.
- We are polite and respectful.
- We are courteous.
- We are all proud members of SSANZ.