The Select Committee ignored thousands of submissions from the public of New Zealand which simply asked for more time to enable them to consider and provide input on law that affects them and their lawful property. The new Arms Act enables the confiscation of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of private property from law abiding people (and not, as has been stated, illegally owned guns that are in the hands of gangs). The Act covers much more than just the Military Style Semi-Automatic rifles that the public have been led to believe are being removed. This is because of the magazine restrictions which cover all firearms regardless of age, calibre or action type. The new Arms Act affects not only “AK-47’s” but some of the most common sporting and collectable firearms there are. Read more here
Like all New Zealanders we are outraged at the terrorist attack on our soil on Friday 15 March and our sympathy goes out to the victims, their families and the people of Christchurch.
We commend you for so quickly announcing an inquiry into the matters that lead up to the devastating terrorist attack . It is obvious that some things went wrong in the work of Government Agencies, that allowed this attack to take place.
We also understand that it will likely require revision of our Arms laws to ensure a similar attack in the future can be prevented. We urge you not to rush into making hasty decisions about this, while the country as a whole is still grieving and there is so much anger and emotion being displayed.
We ask you to pause and wait for the findings of the inquiry and then engage with the firearm community to draft legislation that will be effective and result in full compliance by those affected.
Knee jerk legislation that does not follow the full democratic parliamentary process will cause distrust in government and division within the community and fulfil the aim, stated in his manifesto, of the terrorist in using firearms for his attack.
Information from the Ministry of Justice this week shows that one offender has been convicted of the illegal possession of a firearm on no less than NINE separate occasions.
Three more offenders boast eight separate convictions for the same. Three more offenders boast seven and three more offenders boast six to complete the top ten. Remember that these are CONVICTIONS and not arrests. So the real numbers are even worse.
Police also state that of more than 3900 patched gang members and prospects, nine per cent had been charged with five or more firearms offences.
New Zealand’s worst firearm offender has 46 separate firearm convictions.
So why are these repeat offenders so contemptuous of the law?
We now know that for every one hundred burglaries where a gun is stolen – only eight offenders will ever face a judge. Perhaps because Police don’t even attend 12% of these robberies, when they DO it is days later. Or by PHONE.
We know that the penalties for firearm offending are pathetic. One offender found with an AK47 and other cut down murder tools received only a community sentence.
We know that the mass majority of those offenders who are found in possession of illegal arms will avoid a prison sentence of any kind. With some only paying a fine that is a fraction of the worth of the gun that they had stolen.
We know that many offenders have many previous firearm offences. That they have committed serious armed offending – while serving non-custodial sentences for their last gun crimes. We know that guns were left loaded in their homes with young children.
We know that less than ten percent of those FOUND GUILTY AND CONVICTED of a gun crime will ever serve a second’s punishment for that offence, because of concurrent sentencing.
Or we will even REWARD a gun offender, with a discount on their drug sentence for getting “Some guns off the street”; the ones that they stole and put there.
We know that Cahill’s Police Union has confirmed that they never push for harsher penalties because their Labour party friends won’t support it. So they seek to punish lawful shooters with mindless new restrictions. This is despite literally only one in one hundred gun crimes being committed by firearm license holders.
We also know that the violent Australian gun gangs are moving in to claim new drug territories. They must think they have found heaven.
So far our nation’s gun crime is low and is consistently so. But we can eradicate the dangers we do face by recognizing that recidivism is the issue, then acting to change criminal attitudes with appropriate penalties.
Over the past two years SSANZ has been busy working closely with COLFO to resolve issues for New Zealand Firearm Owners.
Judge Geoff Rea has just handed down another pathetic sentence for firearm offending.
Kupe Matenga, 24, committed armed robbery – with an illegal handgun.
Then led Police on a high-speed police chase through Hastings – in a stolen car.
Shooting himself in the leg during the flight.
Matenga and another offender reportedly reached speeds of 110kph in 50kph areas and over 140kph in 100kph areas. Often on the wrong side of the road and threatening the lives of those in oncoming traffic.
Matenga threw objects, including glass bottles, at pursuing police.
The chase ended with the fleeing car first smashing into one police car – with an officer inside it. Then later crashing into a second police car.
Matenga fled on foot but was caught a short time later in someone’s back yard. His revolver was found on a nearby property.
If a child had found that weapon instead of Police then serious injury or death would have been all but a certainty.
The penalty for this insanity? With parole he will serve ten months in jail.
Pathetic. Now taxpayers will no doubt PAY HIM compensation under ACC for his self-inflicted injury.
This utter failure of our justice system MUST stop.
New Zealand’s worst gun offender has 46 separate convictions. That is JUST for guns.
The top five offenders have 135 convictions between them – just for guns.
Around 10% of gang members have five OR MORE firearm offenses under their belt.
Some of our most serious gang crime is committed by offenders serving non-custodial sentences for their LAST gun crime – only weeks before.
Criminals caught with assault rifles and illegal handguns get community diversion.
This casual recidivism is the result of a complete betrayal of trust by our Parliament. Made worse by the inexplicable decisions of our judges who fail to apply even the token sentence options available to them now.
Yes the Police Association NEVER mention this issue. Ever. Preferring instead to vilify New Zealand’s quarter of a million licensed gun owners. Who are simply not the problem
Shooting groups are again calling for harsh, mandatory minimum, non – parole sentencing for serious armed offending.
This current situation can NOT go on.
021 237 8595
A recent report published by New Zealand Police shows that firearms are only used in 10% of all homicides in New Zealand
Over an 8 year period 2007 to 2014 for the on average 70 unlawful killings each year firearms were only used 7 times.
Today Police Minister Paula Bennett has delivered the government response to the Report of the Select Committee Inquiry into the Illegal possession of firearms by criminals. SSANZ is pleased to report that the minister has largely rejected all those recommendations that we opposed. This is thanks to all of you who communicated your views to the minister and her advisors.
In addition to the 8 recommendations she has accepted she has introduced two new recommendations which we see as beneficial: 1. to give the Police power to suspend a licence rather than revoke it, allowing the problem to be resolved more quickly and 2. To require Police to consult more with the firearm community.
Remember before any of the recommendations become law there will be a further round of consultation as any new Bill proceeds through the Select Committee stage.
Following a report in the media where NZDF personnel allowed children at a school to handle military rifles, there have been calls from some quarters to ban guns in schools and now the Minister of Education is planning to introduce guidelines to control such activities.
it is worth remembering that it is not so many years ago that most boys schools had cadet units that trained with up to date military firearms of that period including machine guns. Even today many schools have their own clay target and smallbore rifle teams. Many volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors have provided firearm safety lectures at local schools so that students can sit the test for their firearms licence, local clubs have provided practical shooting experience for school children on many occasions. Shooting is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical ability and it teaches self discipline and self control, most children given the opportunity enjoy the experience.
With over 240,000 homes in New Zealand with firearms it is inevitable that many young children will be exposed to firearms, particularly in rural areas where a firearm is a tool regularly used by their parents or other family members. Firearm safety training at an early age has been shown to lead to safer and more responsible firearm use in later life, just as defencive driving programmes have improved young driver behaviour.
Rather than ban firearms from schools, as has been suggested by some MPs, it would seem more appropriate to include firearm safety training in the curriculum.
School Boards of Trustees should also be free to judge what extra-curricular activities are appropriate for their own community.
In any event in developing guidelines for firearms in schools the minister should consult with the firearm community, particularly the Firearm Safety Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.
As a result of an Official Information Act request to Police we can now reveal that the cache of firearms seized in Auckland as part of Operation Turbo, last March that was the catalyst for the Select Committee Inquiry into how criminals obtain firearms, comprised of the following:
7 MSSA E Cat rifles (M 4, AK 47 and 10/22) for M4 read AR 15 type
4 Semi auto A Cat rifles (AK 47, M 4, M14)
2 shotguns and I bolt action A Cat rifle
3 Pistols (included a modified 10/22)
NONE were previously reported stolen by licensed owners. Only one of these firearms was imported legally, an M4 in 2003, and registered to a licensed owner. Which begs the question HOW DID THESE MODERN MSSAs ENTER NZ? SSANZ would suggest through our POROUS BORDER, which rather makes a mockery of the recommendations put forward by the Select Committee report.
The offender in question was convicted on representative counts of unlawful possession of firearms (3), ammunition (2)and also convicted for manufacturing and possessing with intent to supply Methamphetamine.