Speculation is rife that NZ First has done a deal with Labour to allow the Arms Legislation Bill 2019 to pass into law this week. With National and Act Parties both indicating their opposition to this new gun control Bill the Labour lead government needs NZ First support to pass into law the most draconian gun control laws in New Zealand history.
The Bill will require all firearms to be registered, all shooting clubs and gun ranges to approved and certified, require doctors to report on the mental health of Licensed Firearm Owners, and allow new regulations to impose additional conditions on firearm ownership. There will be stricter criteria for being judged as a “fit and proper” person to be a licence holder and stiffer penalties, up to 10 years in prison, for failure to comply with the many complex provisions of the Bill.
Shooting organisations such as SSANZ, COLFO, and many other organisations and individuals have fought tooth and nail through the shortened submission process to put forward sound arguments opposing this Bill, it would seem we are about to find out if we have been listened to.
One lasting travesty of this anti-gun Bill is that the government did not see fit to await the outcome of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the March 2019 terror attack in Christchurch that was the catalyst for this legislation.