Lost trust

Thoughts on NZ’s New Firearms Laws (by a member)

A likely disaster

The new firearms legislation, is likely to become a disaster. Let me explain:

In the UK, thousands of sports shooters had their guns taken and destroyed. At first it was the semi auto rifles, then our pistols, and some shotguns. We endured the jibes and nasty remarks from the government and the media which linked us with gangs, street thugs and murderers.

The New Zealand I moved to 15 years ago allowed me to enjoy the sports and pastime which I missed so dearly for so many years as a ‘fit and proper person’ in the UK. I have never been in trouble with the law, save a couple of minuscule traffic violations. However once again, I have had to hand over some of my private possessions for destruction and this is sickening.

I know that not everyone likes guns, as many just associate them with war or violence. Personally I hate violence of any kind inflicted on fellow men, even harsh contact sports. I do however, love target shooting, which can be challenging, difficult and at times frustrating, but often very rewarding.

The further proposed legislation will basically give the authorities the power to turn just about any “decent” firearms owner or gunsmith, into a criminal. The rules are so complex and ridiculous in many instances, that even the best of us cannot hope to adhere to or abide by them all.

Why some of these are being considered is mind boggling. They will not only confuse and befuddle firearm owners, but they will bring untold complication and ridiculous complexity to anyone repairing guns, and how are the authorities to keep track of all of this nonsense?

Whose fault Christchurch? Clearly NZ Police!

We had one of the worlds best, and clearest set of rules and regulations, which I have to say was the envy of the world, and it worked.

The Christchurch shooting happened not because our gun laws were too relaxed, or that we had “semi-automatic” rifles. It was because the basic vetting system that the police were supposed to undertake prior to a person being considered “fit and proper”, was not followed through with.

In other words, if the police had actually checked the information, and had tried to contact the referees, the shooter would have never had access to firearms as he would not have been granted a license.

Wake up call

Most firearms owners are either unaware of their upcoming difficulties in the unfathomable legislation, or are burying their heads in the sand, hoping that they can just ignore them.

We have read the stories of decent law abiding people, who having had their homes raided by armed police, their families terrorised and their names tarnished, for simply putting a photo on their social media of a picture of some firearm from the past. If this isn’t harmful to the relationship between good decent people and the police authorities, I really do not know what is.

If you wanted to create division, distrust, secrecy and sheer contempt, then you could not go about it any better than this.

A trust lost

I remember how amazed I was by the alliance between firearms holders and the police in New Zealand. You could talk to the “cops” and they would respond. The communication flowed both ways, and it was as it should be.

The once friendly “cop” has been given a huge set of directives and rules, which even s/he cannot understand. It doesn’t stop there, as we are asked to make submissions, even though the new proposals are not complete, yet enormously detailed.

That, and a very short time in which to formulate our replies, or to alert other firearms owners who may not even be aware of them.

The result will be a disaster, for the community of New Zealand
For all of us; shooters and non shooters.