16,000 call for real consultation on firearms

Thu, 04 Apr, 2019

ACT Leader David Seymour will today present a petition to Parliament signed by almost 16,000 New Zealanders calling for real public consultation on gun law reform.

“Hayden Livingstone’s petition rightly points out that effective law-making requires meaningful consultation with New Zealanders.

“Good intentions and quick action don’t guarantee satisfactory outcomes. There is very real danger that, in its haste, Parliament will make bad law with unexpected outcomes.

“The Government has deliberately prevented submitters from appearing in front the select committee, instead allowing Police to hand-pick 20 people it believes should be heard from in person.

“The Government’s contempt for democratic process on this issue is breathtaking.

“Mr Livingstone’s petition also notes the risk of a black market in guns developing.

“A 2003 study estimated that the compliance rate for Australia’s gun buyback was just 20 per cent.

“What happens when 80 per cent of newly-banned firearms aren’t turned in or bought back and disappear from the radar? How will it make New Zealanders safer when these firearms are no longer subject to any sort of regulatory oversight? The Government doesn’t appear to have answers to these questions.

“The speed at which the Government is moving is illogical and hazardous. It has already stopped the sale of military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles to people with A category gun licences.

“There is no need for urgency. We must get these changes right to ensure they’re effective.

“By forcing gun reform through in less than two weeks, the Government will ensure there is no meaningful opportunity for New Zealanders to have their say, or for Parliament to scrutinise and improve the bill.”