ACT has launched a new campaign for sensible, democratic gun laws and a fair go for firearm owners.

“In April, Jacinda Ardern’s Government bullied and scapegoated hundreds of thousands of law-abiding New Zealanders”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“This treatment continues as gun owners are compensated for their property at less than fair market value.

“ACT was the only political party to oppose the Government’s rushed, undemocratic legislation. We will also oppose a shortened select committee process being used for the second tranche of law changes.

“The Prime Minister could have lived up to her promise of a new kind of politics, but instead she chose to ignore firearm owners, and rushed through complex law changes in nine days, so she could bask in the glow of global media coverage.

“The Prime Minister’s hypocrisy is laid bare in comparing her responses to Christchurch and Ihumātao. In one situation, law-abiding New Zealanders were punished for the actions of a single foreigner. In the other, lawbreakers have been rewarded with a seat at the negotiating table.

“Since April, ACT has been doing what the Government should have done: consulting with the gun community and experts to develop a firearms policy that reflects sensible law changes and which balances the rights of law-abiding gun owners with the need for public safety.

“But we also understand that we need wide agreement to make the new laws durable. That is why we would insist on a proper policy process that invites all interested parties to be part of a genuine consultative effort to design better gun laws.

“Nearly everyone agreed that firearm laws needed to change, but the way the Government went about it amounted to bullying and scapegoating. The end result was expensive, ineffective, and insulting.

“If it is worth changing our gun laws, it is worth doing right. ACT believes we need fair firearm laws, achieved through a democratic process, which treat law-abiding firearm owners with dignity and respect.”