Gun amnesty extension shows Parliament has failed

Wed, 20 Nov, 2019

Police’s suggestion that there is now a permanent firearms amnesty in place is an admission that Parliament has completely failed and is a vindication of ACT’s opposition to the Arms Amendment Act”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“April’s rushed legislation was supported by every party except ACT. New law was made in just nine days, without meaningful consultation with affected parties. The Government then offered inadequate compensation to gun owners for their property.

“For all of these reasons, licensed firearms owners have a deep scepticism of the buy-back and amnesty.

“Just 38,000 firearms have been handed in out of potentially 240,000. We are now more than 80 per cent of the way through the original six month buy-back and amnesty period, but Police have collected just 15 per cent of banned firearms.

“The Government has now admitted that the expenditure of $73m was pointless. The most law abiding firearm owners have got their money, in some cases for firearms they didn’t want anyway. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of firearms remain unaccounted for and the Government has accepted it was a pointless exercise.

“April's legislation effectively criminalised law-abiding citizens and has the potential to bring about a raft of unintended consequences, including increasing the number of black market firearms. The end result has been ineffective and a massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

“Jacinda Ardern’s captain’s call, supported by National, was primarily a public relations exercise. If the Government was truly concerned about public safety it would have sought meaningful input from industry experts and carried out a genuine consultative effort to design better gun laws.

“Rushed legislation is bad legislation. Coupled with no consultation and inadequate compensation, it is no wonder Parliament’s approach to firearms law has resulted in such a poor outcome. ACT has been completely vindicated on this issue.”