National pushes Labour-lite firearms changes

Mon, 23 Sep, 2019

“National’s counterproposals to the Government’s Arms Legislation Bill are Labour-lite at best”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“National is essentially saying that it doesn’t oppose the underlying intention of the law and that, if Labour makes a couple of tweaks here and there, it can be appeased.

“A few of the proposed changes are sensible, but where was this common sense in April?

“ACT recently scored its best poll result in eight years in Labour’s UMR poll. If it weren’t for this, and the fact that ACT voted against April’s gun legislation, National wouldn’t be opposing this second tranche. The opposition it is putting up is weak.

“For example, National is not opposed to a firearms register. The only concession it demands is that the register be clearly defined in legislation.

“A nationwide register is absolutely nuts. Such an exercise will cost a significant sum of taxpayer money but will not capture the criminals and gang members who hold firearms. In any case, criminals and gang members are not ‘fit and proper’ persons to hold firearms licences, making the registration of their guns redundant.

“National is also unwilling to oppose the idea of Police monitoring firearm owners on social media, simply saying there needs to be 'clear rules'.

“The fact National isn’t pushing for a reinstated E Category is also a failure.

“All in all, these are Labour-lite proposals. If it wasn’t for ACT’s increasing poll numbers, and its real opposition from the right, National would have signed up with the Government’s plan, as it has done on the Zero Carbon Act, vacuous child poverty legislation, Commerce Commission market studies and a raft of other legislation.

“Since March, only ACT has consistently stood for democracy and the rule of law.”