Tuesday, 16 June 2020

NZ First’s attempt to make up for betrayal of firearms owners too little, too late

“NZ First’s attempt to make up for its betrayal of firearms owners is too little, too late,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“At the very least, NZ First should have stopped this second tranche. Instead, they have simply delayed a bad law.

“NZ First has long promoted itself as the defender of the firearms community. But Winston Peters and his MPs lined up with every other party in April 2019 to scapegoat gun owners for the actions of a single foreigner and to strip them of their rights.

“They’ve done so again with the second tranche of legislation, which imposes new regulations on gun clubs and ranges, creates a gun register, and invades the doctor-patient relationship, among other changes.

“None of the major injuries in the second tranche have actually changed. The concessions Labour has given to NZ First are too little, too late.

“The concessions simply mean the worst elements of the second tranche remain, and will be implemented slower, and by different people. ACT agrees that farmers should be able to use prohibited firearms for pest control and that a new, independent agency should take over licensing and administration.

“But farmers should never have needed this concession in the first place. And a new agency is only as good as the law it is required to administer.

“If NZ First believes that these concessions make up for its betrayal of the firearms community, they’re dreaming.

“Firearms owners wouldn’t need these concessions if NZ First hadn’t put Labour in power and gone along with the Government’s scapegoating of firearms owners.

Stuff’s story this morning shows that neither licensed firearms owners nor the pre-March 2019 law was to blame for the Christchurch terrorist attacks. The existing rules simply weren’t applied.

“That makes NZ First’s capitulation even more incredible.

“Instead of proceeding with the second tranche of gun legislation, the Government should wait for the Royal Commission to report next month.

“It would be unconscionable to change the law without hearing the full story behind the Christchurch terrorist attacks.”