“The Government’s rushed firearms legislation and the resulting ‘buy-back’ will go down as the year’s biggest political failure”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Forcing complex legislation through Parliament in just nine days, scapegoating law-abiding Kiwis, providing inadequate compensation and constantly shifting the goalposts has led to mass civil disobedience. More than 100,000 firearms will now go underground and feed into the black market.
“ACT, firearms owners and legal experts all warned Parliament that rushed legislation was bad legislation and would have unintended consequences.
“Tens of thousands of firearms going underground, outside of a regulatory cordon and without appropriate security and safety arrangements, is only the most obvious consequence.
“Parliament also made criminals of law-abiding New Zealanders and undermined respect for the law.
“Police were put under serious pressure to make the ‘buy-back’ a success and this led to a privacy breach in which the personal details of 37,000 firearms owners were left exposed on the Police website, potentially endangering their safety.
“It is difficult to imagine how Parliament could have got this more wrong. Parliament’s actions mean New Zealand will end the year less safe than it started.
“ACT was the only political party to oppose April’s rushed Arms Amendment Act. We take no comfort in having been vindicated on this issue. A future government will need to work with the firearms community to put it right.”