I’ve written two Farmers Weekly articles on the new gun laws and why they won’t work. For a start I believe the approach by the government, non-government politicians and the police was both cynical and opportunistic and as the old adage states, ‘rushed legislation is bad legislation’.
Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are now illegal but that won’t solve anything. A Stuff investigation into guns in homicides between 2004 and 2019 showed 35 of the incidents involved shotguns and 33 involved 22 callibre rifles. They are both still legal.
Correspondingly less than 10 involved semi-automatics, about the same number as handguns that are illegal.
Stuff also identified that a third of the shootings involved gangs or other criminal activity. Will they hold an arms license? I’d suggest not. Would they hand in illegal weapons? Not a snowballs chance in hell.
They also found that ‘the vast majority of firearms aren’t registered in New Zealand’ meaning the authorities have absolutely no idea where most of the guns are whether they are legal or not.
So we have to coin a phrase a complete buggers muddle sponsored in the main by a gullible and gung ho minister of police, Stuart Nash.
It is actually worse than that.
The government is spending around $160 million to control pests on public land. You and I are paying for it.
To support that Department of Conservation Officers and Regional Council staff can have access to semi-automatics.
Farmers have four million hectares of land at risk from pests and are given scant opportunity to enjoy the same largesse that public land does.
In the meantime armed police are taking Rambo like action against legal gun owners.
What will happen next?