Stronger gun laws are needed to make New Zealanders safer. Any person owning a gun imposes risks and costs on all of us. Gun Control NZ is here to make sure our politicians listen to the majority who want greater control over guns.
Join us to ensure New Zealand gets effective gun control.
key legislation aims
a mandatory gun register, with a Record of all ammunition sales
strengthening the ban on all semi-automatic weapons
Shortening the registration period for licensed firearms owners to three years.
We are also campaigning for gun owners, importers and retailers to pay all of the direct costs of gun regulation. Subsidies from taxpayers should stop.
legislation aim 1
A Firearms Register
There is a register of all pistols in New Zealand. The system seems to be working well and almost no pistols end up in the hands of unlicensed people.
The benefits of the registration of all guns include:
Even an imperfect register can help to solve crimes. The murder of stop-go worker George Taiaroa was solved because a Police Arms Officer recorded the serial number of the murder weapon years before - even though he was not required to do so.
A register will mean Police know if a gun owner is building up an arsenal of weapons.
A register would improve the safety of victims of family violence. Police cancel the firearms licences of perpetrators of family violence. Without a register, Police don’t know anything about the firearms belonging to the perpetrator.
A register would give Police and other emergency workers information about the likely presence of guns. This would contribute to their safety.
A register makes it easier to trace the source of illegal weapons.
Ammunition sales should be linked to the register.
No register will have 100% coverage but an imperfect register is much more effective than no register at all.
LEGISLATION AIM 2
Ban on semi-automatic weapons
We congratulate Parliament on the ban on most semi-automatic weapons. We need to follow this up because we can do better to protect all New Zealanders from mass shootings.
There are very broad exemptions for groups with no functional need for these weapons. The danger is that the weapons could flow back into the community through theft or illegal sales. We believe that semi-automatic weapons should be permanently disabled if they belong to:
Holders of heirlooms or mementos
Film and TV producers
Despite the ban, anyone with a basic firearms licence can still purchase these semi-automatic weapons:
Rimfire rifles of .22 calibre that hold 10 rounds or less
Semi-automatic shotguns that hold 5 rounds or less
Pump action shotguns that hold 5 rounds or less
0.22 calibre guns are perceived as being relatively harmless “bunny guns” but two thirds of homicide victims are shot with a 0.22 calibre rifle or a shotgun.
We are allowing weapons that in Australia are limited to primary producers, farm workers, collectors and clay target shooters with disabilities. Primary producers and farm workers must show a genuine need and are also limited to one shotgun and one rifle in this category.
LEGISLATION AIM 3
The licensing period for gun owners should be reduced to 3 years from 10 years. A person’s circumstances can change significantly over 10 years. There are also practical issues with a longer licence period such as changes of address or the death of the licence holder. New Zealanders have some of the highest rates of moving house in the developed world.
Gun Control NZ is run entirely by volunteers. We are ordinary New Zealanders, reacting to the Christchurch atrocities, aiming to speak up for other ordinary New Zealanders. We are not aligned to any political party or any other organisation. Gun Control NZ was started by:
Hera is a researcher in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington. She has been involved in an ongoing research project into firearms policy in New Zealand since 2016. This included in-depth interviews with a wide range of those involved in firearms use and regulation.
Nik is a public policy specialist who has worked in both the public and private sectors. After the Christchurch massacre, he started a petition for a ban on semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand.
Philippa trained as an economist and has worked in public policy. She is a specialist in the design of complex legislation. She designed legislation to criminalise cartels. She also worked on the price controls for Ultra Fast Broadband.