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Submissions open on gun reform bill

October 11, 2019 at 12:04 PM

From the NZFVC

Submissions are open on the Government's recently introduced bill to tighten gun laws.

The deadline for making a submission is 23 October 2019.

The Arms Legislation Bill was introduced to Parliament and referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee. The omnibus bill amends the Arms Act 1983 and other enactments. The bill seeks to "improve public safety by adjusting legislative frameworks to impose tighter controls on the use and possession of arms."

The Beehive release introducing the bill Tighter gun laws for the safety of all (13 Sept 2019) describes key proposed changes:

  • "The creation of a firearms registry to enable the monitoring and tracking of every firearm legally held in New Zealand.
  • Changing the length of the time of issue for a firearms licence from 10 years to five years.
  • The creation of a licensing regime for shooting clubs and ranges.
  • A requirement to be a licence holder in order to purchase and hold firearm parts, magazines, and ammunition.
  • Strengthening and tightening the rules in the licensing regimes for individuals and dealers.
  • Conditions on firearms licences and changes to endorsements.
  • Updated and new offences and penalties.
  • Provisions to enable health practitioners to notify Police if they have concerns about a licence firearms owner’s health or wellbeing.
  • New Mechanisms and options for dealing with firearm licence holders who breach conditions of the Act or Regulations.
  • Strengthening regulatory oversight on importation and sales.
  • Changes to the cost recovery regime that will enable fees to be set out in regulations for a range of regulatory services."

The Question and Answer section describes some proposed changes specifically relevant to family violence including:

  • Individual licence holders will be disqualified from holding a firearms licence "... if in the previous ten years they have convictions, or been released from custody for serious crimes such as violence; misuse of drugs; firearms offences; or having a protection order in force against them."
  • Warning flags in the licensing system that may indicate a person may not be a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence include: "encouraging or promoting violence; hatred or extremism; serious mental ill-health issues including attempted suicide; having had various offences under the Wildlife Act or Wild Animal Control Act; being assessed as a risk to national security; having a temporary Protection Order; being involved in drug abuse; or being convicted of certain crimes."
  • "The government has asked Police to do more work to design a system of firearms prohibition orders to restrict access to firearms by serious violent offenders. Cabinet will discuss options later this year and the public will be asked for feedback on the potential shape of such a regime."

In the bill, Clause 33Clause 36 and Clause 38 relate specifically to family violence. 

Click here for more information

Category: Submissions