New Zealand has become quite the hot mess for gun owners. Not only has the government gone after gun owners, forcibly confiscating firearms, but it seems at least one big sporting goods chain in Kiwiland has sided with the government against gun owners.
Not only that, but according to one gun owner we’ve spoken to, Hunting & Fishing New Zealand acts as a bully to hang their wholesalers/distributors out to dry. How do they do that? They threaten to cut off wholesalers and distributors from business in their 37-store chain. As there’s only a single importer, it’s not like the marketplace has alternative sources for guns and gear for their stores.
The author of this request is active in New Zealand’s gun owner community, but asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. Not the least of which, he could lose his firearms licenses from the New Zealand government.
This gun owner is asking for NRA members and American companies to get involved in breaking the distribution monopoly in New Zealand. Frankly though, is the NZ market big enough that anyone will care?
He writes . . .
This question is more of a plea for help. How do I get in touch with NRA members?
I have a request. We have more problems here than people realize. We are getting hit with bottle necking. We have been cut off from permits. They exist, but the government will not issue them. No law change needed. The courier services and postal service have stopped transporting rifles or anything related to them.
There is one area in particular where you guys can help us. Our gun retailers, our largest ones, have betrayed us. They supported the ban, and they actively encouraged the government to go further, with an online sales ban. This is purely to drive people into their stores. The main culprit is [the] Hunting and Fishing [chain]. Have a look at their prices. Both them, and the small number of wholesalers make more money on a rifle than the American company that built it. We are being gouged, severely.
I was talking to a local independent gun store yesterday. I have heard this hundreds of times. He gave me a good price on a rifle, but made me swear to secrecy. The reason is, with a phone call, Hunting and Fishing will have him cut off from the wholesaler. There is a group within New Zealand who hold a monopoly on gun imports, also ammo and powder, scopes, everything.
Not only have they betrayed us in this round of legislation, but they will not let the gun ownership grow. They shut down all the independent gun stores and the keep prices sky high. This is illegal in New Zealand, but obviously for shooting, this is not enforced.
Now their monopoly and control comes from their connections in the states. No one else in New Zealand can become an importer, because of the close relationship between this group and the suppliers in America. We need the NRA to bust this up. It has to stop. The NRA and American gun owners have the influence to put an end to this. We really need it, as without growth, we are doomed.
Sorry for the huge message, but obviously we are all very concerned. Commerce is one of the only places we have any room to move.
He sent a follow-up email a couple of days later…
Yesterday I went to see some people to get some more details. Primarily what I was going on was my own knowledge of the firearms sector here, and recent events. I called a gunsmith I know, and he filled in some details. The main culprit here is https://www.huntingandfishing. co.nz/ They are for lack of a better word, bullies. It is not the wholesalers or importers, they are also subject to harassment from Hunting and Fishing. They have a chain of 37 stores. As I understand it, the reps are told by hunting and fishing who they are allowed to sell to, under the threat of losing trade from the 37 stores.
The government has done enormous damage to our importers. At this stage they are not getting compensation for the stock they have that is no longer legal. Most are our of pocket by a half million or so, and the government has told them to re-export them, full in the knowledge these firearms have end user certificates and can not be exported. Because of this, large numbers of sales reps have been fired, and I am now able to get some information out of them, because they no longer work in the sector.
My region (Otago) is particularly bad. What really upset me over this, is that our very small independent stores who cater to real enthusiasts are very afraid of this company. The live in fear, because they may lose their business, which is their passion, if Fishing and Hunting moves against them. I know of one, maybe two stores who were closed locally due to Hunting and Fishing telling the sales reps not to sell to them anymore. I have the contact details for these guys and I am going to give them a call.
This might all be local trade infighting, if not for Hunting and Fishing’s role in current legislation. They played a part in creating these gun control laws. Basically what everyone said was, once Hunting and Fishing (H&F) sided with the government, there was no hope. To the general public, this sealed our fate. It appears they have done a deal of some sort to get the legislation crafted in a way that helps their business.
H&F need a taste of their own medicine. Why are US companies supplying a chain store that promotes gun control? They literally played a role in creating the legislation that has caused us all this pain and misery. If there is one place you guys can help us, it is dealing with this company. They are destroying the rights of New Zealanders for their own commercial gain and bullying everyone.
Again, I thank you guys for taking an interest. There is an awful feeling of hopelessness that comes with all this, because we do not have the right of reply, nor do we have anyone on our side in this country.
If the author doesn’t believe he has anyone on his side in his country, that’s in part the fault of gun owners. Because if they don’t care enough to educate their fellow citizen/subjects on the proven benefits of firearm ownership, then nobody will stand up for them when the government comes for them.
As they already have.