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Five years after the country’s legislation banning the ownership of semi-auto rifles and spending more than a $100 million of tax-funded dollars to compensate existing owners of the rifle in what amounted to gun confiscation, New Zealand officials are looking to revisit the ban and potentially allow at least some residents to own modern sporting rifles once again for competition, hunting, etc.

Unlike the United States, gun ownership is not an enumerated right in New Zealand, rather it has always been a privilege—a privilege that was largely snatched away in 2019 after a Christchurch mass shooting at two mosques by a gunman who espoused white supremacist views left 51 people dead and injured at least 40.

However, since the suspension of semi-auto gun ownership in that country as a response to those killings, the country has actually witnessed more violent crime taking place, much of it blamed on a rise in gang violence.

“Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3,000 members, a 51-percent increase. At the same time, we’ve seen a significant escalation in gang-related violence, public intimidation and shootings, with violent crime up 33 percent,” Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith said in a press release last week.

Goldsmith is part of a coalition government that formed to oust the ruling Labour Party, under which the gun ban and coinciding rising crime occurred. Bearing Arms reports the Labour Party “suffered huge defeats” in October 2023 elections that saw the party go from a majority 65 seats in the 122-member Parliament to just 31.

With an apparent mandate to turn things around given the scathing loss by the Labour Party, the coalition government is refocusing their efforts on going after criminals rather than taking privileges away from and punishing upstanding citizens.

All Gun Laws Are on the Table

A big part of that will be revisiting the country’s Arms Act of 1983, which has shaped New Zealand’s gun laws for more than 40 years now.

“It means starting from scratch,” Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee told Radio New Zealand (RNZ). “There’s nothing set in stone as we advance this process. The reason why the 1983 Act lasted so long is because there was genuine and good consultation.

She noted that everything is open to discussion, from the country’s current licensing system to a potential re-introduction of the modern sporting rifles that were banned following the 2019 mosque attacks.

McKee told RNZ she wanted to change the current licensing system to a graduated process to “enhance public safety.”

“Ensuring licensed firearms owners are fit and proper through a graduated system of licensing where people earn trust over time, and a licensing agency carrying out a range of checks, is the sensible way of ensuring public safety,” McKee told RNZ.

While such a move would fall woefully short of U.S. gun owners’ expectations and acceptance in light of our country’s Second Amendment, it’s a bold move forward in a nation where gun ownership is not protected.

The move could restore the right to use modern sporting arms for competition, a use that is currently banned under national law. Currently, the only permitted uses for semi-autos is for pest control and if the gun is rendered permanently unusable, for collector’s items.

Renewed Focus on Criminals

While the gun moves are positive but not up to American muster, the current coalition government’s stance on going after criminals rather than law-abiding citizens is something U.S. leaders could possibly take a lesson from.

Said Justice Minister Goldsmith:

“We need to take action and reduce gangs’ ability to engage in criminal behavior and prevent them from further endangering and intimidating Kiwis.

“That is why, as part of National and ACT’s coalition agreement, the Government will introduce legislation to ban all gang insignia in public places and create greater powers to stop criminal gangs from gathering in groups and communicating.

“Police will be able to issue dispersal notices, which will require gang members to immediately leave the area and not associate with one another for seven days.

“Courts will be able to issue non-consorting orders, which will stop specified gang offenders from associating or communicating with one another for up to three years.

“The law will also be changed to give greater weight to gang membership as an aggravating factor at sentencing, enabling courts to impose more severe punishments.”

Minister of Police Mark Mitchell add that his countrymen and women deserve to feel safe.

“For too long gangs have been allowed to behave as if they are above the law. There is no tolerance for this behavior and these new laws will support police to take action against it,” he said.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. “…stop specified gang offenders from associating or communicating with one another…”
    i couldn’t plat with pat saccente after the rollo candy bar incident.
    “…his countrymen and women deserve to feel safe.”
    few of us get what we deserve. none of us deserves to feel safe.
    can they throw j. ardern in shackles now? so sick of seeing her twisted visage, yuck.

  2. “With an apparent mandate to turn things around given the scathing loss by the Labour Party, the coalition government is refocusing their efforts on going after criminals rather than taking privileges away from and punishing upstanding citizens.”

    This is my in-no-way-surprised face… 🙁

    • New Zealand: A country with the same population as Cook county,ILLannoy. Curiously similar problems with gangs who don’t obey “the law”. Inept & corrupt leaders who want law abiding citizens disarmed. What is it with English speaking countries IE USA,Canaduh,India, NZ,South Africa,Great Britain,Ireland & Australia??? America supposedly settled 2A rights hundreds of years ago but here we are!🙄🤨Going after criminal’s>what a novel approach.

      • “What is it with English speaking countries?” Same as with all other countries- evil never sleeps. “They” incessantly work for control & domination. English speaking world got comfortable and stupid and here we are.

  3. Now that She-Hitler Jacinda Ardern is no longer in control of the government and Kiwis’ have awakened from the trance she put on them. They are once again waking up to the realities of life without the ability to protect and defend themselves from the criminals, both foreign and domestic that have infested their nation.

    • I hope you are right, but ‘self-defense’ doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar there, from what I can tell. Seems they are looking at rolling back maybe 25% of the retardation, but doubt they’d be open to genuine liberty.

    • Momo Ardern and the same labor party that after the gun ban openly stated they won’t disarm criminals because they are criminals.

    • Yeh! Jacinda Ardern for US President!

      Wait – she wasn’t born in the US – well that hasn’t stopped some person in the past from being elected President.

      Sometimes evil really doesn’t sleep – it just immigrates to America and we have no shortage of it arriving now.

  4. They are and always will be tax slaves just like the Brits, Australians, Canadians, Ukrainians. and Taiwanese. The only question is the length of the leash on their collar

  5. the Government will introduce legislation to ban all gang insignia in public places and create greater powers to stop criminal gangs from gathering in groups and communicating.

    So they’re going to tread slightly more softly on gun rights so that they can stomp like hell on free expression and free association rights?

    • Gang members don’t deserve the same rights as those they victimize. They are criminal filth.
      Hard to wrap your head around that?

  6. One thing I really liked about visiting NZ and hunting there is that silencers are considered a normal accessory, no tax, no permit and cheap. It was considered rude not to use one if you were near other people.

    My last trip was in 2019 as the local gun clubs were fighting the gun grab.

  7. I’m no political expert, but I was under the impression that the good people of Australia get to choose their own policies about gun control via their elected officials.
    Perhaps the voting public down under want their over-unders back?

    • Without getting into a long discussion of Australian politics the Federal government basically told the states to write new gun laws in 1996.

      The main problem is that the federal government took most taxes off the states in WW2 as a “temporary” war measure. Several states went to supreme courts but they sided with the federals. Obviously they never gave it back and now states get most of their money via annual grants. If you upset the boss no money for you.

      The city dominated election system doesn’t help either. Some rural electorates have one member of parliament for an area just smaller than Alaska. Where in the city the same number of people is as little as 12 square miles.

      • Thanks for taking the time to post that thoughtful response. It quintupled my understanding of Australia; which was mostly based on the original Crocodile Dundee and a few YouTube videos of guys riding KLR650 dual sport motorcycles.

        I hope you guys get your gats back… or recover them from that terrible boating accident.
        If things don’t improve, consider moving to Utah! I need more friends to shoot and ride with.

        • We are not totally gun free – I have two gun safes in my home office and am trying to figure out where to put another.

          As I have mentioned many times here I don’t like our firearm laws but not the gun free utopia the media portrays.

        • I have friends in Utah, Texas and New Mexico so spoilt for choice.

          Need to sort out work, life etc so we can visit again.

        • To Anti Fancy – You’re an idiot. Kiwis are New Zelanders not Aussies. There’s a chunk of ocean between them and they are seperate countries. They have seperate governments. You should know that even if your knowledge is only movies.

  8. cynical after seeing lots of such statements go unfulfilled after elections are won, I will believe it when I see it and not until then

    • Ya would think, after a a long time of ‘government’ creating laws or ‘banning’ something’ that they would have learned that criminals don’t obey laws and do not reduce overall ‘crime’ or criminal activity.

      There is literally, in the entire written history of mankind or for any country on earth today or past, not even one documented case where a ‘criminal’ element in a society simply stopped committing crimes because there was a ‘law’ or ‘rule’ or ‘policy’ or a ‘ban’ on something including firearms.

      But, there are documented cases where law abiding being armed with firearms in that ‘society’ have had the effect of decreasing and stopping ‘criminal’ element activity in that ‘society’. And one expression of this in the United States you may see every day in the form of ‘police officers’. But another form not so obvious here in the United States is lawful gun ownership and possession and more recently studies have shown that as firearms ownership and possession has increased crime overall has decreased (and firearms ownership increasing has not resulted in an increase in an overall increase in crime as anti-gun falsely put forth) but in areas where gun ownership and possession is banned or heavily hindered/restricted that crime has increased in those areas.

  9. “…the current coalition government’s stance on going after criminals rather than law-abiding citizens is something U.S. leaders could possibly take a lesson from.”

    Already happened in the US; gun owners are potential criminals, lacking only a minor inconvenience to set off a mass killing, as an act of frustration (revenge?) and score-settling. The mere declared intention to buy a gun should disqualify anyone seeking to buy a gun.

    If law-abiding people had no firearms, govt could stop spending money trying to prevent the law-abiding from “snapping”; money better spent on making people accept and celebrate the fact that science is only a state of mind.

    • Sam I Am. It’s appropriate that you use a Dr. Seuss character for your screen name. You’re a child. You completely ignore the facts and reality. You live where money come’s from the rainbow unicorn’s ass and the money fairy dispenses it. If you actually believe any fraction of what you wrote you re a complete moron.

  10. “Modern sporting rifle” <<< LOL. Folks, we’re not making *any* headway with the liberals by calling it that. Just throw it in their face and call it what it is: an AR15, AR10, a semi auto rifle.

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