Is it possible to write a bill that’s worse than the first Tarrant gun control law? Apparently it is.
It all goes wrong in the preamble. Owning firearms is a right, and the wording that claims to the contrary cannot change that fact. That makes the proposed preamble to the Act a lie and undermines its authority as law.
When you meet the requirement for some kind of financial assistance from the taxpayer, it’s called an “entitlement”. This is because, by law, you have a right to the dole when you meet the requirements.
Hence, if you meet the requirements of the Arms Act, you have the right to own firearms. You are entitled to their ownership. I’m not making an argument from natural law or God-given rights here, I’m just talking about the effect of legislation. If you meet the “fit and proper” definition in the law, then you are entitled to a firearms licence and, by extension, have the right to own firearms.
The preamble is nonsense and turns the Arms Act into a joke by inverting the very purpose of law.
The bill then has a whole section on how New Zealand law is being made compliant with some “non-binding” United Nations treaty that the globalists pushing this bill keep saying won’t undermine New Zealand sovereignty.
There is the subject of the new national gun register to be introduced. New Zealand had one in the past and abandoned it. This is because registers are inevitably expensive, are error-riddled and serve no practical purpose in fighting crime.
There remains then only one purpose for it, which would be to know the quantities and locations of firearms to confiscate next time. As much has been stated by the Minister of Police, which means the register will be introduced in bad faith. That’s enough to guarantee it will be useless.
The bill also asks GPs to become snitches for the police, which not only undermines the doctor-patient relationship, but there is also no evidence that this will be useful. Whose doctor knows they own firearms?
Will clinics have to start reporting on all the patients they think are a bit cuckoo and run them through the police database? It’s all pretty unlikely this will have any effect beyond discouraging those who need medical help from getting it.
The police are then given power to determine who is engaging in “hate” and “extremism”, allowing them to use any spurious sources whatsoever, and then determine that person is no longer fit and proper to own a firearm.
The bill halves the length for which a firearms licence is issued, despite there not being any evidence that the previous reduction, from lifetime to ten years, has prevented any crime.
The bill also adds onerous requirements to shooting ranges, especially smaller rural ones, which might lead to their closure and further adds to the cost of compliance or increased non-compliance. It restricts the ability for yet-unlicensed trainees to handle ammunition and piles on a heap of other strenuous regulations, while giving increased discretionary power to the police.
All these changes are there for no practical reason other than to cripple gun sports because a foreign terrorist asked the government to do it. Nothing in this bill would have prevented the March 15th terrorist attack or made it easier to identify the shooter beforehand. It will simply cost a lot of money and waste a lot of time.
The whole bill continues to undermine the relationship between the law-abiding firearms community and the police, which has historically been excellent. This bill goes so far as to increase penalties against those who attempt to abide by it, exposing them to harsher sentences than criminals and gangs who act entirely unbound by the Arms Act.
Then there is the question of how widespread compliance will be. Current figures show an optimistic 12-15% compliance with the confiscation programme triggered by the first Tarrant law. Evidence from confiscation programmes overseas shows that, at best, one-fifth to one-third of firearms can be confiscated and the rest simply vanish. Likewise, gun registers seem to have an upper range of 50% accuracy.
Lastly, if the purpose of these Tarrant laws is to make New Zealand safer, then why is it being announced that the police will likely remain permanently armed? The same happened in Australia after its confiscation programme and has led to endless powers being given to its burgeoning police-state.
If these bills do not benefit the people of New Zealand, then it begs the question: whose position is being made safer?
The Arms Legislation Bill is currently being considered by Select Committee and will be up for a second vote in the House in the coming months. National and ACT have indicated they will oppose it in its current form, so its fate now rests in the hands of NZ First.