24 Sep 2019

Guns and death: Parliament this week

From The House , 9:00 am on 24 September 2019

MPs are at Parliament on and off for what are called sitting weeks. During those sitting weeks (which are in a calendar here) they spend three days in the debating chamber from 2pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

All up they spend about 17 hours debating and working on legislation but for those who don’t have time to watch it all, here are the two bills to pay attention to this week. 

Guns - Arms Legislation Bill

Labour MP Stuart Nash

Minister of Police Stuart Nash is in charge of the Arms Legislation Bill Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

This bill is the second in promised legislation from the Government on firearms law following attacks on Christchurch Mosques in March.

The first bill banned particular weapons and introduced a buy-back scheme.

This bill will create a firearms registry, increase some penalties, and allow Police to be informed of and consider the health or wellbeing of a licenced firearms owner.

The registry will be similar to the drivers licence registry and firearms licenses will be reduced from 10 years to five.

Labour says the changes will make sure gun ownership is restricted to responsible users while National says the changes will penalise law-abiding firearms owners instead of gangs and genuine criminals.

The first reading of this bill will take place after question time on Tuesday (about 3pm).

More information:

Death - End of Life Choice bill

David Seymour speaks at the End of Life Choice Second Reading

ACT Party Leader David Seymour speaks on his End of Life Choice Bill Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

This bill is nearing the last part of the committee of the Whole House stage. 

On and off since July, MPs have been debating the details of the bill which will enable terminally ill people to choose to legally end their lives.

The reasons it’s on and off is because it’s not a Government bill and is only debated every other Wednesday in the House (known as a Members’ Day). 

This part of a bill’s journey to law isn’t a pass or fail event but the last chance to make changes to the bill so it can do what it promises to do. MPs are also suggesting changes that align with their political beliefs and personal voting means the process is taking longer than it usually would. 

The debate has often been heated with MPs passionately defending their stance and one even apologising for being “over-zealous”

After this stage is done the bill will have its third reading debate which is the last hurdle it has to jump before it can become law. 

More information:

See the full list of legislation before the House here.