6 May 2019

Gun lobby group want say in second amendment of firearms legislation

10:25 am on 6 May 2019

A gun lobby group says the hiring of a lawyer may provide them with a chance to voice their thoughts on the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill.

A selection of firearms which are now prohibited, on display to media at a police press conference.

A selection of firearms which are now prohibited, on display to media at a police press conference. Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Council of Licensed Firearms Owners has commissioned Barrister Nicholas Taylor so gun owners can be clear about exactly which weapons are banned under the new law.

The arms amendment bill, passed last month after the mosque attacks, bans most semi-automatics, magazines and parts.

Council secretary Nicole McKee told Morning Report that once they had a better understanding of the legislation, the council may advise its members to advocate against parts of it via the second amendment process.

"It is an opportunity to be able to have a voice in the second amendment that's going to be coming through, because we didn't really get one in the first amendment."

The council has previously expressed its concerns about the amendment, and Ms McKee had also spoken out about her opposition to the banning of military style semi-automatic weapons.

However, Ms McKee denied that they hired a lawyer as a delaying or undermining tactic, adding that they were working with police to fully understand the implications of the law.

"What I'm seeing is the ability for the citizens of New Zealand to partake in a sport or recreational activity, to be able to have a say in the legislative process," she said.

"In order to do that, they should be able to have the information at hand that will help them understand, comply and be able to make reasoned debate about what is occurring in their fields."

The lawyer would also help clear up any confusing parts of the law, which Ms McKee said had already been highlighted by the council in a quick scan of the legislation.

"This does not just affect semi-automatics, there's examples of newly restricted magazines for all types of firearms, such as the bolt, and the pump, and lever action, that have tubular magazines, they're capable of containing a legislative number of rounds.

"We just want to make sure that before we give advice to people, that we are legally correct in that advice."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs