A summary of what was said by our politicians while debating the Arms Legislation bill is below. The source is the New Zealand Deerstalkers Assoc (NZDA)

Vote:

  • 57 Opposed: National, ACT, Jami-Lee Ross.
  • 63 Favour: NZ First, Greens, Labour.

Result: Bill passed its 2nd reading.

The Speakers talking points were as follows:

Speaker 1: Minister Nash, Labour, for the Bill.

He says it will stop Gang Violence and protect front line Police.

Speaker 2: Brett Hudson, National, opposed.

Queried why an exemption for sporting shooters for Prohibited firearms is not provided for. Noted this affects law-abiding firearms owners. However, not opposed to the concept of a register.

Speaker 3: Deborah Russell, Labour, Chair of the Select Committee, for the Bill.

Only talked about supporting submissions. Quoted certain statements from submissions.

Speaker 4: Nathan Guy, National. Opposed to the Bill and spoke for hunters and farmers. [Editor’s note] Mr Guy is retiring so will not be part of any National-led future government.

Opposed to the red tape, regulation and cost. Says if this Bill passes that National will amend it come September’s election if they form Government.

Speaker 5: Meka Whaitiri, Labour, for the Bill.

Acknowledged Nash’s work. Speaks for Hastings and says she speaks for farmers and rural people. She says the law “removes guns” from those that do harm. Supports a register.

Speaker 6: Chris Penk, National. Opposed as drafted.

Reported that his constituents didn’t support this Bill and thinks, in good faith, it does not make New Zealand safer and the Bill needs many changes. “Looks good, but has a bad effect” in maintaining safety. Says: 1) a spreadsheet will not stop a bullet, and the register will not have its hoped for outcome, 2) Regarding gun ranges, we should support our clubs and get an “on the ground” understanding, and clubs are best placed to provide ranges 3) omniscience by way of a register is not a good thing, 4) should be exceptions for pest control and sports shooting, 5) ideologically opposed to a register and its false sense of security, 6) privacy concerns for data breaches.

Speaker 7: Chloe Swarbrick, Greens, supports the Bill.

Stated she only “read” the report today, yet feels competent to speak with authority on the Bill… She is happy with the gun reforms and a registry. Says it is a privilege to own a gun. Likens it to owning a car. Says New Zealand has no idea how many guns are in New Zealand and that a register will give Police the data and over time an accumulation of data will allow for “preemptive stopping of crime”. Cannot understand why those in opposition of the Bill do not approve of doctor-patient disclosure and notification. Supports the new offences and penalties and the Greens “on balance” think these are good.

The BFD. National MP Judith Collins

Speaker 8: Judith Collins, National. Opposed.

Noted that National supported the first tranche but is disappointed by the Bill. Her constituents do not support this, and she conveyed that. The Bill does not address safety. Says National Party isn’t opposed to the register, but is opposed to this Bill and its register. Mentions, again, Firearm Prohibition Orders, and wants that in law. Talks about gangs and how this law will not impact crime or gangs. Refers to many reasonable submissions she heard being made but being ignored. Queries a 5 year period and likens it to Passports which have 10 years (previously 5). Says this Bill is an attack on farmers and rifle collectors and ignores our history. Says the range and club regime is silly, and has nothing to do with safely. Notes that zero/none/zip deaths happen on rifle ranges. Overall she says the law is punitive and treats law-abiding citizens with contempt. She called out NZ First and said how can they support this Bill.

Speaker 9: Jo Luxton. Labour. Supports the Bill.

Mentions her husband and sons are hunters and shooters. Says owning a gun is a privilege. Says relevant hunters are exempt from a dealer regime, which makes sense. Says she is “rural” and mentions crimes are committed by people who haven’t committed a crime before. Commends the Prime Minister and Minister Nash for this law.

Speaker 10: Ian McKelvie. National. Opposed.

Say he supports the first tranche but that this Bill has ‘gaps’. Doubts the register will be accurate. Supports good gun control laws. He is concerned with the haste of this Bill. Said he has seen and inspected ranges and rifle arms facilities as part of a previous review. Says this Bill will do nothing to take guns off criminals and gangs. “Hugely disappointing”.

David Seymour-The_BFD
The BFD. Act leader David Seymour

Speaker 11: David Seymour, Act. Strongly Opposed.

Noted 90% of 3,527 submissions opposed the Bill, 7% supported, 3% had no view. A key issue is it invades Doctor-Patient confidentiality. The register is a disaster and will be a disaster and will not stop crime. Noted that Police has lost personal data. (Note, Nash rudely interjected and was told off by the Speaker). Notes the regulation on clubs will make things far less safe due to onerous provisions and volunteers may not end up providing safe range areas. Says this Bill punishes law-abiding people and punishes people that Labour say they listen to and care about. Says an inclusive Government would wait for the Royal Commission Report. Notes that the timing is “political theatrics” and this Bill must be opposed or changed by the next Government.

Speaker 12: Kieran McAnulty. Labour. For the Bill.

Says the Bill is fair and reasonable. Attacks National for not supporting this Bill. As a keen hunter he supports this Bill.

Speaker 13: Andrew Bayly. National. Opposes the Bill.

Says they do, however, support some reforms. Poor implementation of the first tranche is a concern. Says we need to get the ‘grey weapons’, but have not because of the poor management by Police. Critical of the process. Mentions clubs and says he has visited local clubs and ranges, and says they do all the right things and teach safe practices, but this Bill imposed stringent regulations on those very clubs. Clubs will create a safer environment. Clubs should be where that is done, but this Bill cuts to the core of the clubs. Supports sporting shooters and supports farms and pest controllers. Calls out NZ First for their absence. Says it puts too much burden on Police.

The BFD. Defence Minister Ron Mark in his office at Parliament, Wellington. 20 February, 2019. New Zealand Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell

Speaker 14: Ron Marks, NZ First. Supports the Bill. Minister of Defence.

Acknowledged submitters and law-abiding gun owners. Says removing military-style weapons was a good thing. Says they understand (but ignore) the view that the Royal Commission report should come out first. Many acknowledgements. Says NZ First has some “reservations”. Says the Bill is fair and reasonable and pragmatic. Mentions this is about gangs and shootings. Need to have an Arms Authority for licencing and let Police enforce the laws, not do both, and there needs to be a “conversation”. Issues around pest control and sporting shooters. Mentions and acknowledges COLFO and its good work (it is not like NRA). Despite reservations, votes for the Bill.

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