Co-leader of the Outdoors NZ Party David Haynes says gun owners will ‘roll with’ new legislation. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Gun law changes – ‘we’ll just have to roll with it’

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The Nelson-based co-leader of the Outdoors NZ Party says gun owners will “have to roll” with new laws announced in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

The Government announced last week that military and assault-style semi-automatics will be banned, as well as related parts used to convert guns into military-style weapons, and all high-capacity magazines.

David Haynes, who lives in Hira and co-leads the Outdoors NZ Party says “everybody accepts” that the incident has changed New Zealand. A keen recreational hunter, David says for those who have guns that will be banned: “We’ll just have to roll with it.”

He says there is some disappointment that the legislation is being rushed and people are voicing concerns that it may not do the job that it’s set up to do.

“This is just the start of a number of legislative changes – the concern of firearms licence holders is whether there will be meaningful consultation going forward.”

David says law-abiding licensed firearms holders are not necessarily against the current or future changes, but that it will be in everybody’s best interest to have due consultation.

“There’s a lot of knowledge out there that would only improve the result of any changes in legislation.”

Nelson local Rachel Beard says she doesn’t know a lot about guns but thinks that a gun register should be enforced.

She says, being a “city girl” and not being raised around guns meant that they were always something scary to her and something she was against.

“Moving into more of a rural setting now, I have seen how they are used in a somewhat day to day setting.

“I can see they are needed for food, farm use, and hobbies like duck shooting, so I think taking those away wouldn’t be fair and would definitely be a knee jerk reaction. However, I think pulling the laws in a bit tighter is only going to benefit us.”

David says that there’s “not one example in the world” where a gun register has worked or had any impact on reducing gun crime or illegal firearms ownership.

“The likes of lawful firearms owners would go and register their guns with the police, but obviously unlicensed and illegal gun holders aren’t going to, so how does that make things better? It’s not going to take illegal guns off the street.”

He says his experience of the police vetting procedure is that it was “pretty comprehensive”, but says it would be a procedure to look into.

“This is the first incident in 30 years, but clearly we’ve failed somewhere.”

He says the rate of response of people handing over their reclassified guns has been “outstanding”.

“I think all lawful firearms holders are exactly that, we take it quite seriously so I would expect compliance.”