The people of Aotearoa New Zealand have a rich history of gun ownership and hunting in the outdoors. The rural environment and provincial areas of New Zealand offer great access to hunting and outdoor pursuits.

As an outdoors, agriculture, and gun-collecting people, there are approximately 300,000 licensed firearms owners in our country.

There are recognised issues with the way our Government manages the topic of firearms. The new law was introduced on the back of a great tragedy, the high emotion this horrible crime generated led to a knee-jerk reaction in the creation of the current Firearms law

We want to protect our community as well as our democratic rights that include safe and legal gun ownership.

Therefore, we will:

  1. Repeal both the first and second tranche of the new Arms Act.
  2. Return the Firearms Act to the 2017 pre-election status.
  3. Create an independent agency to administer the Act along the lines of NZTA, LTSA. Police will enforce this, but the agency will manage the implementation of the Act.
  4. Create an improved vetting process managed by the new Agency in conjunction with Police.
  5. Create a new process for retailers of firearms to safely sell their products.

We will focus on funding on the vetting system for license applicants that will be stringent and consistent to ascertain a newly defined fit and proper status of ownership. Once achieved, one will be able to own whatever class of firearm one requires. You are either fit and proper, or you are not. There are no degrees relative to the firearm you have in your possession.

A streamlined mail-order system can be designed to integrate with the RealMe ID system already used for Government websites. It can also incorporate applications such as Zoom for real-time personal verification.

  1. We will create a National Firearms Council made up of public representatives from the spectrum of firearms ownership types. This Council will work closely with the new Agency and Government officials to develop and implement policy and oversee community safety and democratic issues.
  2. We will apply a greater political will to stamp out criminal or black market ownership and sales of firearms and develop the right policies to achieve this. We will work to give Police the tools to search for and seize illegal firearms.

Summary

A full review and Parliamentary Select Committee process for a new, improved Firearms Act co-shaped with a new National Firearms Council is required.

Repealing the current Act to return it to its status pre the 2017 election is the first step. Then, a new democratic approach to streamlining the law and increasing community safety can be undertaken.

With regard to classes and security measures relative to the various classes of endorsements prior to the new Arms Act (e.g.,

A new ‘P’ endorsement class would be covered under the previous ‘E’ category security measures — as is the case now — with the exception of the current requirement for a separate safe for ‘P’-endorsed high-capacity magazines.

This means we will not have to re-invent the wheel or impose additional costs on those who already have in place security measures applicable to the firearms they own, or have previously owned and wish to replace. 

All new license holders will be required to match those previous security requirements before being able to purchase a firearm of that type (e.g., all centre fire semi-autos would require what was previously an E or P category security (safe)). 

The range of issues that need to be reviewed and thought through must reflect community safety and democracy in the first instance.

NZPP stands for an open, sensible, and democratic approach to maintaining New Zealanders’ traditional rights to the ownership of firearms. With democracy and community safety side-by-side, we will be able to improve laws so both are adequately protected.