A matter of perspective on gun laws

After the massacre in New Zealand yesterday, I was curious as to how restrictive gun laws were down there.

I read this article published by the Australian Financial Review:

Christchurch shooting to spark debate over New Zealand gun laws

The suspected 28-year-old white, male Australian terrorist who perpetrated a mass shooting in Christchurch apparently gained access to a range of semi-automatic, high-powered weapons that are banned in Australia.

Australia has some of the strictest gun control policies and most comprehensive regulations in the region and world. New Zealand, by contrast, has some of the most permissive gun policies in the Pacific.

Some of the most permissive gun laws?  Really?

What is permissive about their gun laws?

I did some searching and found this amazing article from the Seattle Globalist.

Getting strapped in New Zealand, Americans learn ropes of gun control

Some American expats move to New Zealand because of GW Bush and then go through the process of trying to buy a gun in the land of the Kiwi.

It is worth a read.

The last paragraph of the article is enlightening.

Between the application fees, membership dues, club activities and special safes required, the financial obligations alone could be a barrier to anyone looking to obtain a firearm for frivolous or reactionary reasons. To get a gun in New Zealand you have to plan ahead, have a clean record, and have the money to spend on it.

In other words, it’s a tremendous pain in the ass. But it’s a pain in the ass that appears to be saving lives.

In a nutshell, you have to have a license to buy a Category A gun.  That requires background checks, taking a class, a written test, an interview with the police, two character references (one of which cannot be a relative), proof of safe storage, proof of no mental heath issues, and expensive fees.  Then the license is only good for 10 years, at which point you have to go through this again.

So what is so lax about that?  The Guardian has the answer.

Unlike the UK and Australia, New Zealand does not ban the ownership of semi-automatic military-style “assault weapons”. Most guns can be legally sold on the internet or through newspaper ads. Any person aged 16 or over with an entry-level firearm licence can keep any number of common rifles and shotguns without having to register them.

“New Zealand’s decision not to register 96% of civilian firearms makes it a standout exception, alone with the United States and Canada,” Alpers wrote.

Over the past year, New Zealand has seen a renewed debate over what police have called loopholes in the way military-style semi-automatic rifles are defined by law. Possession of these “MSSA” rifles is supposed to be subject to a higher level of scrutiny from the police, and there are only about 15,000 registered military-style rifles in civilian hands, as of last year.

But because of the way military-style rifles are defined by law, guns with slightly different features but virtually the same function can fall outside of the stricter regulations. Both police and firearms enthusiasts noted that a rifle could be transformed into a MSSA simply by adding a larger-capacity ammunition magazine.

Remember what I said about Category A guns?

New Zealand has what amounts to the Brady Bill, but with a magazine capacity limit of 7 rounds.

Which means a Kiwi can legally own a semi-auto shotgun or rifle with just a regular firearms license.  Those guns also do not need to be registered.

Military-style semi-automatic rifles (MSSA) are highly restricted, require an endorsement to the gun license, must be registered, store deactivated, and are pretty much only available to very sect people (usually business interests), such as museums or movie studios for props.

Pistols are also highly restricted and require a special endorsement to the gun license as well.

New Zealand makes it very clear that self defense is highly discouraged and not a legitimate reason to want to use a gun.

You can read all about New Zealand’s gun laws from their National Police website.

Since the main shooter is from Australia, every Australian newspaper wants to make it clear that Australia is better than New Zealand because of its gun laws.

From the Sidney Morning Herald.

‘One for every three people’: What are New Zealand’s gun laws?

The massacre prompted a tightening of New Zealand’s gun laws, which were first passed in 1983. However they are still considered more relaxed than many other countries outside the United States.

That’s a hell of a perspective.

The reason for this is that, unlike Australia, there is no system of registration for the majority of guns in New Zealand.

But a ball buster of a licencing schedule.

There are believed to be 1.5 million guns in New Zealand, one for every three people. In Australia, there are 3.15 million guns – one for every eight people.

See, Aussies are castrated morally superior.

Owning or using a firearm in New Zealand does require a licence. Applicants must be over 16 and pass a background check by New Zealand Police to check whether they are a “fit and proper person”.

A history of violence, relationships with criminals, a repeated involvement with drugs, or irresponsible consumption of alcohol are some of the reasons why someone might be denied a licence.

Carrying a gun is only permitted for those with a “lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose”, such as hunting, pest control or sports shooting. Self-defence is not considered a reason to have a gun.

Two referees, including one spouse or parent, must be able to attest to an applicant’s suitability to carry a gun in an interview with police. An arms officer from New Zealand Police will also pay a visit to their home to inspect security of the guns.

Applicants must also attend a gun safety lecture and pass a test, where they have to get 28 out of 30 answers right.

Sounds a lot more Aussie than American to me.

Once approved, the licence allows a person to have or use a rifle or shotgun. Special permits are required for pistols, military-style semi-automatic weapons and other restricted categories such as machine guns and rocket launchers.

Why do anti-gun people always jump to “machine guns and rocket launchers?”

Unlike rifles and shotguns, those guns must be registered with police. However there is some concern that unregistered guns can be easily modified to perform like military-style semi-automatic weapons.

See, that a Kiwi can buy a 10/22 and not register it makes a little trickle of pee run down an Australian’s leg.

For an American, the idea of two character references and a police inspection of your house sounds likes Stalinist hell.

Don’t worry.  It doesn’t matter how many gun laws we’ll find out this guy broke, law abiding Kiwis will lose that last tiny breath of ease in their gun laws soon, and then the Australians will have to crack down even harder.

If you are an American, just wait until the Anti’s blame Trump for this and suggest law abiding American’s lose their gun rights for the same reason.

 

 

 

 

4 Replies to “A matter of perspective on gun laws”

  1. I thought only America had “right wing terrorists” …… liberal bullshite is world wide. Whatever. More fodder for the outrage crowd. Time to go shoot more

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