Responsible NZ Gun users are slowly coming to grips with the knowledge that Police convinced Government (ie the National
Party and their MMP accomplices) to enact a very poorly considered Arms Amendment Bill.
There are three MAIN reasons why the Bill is so poor (a) It focuses on 'looks' instead of 'functions' (b) It caters to
prejudice rather than fact and (c) The primary instigators seemingly failed to seek or accept competent advice.
These changes did NOT come into existence through 'public demand' but through an initial failure to properly interpret and
administer the Arms Act as it was intended - plus a mixture of emotions rather than facts.
Note that the 'air pistol' portion of the Act was an 'add-on' to the desire to legitimatize previous decisions relating to
MSSA weapons. There are more important parts of the Arms Act that need attention. Why were they not addressed? Of
course there will be plausible explanations for all of this - but they won't change the facts.
New Zealand's Responsible Firearms User Community needs to be aware that: If such a change to our rights and
privileges can be made so easily; and specialist advice can so readily 'cherry-picked' to suit a viewpoint - NONE of
our gun laws are sacrosanct. We had the best gun laws in the World in 1983 - where are we now? Only those who
have watched it will understand the process of incremental change.
The prejudices and false arguments that created a virtual and near total ban on the import of Air Pistols apply equally to
Air Rifles - are Air Rifles going to be next? If the arguments against air pistols were correct - they are equally
correct in the case of air rifles - perhaps more so because of the extra power air rifles have and the bigger
numbers in the country.
Where to from there?
We have already seen large importers quitting the market, others buying up stock to control the market - and the inevitable
The following were earlier comments -
The following comments relate to the "Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Act
2012" the "Arms (Military Style Semi-automatic Firearms-Pistol Grips) Order 2013" and the "Arms (Records of Licensed
Dealers) Amendment Regulations 2013" - all of which come into force on 11th December 2013. (See Here)
In short -Tom's recomendations have been ignored by this Parliament! (Big time!)
These enactments illustrate possibly the most complicated, convoluted, and poorly considered gun legislation since the 1920
Arms Act - which imposed individual firearm registration; made pistols into 'Unlawful Weapons'- AND banned their
possession - along with all pistol ammunition. Even as recently as the 1960s at least one gun owner received a 'dawn visit'
from a squad of police for ordering a 9mm bullet mould from overseas, and being in possession of a wooden grip plate (with
screws) saw another before the courts!! The problems created by that Act and subsequent amendments were not resolved
until the 1983 Arms Act became law.
This new Amendment Act and consequent regulations were brought about by a Parliament that would not listen to informed
submissions and was unaware of the harm they would do to New Zealand's responsible firearms community - and thereby to
the entire community. This is a Parliament that permits the sale of alcohol and other mind-bending drugs to 18year olds but
now seeks to stop those same 18year old citizens possessing the airguns that, for around a hundred years have assisted new
shooters obtain a safe grounding in the basics of firearm safety.
Our 16yo Children can own and drive high-powered cars and motorcycles, as well as creating new life, but are considered by
Government as not being mature enough to possess a range of very low powered toy airguns... Our 18yo citizens are
permitted to buy and consume one of the most dangerous addictive drugs around - a drug that is involved in over 300
offences EVERY DAY and contributes to the deaths of around 600 NZ citizens annually. Surely time for a change to a
Government with a bit of common sense...
Pistol Grip Definition
A semi-automatic firearm (other than a pistol) that has a pistol grip which is free-standing will be a MSSA:
Free-standing grip, in relation to a firearm, means a grip that -
(a) Is designed to be gripped by the whole or most of the trigger hand of a person firing the firearm; and
(b) Is (if any trigger guard is disregarded) structurally connected to the firearm at only one point; and
(c) When deployed, protrudes from the firearm in a direction that is closer to being perpendicular to the barrel than to
being parallel to it; and
(d) Is neither -
(i) a thumb-hole stock; nor
(ii) a stock of the type commonly described as a Dragunov stock or Dragunov-style stock
The direction in which the grip of a firearm protrudes from it must be determined in a general, practical sense -
(a) Having regard to the attitude that the trigger hand of a person firing the firearm (while gripping the grip as it is
designed to be gripped) would assume while the person is firing the firearm; and
(b) Without having regard to the shape of the grip.
The Arms (Military Style Semi automatics firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Act was passed in 2012 and comes
into effect on 11 December 2013.
The Act creates a new category of airgun - the Restricted Airgun. From Wednesday 11 December, anyone importing air guns
that look like real pistols, restricted weapons or military style firearms will require an import permit from police.
A restricted airgun is an airgun that:
• (With or without any of its attachments) has the appearance of being a pistol, a restricted weapon or a MSSA; or
• Is designed for use in airsoft or paintball sports and (with or without any of its attachments) has the appearance of being
a firearm capable of full automatic fire.
A permit to import is now required to import restricted airguns and there must be a special reason for the import. The same
process that is currently applied to the importation of pistols, restricted weapons and MSSAs will be used. Permits will be
issued from the Arms control Section at Police National Headquarters.
Restricted airgun - Special Reasons for importing
(Firearms licence not required other than by dealer)
The individual applying for the permit:
· seeks to possess the restricted airgun as part of a collection, and demonstrates that it fits with and enhances an
existing collection, or
· participates in an identifiable shooting discipline or sport at an incorporated sports club with rules encouraging safe
and legal use of firearms/airguns and a range certified for the shooting activity and intends to use the restricted
airgun in an event at that sports club, or
· wishes to use the restricted airgun in a capacity equivalent to that described in section 29(2)(e) of the Arms Act
1983 ('theatrical purposes'), or
· wishes to replace an unsafe or unserviceable restricted airgun, or
· requires the restricted airgun for occupational purposes, or
· the individual applying for the permit to import demonstrates the special significance of that particular restricted
airgun as an heirloom or memento, or
· a dealer needs to import restricted airguns for the purposes of maintaining a stock of restricted airguns used for an
identifiable shooting discipline or sport, or
· a dealer is importing the restricted airgun as agent for an individual who has a special reason for importing that
· a dealer wishes to replace an unsafe or unserviceable restricted airgun.