Freelance journalist and commentator Jock
Anderson says rogue shooting is no reason to toughen gun laws.
the disarmament lobby for tougher gun laws ignore the reality that New Zealand
gun laws are widely regarded as among the best in the world.
inevitable that the Upper Hutt shooting brings out anti-gun campaigners baying
for “tougher” gun laws.
The fact is
that most gun crime in New Zealand is committed by people who are not licensed
firearms owners – dodgy people who have stolen or acquired firearms they are
not entitled by law to have and who go one to use them unlawfully.
They do not
comply with firearms law.
extremely rare for any gun crime to be committed by a licensed firearms owner.
gun law in New Zealand is the premise that firearms ownership and use is a
privilege and not a right.
what anti-gun campaigning academic Professor Kevin Clements, of Otago University’s national centre for peace and conflict studies says, New Zealand
gun laws are not loose.
firearms to their licensed owners – as Prof Clements suggests – may be a useful
consideration, however bureaucratically cumbersome it would be.
firearms licence in New Zealand is a lengthy, detailed and sensible process.
must establish they are first of all fit and proper to hold a firearms licence.
must have good reason to want to own a firearm.
for example, is not a reason.
undertake police-approved courses in firearms safety and are assessed for their
attitude, maturity, responsibility and common sense.
advisable to be introduced by an existing licence holder and to show a genuine
interest in the outdoors, either as a hunter or target shooter.
of a shooting organisation such as the Deerstalkers Association is recommended.
develop interests in disciplines such as pistol and semi-automatic service
rifle shooting, for example, require stricter additional examination, vetting
licensed firearms owners rarely commit crime with guns, no law can totally
prevent a determined person getting their hands on a firearm by some unlawful
means or other.
responsible licensed firearms owners – who lawfully have guns for sport,
competition or collection and also vote – cannot be penalised for the
criminality of a very small minority…
Jock Anderson has been a journalist for a long time,
observing matters from what he describes as a sensible centre-right
perspective. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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