Alistair Scott, National MP for Wairarapa, has proposed a dangerous new amendment to our firearms law. 

The idea was first announced as a quick and simple fix to a quirk in the law. Essentially it was to bring parity in sentencing to those criminals found in possession of cut down weapons. As it stands, they actually get LESS time than those offenders found with long arms.

The Kiwi Gun Blog has covered this issue before.

We immediately contacted the MP to raise two concerns. Firstly that this was all academic as long as judges are not sentencing vicious criminals to ANY time at ALL. Handing our pitiful fines – if that.

But our main concern was that innocent shooters could be effected by a clumsy change. Especially when Police are actually HIDING the policy that we must obey. Think about that.

At this very minute Police wont tell the Blog if they have changed their policy on how to measure the length of an MSSA – AGAIN. Insisting that we wait a month for an Official Information Act request. Like the last time that we asked about the last change. Insane.

We gave our advice to Alistair Scott who seemed to take it on board.

Then he sent us a copy of the draft bill.

You can download the DRAFT bill here:

Arms Prohibition on Shortened Firearms Amendment (002)

We pointed out how dangerous these proposed changes are.

That it would create thousands of criminals overnight as no actual length was even mentioned!

He thanked us for the further comment but declined to show us a final version of the bill. Due to be submitted in coming days.

This has caused a great deal of concern in the shooting community and some scathing commentary from free media.

Please write to the MP urgently:

alastair.scott@parliament.govt.nz

Urge him to simply bring the penalties into parity and drop any dangerous and completely unnecessary nonsense that goes further.

UPDATE 29/7/18

From Chris Bishop, National’s Spokesperson for Police

The National Party is doing some work around the penalties for criminal use of firearms particularly by gangs. We want to make it harder for gangs to get firearms and easier to hold them to account when they do. This makes our communities safer and that’s a real focus for the National Party. However we must always work to find the right balance, and we will be very careful not to impinge on the rights of legitimate forearms users.

As part of these efforts Alastair Scott has been exploring ideas to look at raising the penalties for possessing and using sawn off rifles and shotguns. The feedback coming through from legitimate firearm users and the various associations has been very clear and very helpful and will be reflected in any legislative proposal.

We will listen and we will address your concerns. The current proposal is an idea and has not been discussed by the National caucus yet, nor has any bill been entered in the Parliamentary ballot. The draft that Alistair has circulated for feedback will need to be changed to focus more on penalties instead of a permitting system before we consider it further. We will make sure we get the balance right and we will make sure legitimate users aren’t adversely affected.

As Police spokesperson, I am very keen to engage with licenced firearm owners. Later in the year along with your local National MPs I will be holding a series of “National Firearms Forums” where licenced firearms owners will have the opportunity to meet me and in some cases our Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell. The forums will be a great opportunity for licenced firearm owners shape our policy going into 2020. The sessions will primarily be held in the evening to allow people to attend after work and will be held in as many parts of the country as feasibly possible.

If you have any comments or questions please email me: Chris.bishop@parliament.govt.nz

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