The New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association has strongly opposed the proposed Arms Legislation Bill calling it “unreasonable, illogical, punitive, overly bureaucratic. and worse still undemocratic.”
Of extreme concern are worrying inclusions which are ill-defined, undemocratic, breach human rights and hand police too much power without proper oversight or appeal said a NZDA press release.
“The Bill focusses heavily on enforcing the compliance of law-abiding licenced hunters and firearms owners and their organisations yet does relatively little to address the illegal use and possession of firearms by criminals.”
The Bill fails to recognise or acknowledge the social, cultural, economic and conservation benefits that come from hunting and responsible firearm use.
If the above concerns were addressed and the offending clauses removed or modified to ensure New Zealanders’ civil liberties are properly acknowledged and protected, then NZDA could support the majority of the new law’s objectives.
NZDA said in the wake of the first round of changes to arms laws in early 2019 in response to the Christchurch massacres, any further changes should have waited until the Royal Commission into the tragedy had finished its work and reported back.
“This would have allowed a more considered, fully informed and properly measured response.”