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SSANZ Newsletter Feb 2020

By Phil Cregeen, SSANZ

Figures published on the Police website tell us that a total of 56,250 firearms were collected in the so-called buyback and amnesty that ended on the 20 December. This equates to 3.75% of the civilian armoury of an estimated 1.5 million firearms, so there are still a lot of firearms in the community.

 

Has it achieved its objective of removing MSSAs and “Assault Rifles” from public hands? There were 15,037 MSSAs registered to E endorsed owners of which 9,532 (63.4 %) were handed in, 4,277 (28.4%) subject to applications to retain by dealers, pest controllers, collectors and museums, and 1,228 (8.2 %) yet to be accounted for, this potentially leaves 5,505 MSSAs still in the community.

 

Centrefire semi automatics accounted for 63% of the total buyback, in other words 32,345 - 9,532 MSSAs = 22,813 A Cat semis. Since no one will admit to knowing how many were in the community to start with, despite police issuing all the permits that allowed them to be imported, it is difficult to estimate the number remaining.

 

“So again there must be a significant number of semi-autos still in the community, it has been estimated to be in the region of 100,000.”

 

Figures released by Customs indicate that 98,580 rifles were imported in the five years between 2013-2017, would it be fair to estimate 1 in 4 of these to be a semi-auto, about 24,625. So what about all the semi A cats imported prior to 2013? We know a lot of these were 3-4 shot hunting rifles dating back to the early 1900s.

 

So again there must be a significant number of semi-autos still in the community, it has been estimated to be in the region of 100,000. 

 

12,375 (22%) of the buyback comprised rifles with a magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds, a high percentage of these would be .22 pump and lever-actions with magazines ranging from 12-15 round. And even if they were centrefire did they really pose a threat to public safety in the hands of LFOs?

 

Semi-auto and pump-action shotguns accounted for 13% of the total, 6,674, because they held more than 5 shots. Again we question whether these really constitute a threat to public safety in the hands of LFOs.

 

The cost of the Buyback was $102,198,651, but that does not include the hidden cost to the police of collecting, transporting and destroying so many firearms and the additional admin resulting from processing all the new licence endorsements etc. 

 

SSANZ’s view is that the whole process has been a total failure, because not only has it failed to remove all so called dangerous firearms from public hands, it has alienated a large section of the firearm community driving many firearm into the grey or black markets where they are no longer stored securely and safely. Added to this it has destroyed the previous good relationship between LFOs and police. 

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The Select Committee published its report on the Arms Legislation Bill on 10 February. The Labour majority have recommended that the Bill should proceed with some minor changes, while both National and Act recommended that the Bill should be rejected. Parliament will debate this and the Bill may be amended in some small ways. However since the government has the numbers on its side the Bill is likely to be passed and become law by March.

 

The only way to reverse this Law change will be to bring about a change of government at the election on 19 September with a party committed to repealing this Bill. Then your most effective weapon will be how you cast your party vote. 

 

PROTESTING - NOT OUR THING

Many firearm owners feel uncomfortable taking part in protest demonstrations, however that did not stop sixty SSANZ members and friends from taking part in a successful protest against the Arms Legislation Bill in Whangarei on Saturday 8 February, with plenty of supporting toots from passing traffic. Other protests took place in major centres around the country.

 

Are you a Kiwi (endangered species) or an Ostrich (head in the sand)? With our present government denying Licensed Firearms Owners our right to a fair democratic process in round one and then introducing the most draconian firearm laws ever in round two last year, which will spell the end of many shooting sport opportunities and severely restrict firearm ownership, why have so few of you lifted a finger to oppose these changes? Where are the 200,000 of you who don’t belong to SSANZ or COLFO?

 

“With our present government denying Licensed Firearms Owners our right to a fair democratic process in round one and then introducing the most draconian firearm laws ever in round two last year, which will spell the end of many shooting sport opportunities and severely restrict firearm ownership, why have so few of you lifted a finger to oppose these changes?”

 

Just sounding off on Facebook doesn’t help. Did you make a submission to the Select Committee on the Arms Legislation Bill, join and donate to www.fairandreasonable.co.nz, take part in a protest gathering, talk or write to your MP?

 

From what we have seen to date the vast majority of New Zealand LFOs did none of those things. Many of our grandparents and parents gave their lives or suffered years of privation in two World Wars to defend our rights to freedom and democracy. Have their sons and daughters gone soft in the peace that our forebears created? So soft that they don’t care about the encroaching police state. 

 

Or perhaps because they are ostriches they didn’t know about these threats to our sport and hobby. Let us correct that and keep you informed. Become a Kiwi and join the fight for survival of our species, join SSANZ today

 

ARE YOU A CLUB MEMBER?

 

If you don’t belong to a gun club how do you keep informed?

 

The answer to this is: join SSANZ for only $20 per year and keep yourself informed with regular email updates.

 

www.sportingshooters.nz

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