New Zealand’s new gun law comes into force
WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s amended gun laws came into force on Tuesday to further reduce gun violence, Police Minister Poto Williams said.
The coming into force of the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 is one of many changes following the Royal Commission’s investigation into the March 2019 terror attack on two Christchurch mosques that killed 51 people and injured 40 others.
“Gangs and other violent criminals cannot continue to threaten, intimidate and exploit our communities and these additional regulations provide police with additional tools to keep criminals out of guns and to keep our communities safe” , Williams said in a statement.
“Having a gun in New Zealand is a privilege, not a right and these changes are another step towards tackling gun violence and making our communities safer,” Williams said.
Changes include the implementation of tougher penalties for crimes committed with firearms, the introduction of firearms prohibition orders intended to ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.
The amendments to the regulations adapt the requirements to each type of firearms dealer activity.
They are also working to provide the information required for the import of ammunition and pistol-to-rifle conversion kits, the minister said, adding that they specify the nature and type of records that must be kept by companies selling ammunition.
The regulations will also mean that additional information will be required by firearms license applicants, including a list of countries visited or visited in the previous five years involving stays of 14 days or more, and length of stay in each country address.
The gun check process will help ensure that anyone with red flags in other jurisdictions will be identified. Police can then determine whether those people are fit and suitable to hold a firearms license in New Zealand, she said.