A group of 50 New Zealand firearms owners oppose the renewal of firearm rules, raising a note of controversy over tightening gun laws following a massacre in Christchurch last March that killed 51 members.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s attempt to control firearm has gained global acclaim, but something else is happening in the country – ahead of the next general election, she faces resistance from the Opposition, the National Party, the weapons lobbying group and the common people over legislation to be introduced in September.
According to media reports, a group of firearm owners filed a protest on Saturday at a weapons sale event in Auckland. They carry banners that say ‘This law hurts Kiwi citizens’ and ‘Safe: prohibit gun laws’.
The new law is currently being tabled in parliament to introduce arms registration and tighten the selection of gun owners, among the changes introduced.
In April, parliament passed a law unanimously banning the use and distribution of semi-automatic weapons.
News website Stuff.nz cites a statement from a national shooting champion Victoria O’Brien saying that the weapons collected and destroyed have cultural value.
“New Zealand’s history has been corrupted, we’re talking about World War I, World War II”, O’Brien said.
“They want to stop it and focus on illegal arms ownership,” she said, urging the government to stop the change.