The Christchurch Massacre and New Zealand's Gun Control Laws

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

There is a lot we do not yet know about the mass killing in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I will not speculate on the murderers’ actions. But it didn’t require much effort to realize that the shootings would be used, yet again, by gun control advocates in the United States to attempt to justify attempts to restrict our constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. I googled New Zealand’s gun control laws, and they are somewhat more restrictive than the Democrats’ proposals to make America safer, but somehow, some way, they still didn’t prevent this mass shooting.


Gun licences are issued at the discretion of the police in New Zealand provided the police consider the person to be of good standing (Citation New Zealand.2008.‘Delegation of Powers by Commissioner.’ Arms Act 1983 No. 44.Wellington:Parliamentary Counsel Office,1 October. (Q3022) ) and without criminal, psychiatric or drug issues as well as meeting other conditions such as having suitable storage facilities. They must be issued for a valid reason. Several different categories of licenses are permitted, with the lowest one permitting access to restricted semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, with limited capacity, while the higher levels which permit fully automatic weaponry and pistols are rarely issued to civilians. . . .

Under New Zealand law, some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose is needed to use, discharge or carry any firearm, airgun, or similar weapon. The person carrying, using, or discharging the weapon is obliged to prove the purpose was lawful, proper, and sufficient. This requirement applies even if the person can legally possess the weapon. Exactly what constitutes a lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose is not defined in legislation and must be proven on a case by case basis. Hunting game, pest control and agricultural uses, sports, collection, and theatrics are all normally acceptable purposes but personal protection and self-defence are not.


Simply put, rather than firearm ownership being a right which can only be abridged if you are a convicted felon or adjudicated mentally ill, Kiwis have to be approved by the police to own or purchase a firearm, and they have to demonstrate a lawful purpose for such ownership.

Shockingly enough, the perpetrators of this act violated the law, discharging their weapons illegally. Why, it’s almost as though criminals don’t obey the laws!

Of course, CNN wrote:

The Christchurch massacre, which has left at least 49 people dead, has highlighted flaws in New Zealand’s gun control laws.

No, New Zealand’s gun control laws aren’t flawed, other than in their violation of the natural rights of a free people to own firearms. What is flawed is the thinking that criminals and terrorists who break the laws would somehow obey gun control regulations.

Until Friday, the biggest massacre in the country’s history happened 30 years ago, when a man named David Gray went on a shooting rampage, killing 13 people.

Following that attack, the nation’s gun laws — which were first passed in 1983 — came under scrutiny. The ensuing debate led to a 1993 amendment on the regulation of military-style semi-automatic firearms.

Despite those laws, New Zealand’s weapons legislation is considered more relaxed than most Western countries outside of the USA. Gun owners do need a license but they aren’t required to register their guns — unlike in neighboring Australia.

While authorities do not know exactly how many legally or illegally owned firearms are currently in circulation in New Zealand, estimates put the number at about 1.2 million, according to New Zealand Police. This figure equates to about one gun for every three people — a rate that is considered high when compared with Australia, which has 3.15 million guns, approximately one for every eight people.

That said, gun-inflicted fatalities remain relatively low in New Zealand. The number of gun homicides per year in the decade up to 2015 was in the dozens, according to figures compiled by the University of Sydney. This equated to an annual rate of about one death per 100,000 people — in contrast to the United States, which had 12 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.

Potential gun owners in New Zealand must be over the age of 16 and pass a police background check, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.


There’s more at the original, but what CNN is not-so-secretly hinting at is that there needs to be registration of all firearms in the country.

When I say, not so secretly hinting at, it is because the story continues to note that neighboring Australia had “federally funded gun buybacks and voluntary surrenders of firearms,” without mentioning that that weapons collection in Australia was not voluntary, but mandatory.

After a gunman with an AR-15 rifle and high-capacity magazines opened fire at a tourist site in Port Arthur and killed 35 people in 1996, a conservative government led Australian states in passing sweeping new restrictions on firearms. Authorities collected and destroyed over 640,000 weapons, as many as one-third of all guns in the country — whether their owners wanted to part with them or not.

As is the case in New Zealand, Australians who wish to purchase firearms must pass thorough background checks and present a “justifiable reason” for ownership; self-defense is not considered a justifiable reason to own a firearm.

That, if we tell the truth here, is what the left would like to see here: if weapons are privately owned at all, self-defense would not be listed as a valid reason for owning them. They would rather see law-abiding Americans killed than defend themselves from criminals with a firearm; they would rather see the criminals survive and the victims of crime not.


That criminals would still own weapons, because they are not going to obey gun control laws, doesn’t seem to bother the left in the slightest.

We need to be very thankful that we have a written Constitution, and that it cannot be amended by simple majorities; were that the case, our rights under the Second Amendment — and others as well — would have been taken away long ago.
If you found this article interesting, annoying or outrageous, please visit my Red State story archive.
My personal website, The First Street Journal, includes articles not necessarily in Red State’s paradigm. This article is cross-posted on my personal site.
You can follow me on Twitter.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos