My submission on the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill

A pin from 1986 declaring New Zealand to be a nuclear weapon free zone.

Semi-automatic firearms are designed for mass killing, and they do this job with horrific efficiency. For any task where civilians might find semi-automatic firearms to be practical, there are alternative tools which could be reasonably used instead.

While semi-automatic firearms are in public circulation there will always be the risk of a semi-automatic firearms falling into the wrong hands and being used to commit mass murder. This is true even if the weapons are individually registered and tracked and issued to pre-approved license holders. If the Health and Safety At Work Act 2015 were applied to the country as a whole, then this level of risk would be clearly unacceptable, and our leaders in government (as PCBUs) would be rightly held responsible for any loss of life from the misuse of semi-automatic firearms.

The only reasonable response is to entirely remove semi-automatic firearms from public circulation. Some people will complain, but there are alternative tools which they could reasonably use instead.

In 1987 the NZ Government passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act to establish New Zealand as a nuclear free nation. Nuclear weapons were recognized as weapons designed to kill people on a mass scale, a job which they do with horrific efficiency. It was recognized that there are reasonable and responsible non-nuclear alternatives for national defence and power production. It took great courage to stand up to allies and establish the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone. Now is the time to establish New Zealand as a country entirely free of civilian semi-automatic firearms and other weapons designed for the mass killing of human beings.

I make the following recommendations:

  • Ban public ownership of semi-automatic firearms, and remove these weapons from public circulation.
  • Declare New Zealand to be a country free of civilian semi-automatic firearms, just as New Zealand is a declared Nuclear Free Zone.

You too can make a submission.