Auckland diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission has told a parliamentary select committee that urgent attention should be given to the tight control of advertising of all gun sales, especially where young people might see it.
In a submission on a supplementary order paper (SOP) aimed at amending aspects of the Arms Legalisation Bill, the commission also called for consideration to “be given to investigating the contribution of video games that some
alleged perpetrators of mass killings claim to have used for training purposes.
These may be contributing to an unhealthy gun culture”.
“In the interests of a healthier, safer society we look forward to more comprehensive gun control measures continuing to be introduced,” the JPC stated in a presentation before Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee last year.
The JPC commended the Government on its intention to severely restrict the availability of automatic weapons and
to continue with its amnesty and buyback schemes.
The Government was urged to continue on the path of introducing a comprehensive programme to register all
guns, “without which the effectiveness of other laudable measures will be severely diminished”.
Addressing some of the technical aspects of the supplementary order paper, the commission stated its support for the extension of the legislation to the sale and use of pistols.
It supported many of the changes proposed, including a proposed expansion of the regulation making power in the Arms Act 1983 to prohibit categories of firearms through an Order in Council.
But while it acknowledged greater controls being proposed for pistol carbine conversion kits (PCCK), the JPC, in its oral presentation, stated that, “given the risks that these parts could pose to the general population, we recommend that they should be banned outright and subject to a six-month amnesty and buyback, like other prohibited weapons and parts”.
A pistol carbine conversion kit is defined in the SOP as “a frame or kit that may be used to convert a pistol designed
or adapted to be held and fired with one hand . . . that has an overall length of no more than 400mm, into a firearm that may be fired from the shoulder”.
The JPC submission acknowledged that “the effect [of such a ban] will be to place some limitations on those who
participate in pistol and Airsoft-type sports. But these limitations will not eliminate or endanger those sports.
They will merely affect the range of sub-disciplines accessible to participants. We believe that this is an acceptable trade off for public safety”.
In its presentation to the select committee, the JPC stated that: “Even eight months after the Christchurch attack, semi-automatic pistols are still openly advertised and sold in New Zealand.”
“We believe these should be banned outright and consideration be given to banning all pistols along the lines of the UK legislation. These measures will require the extension of the amnesty and buy-back scheme so as to include pistols.”
The submission also criticised trials of routinely-armed police squads in some areas.