Monday, December 16, 2019

Gun nuts say they're criminals

The government gun buyback ends this week. One problem with the buyback is that, thanks to our previously lax gun laws, the police have no idea how many soon-to-be-illegal guns are actually out there. And the gun-nuts are keen to paint it as a failure by claiming that most of them haven't been turned over:

Gun rights advocates claim around two-thirds of banned firearms are still circulating and they worry the weapons could end up in the hands of criminals.


The council's national secretary Nicole McKee said the process had been very rushed and believed there could still be at least 170,000 prohibited firearms in circulation.

The police and the government "have left it really late to define a lot of those rules. From October the 25th a new list of prohibited firearms were brought in," she said adding that that was far too late and too little notice for people to respond.

"Once people realise they are going to go to jail for possession of these firearms they won't want to be holding them. So it will be really unfortunate if these firearms make their way to the black market because they're too afraid to hand them in."

They won't need to be sold on the black market, because after Friday they will already be in the hands of criminals, in that possessing a previously legal semi-automatic firearm will be a crime puishable by five years in jail. So when COLFO and other gun nut organisations say "gun nuts aren't turning over their guns", what urban New Zealand hears is "our supporters are criminals". And given what these weapons do, and the more than fair chance that has been provided to dispose of them lawfully, there will be little sympathy when they face the consequences of their pre-meditated criminality.