To the Law and Order Committee
on the Arms Amendment Bill (No 3)
1. This submission is from Mr. Duncan Bayne.
2. I can be contacted at:
Mobile 027 253 6395
3. I oppose the intent of this Bill because:
1. The major aim of the Bill is to enable New Zealand to become party
to the U.N. Firearms Protocol1. Despite assurances to the contrary by
Rt. Hon. George Hawkins ("The Bill is not designed to impose a
universal firearms registration system on gunowners."2), that
Protocol explicitly requires the registration of firearms upon purchase
"3.f.) Tracing shall mean the systematic tracking of firearms and,
where possible, their parts and components and ammunition from
manufacturer to purchaser for the purpose of assisting the competent
authorities of States Parties in detecting, investigating and analysing
illicit manufacturing and illicit trafficking."3
The Bill itself has no provision for compulsory registration, but as
can be seen from the above excerpt, the U.N. Firearms Protocol it is
designed to implement does. Being signatories to this Protocol through
this Bill could greatly strengthen the case of lobbyists arguing in
favour of registration, which has been shown to be a disastruously
expensive failure in Canada4, and which has led to widespread
consfiscations in Australia5.
2. The Bill includes provisions to restrict the manufacture, sale and
use of body armour. Body armour is a useful, lifesaving technology,
which has the aim of protecting the from death or injury through
shooting. A number of recent accidental hunting deaths could have been
prevented by relatively cheap armoured jackets, which could be worn
afield by hunters and their unlicensed friends and family members.
There is no justification given anywhere in the Bill for the
restrictions it places on body armour. These restrictions certainly
aren't required by the U.N. Firearms Protocol, and the Thorpe Report6
makes no mention of body armour.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the authors of the Bill
want to make it easier for criminals and the Government to kill or
incapacitate New Zealanders. It is unsettling to reflect upon the
possible reasons for this.
3. The Bill makes no reference to self defence; it doesn't recognise
self defence as a reason to purchase, keep, carry or use a firearm. In
the light of rising levels of violent crime7, and the repeated failure
of the Police to respond adequately to emergency calls8, official
recognition of the right to self defence (including with firearms) is
I recommend that the Arms Amendment Bill (No 3) be rejected, and new
legislation drafted that:
1. Recognises the right of law abiding New Zealanders to armed self
2. Does not bind us to the U.N. Firearms Protocol.
3. Does not require the compulsory registration of firearms either
explicitly, or implicitly through compliance with external Protocols
(such as the United Nations Firearms Protocol).
4. Does not restrict the manufacture, sale, purchase or use of body
1 The full name of which is "the Potocol against the Illicit
Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and
Components and Ammunition."
2 New Zealand Government, 'Press Release: Minister welcomes submissions
on Arms Bill.' Wednesday, 13 April 2005.
3 United Nations, ''Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration
of a Convention against Transnational Organized Crime on the work of
its first to eleventh sessions.' 20 March 2001.
4 Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament, Canada. ''SEVENTEEN FALSE
CLAIMS ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GUN REGISTRY.' March 2005.
5 SSAA Research Team. 'The Great Australian Gun "Buyback".' December
6 T M Thorpe. 'Review of Firearms Control in New Zealand.' June 1997.
7 Sensible Sentencing Trust. 'New Zealand Crime Statistics.'
8 New Zealand Government, 'Press Release: Figures disclose need for
further scrutiny.' Wednesday, 13 April 2005.
Well done Duncan.
I'll send you the official SSANZ submission (kindly sent to me by John Dyer)
which I think you will find of interest.