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After Failed Gun Buyback Program, New Zealand Moves to Establish Firearms Registry

By: Teresa Mull

Despite the epic failure of its recent semi-automatic rifle ban, New Zealand is attempting to impose even more gun control mandates on its citizenry.

The Press Herald reported earlier this year:

Growing opposition from New Zealand’s pro-gun groups has complicated efforts to round up the now-banned firearms under a buyback program. Lawsuits are threatened.

Gun-control advocates argue that compensation rates may not be fair and warn of a possible spike in black-market sales.

The government, meanwhile, is faced with a sobering set of challenges over how to enforce the new law.

There is no national registry for many of the weapons targeted by the ban, including the AR-15 – a semiautomatic rifle that has been used in mass shootings in the United States and is often at the center of American gun-control debates.

As a result, estimates of the numbers of newly banned weapons vary widely. So far, about 700 firearms have been voluntarily surrendered.

Now, NRA-ILA reports, “According to a July 22 press release from Ardern and Minister of Police Stuart Nash, comprehensive firearms registration is the government’s top firearms legislative priority.

"Ardern and Stuart’s message only provided the broad outlines of the government’s legislative proposals, noting that the full legislation would be released in August. The proposed restrictions encumber every aspect of gun ownership in New Zealand. The release stated that the legislation would do the following:

• Establish a register of firearms and licence holders to be rolled out over 5 years
• Tighten the rules to get and keep a firearms licence
• Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence
• Require licences to be renewed every five years
• Introduce a new system of warning flags so Police can intervene and seek improvement if they have concerns about a licence holder’s behaviour
• Prohibit visitors to New Zealand from buying a gun
• Establish a licensing system for shooting clubs and ranges for the first time
• Set up a new formal group to give independent firearms advice to Police, which will include people from within and outside the gun-owning community
• Provide for new controls on firearms advertising
• Require a licence to buy magazines, parts and ammunition
• Increase penalties and introduce new offences
• Enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege and comes with an obligation to demonstrate a high level of safety and responsibility

Gun Registration --> Gun Confiscation
Ted Patterson explained to Gunpowder Magazine last year how gun registries quickly lead to full-on gun confiscation:

Background checks are nothing more than a firearms registration system, which has historically been a precursor to full-fledged firearms confiscation. Many point to Nazi Germany as one of the best examples of what comes of gun registration. Most people probably do not know that it was not the Nazis nor Hitler who initiated gun registration. It actually was the preexisting Weimar government’s initiative put into law because of their fears of the Communists and Nazis. The Weimar government implemented laws that the Nazis would later use to oppress the German people, namely, German Jews.

Although Hitler rapidly expanded upon what the Weimar government had instituted, this historical event reminds us that well-intentional laws passed by good people can be used by the next round of political operatives to devastating effect. This is why it is so important to stop any hint of universal background checks: such a measure could open the door to a disastrous future.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.