Shopkeepers should be allowed to carry guns - Act

The Act Party wants shopkeepers to have the option of carrying a gun in their shop to defend themselves.

New Act leader Jamie Whyte. Source: 1 NEWS

Leader Jamie Whyte says shopkeepers, especially in Auckland, are "being subjected to increasing violent robbery" and Act will strengthen their rights to defend themselves.

He says criminals are "well aware that shop keepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies".

"What Act proposes here should reassure the shopkeepers of New Zealand. Act says it will not be illegal for a shopkeeper to keep a weapon in their own shop.

"Shopkeepers will enjoy the presumption that the right to defend themselves is paramount and be reassured by the law requiring any decision of the police to prosecute to be automatically reviewed by the Solicitor General before proceeding," Mr Whyte said.

He says the "onus of proof" will be on the police to prove whatever action taken in self defence was not justified.

Act would would also make the police and the Solicitor-General subject to a specific public interest test.

"This should have a chilling effect on the enthusiasm of the police to prosecute in anything but the most obviously extreme cases," Mr Whyte said.