TODAY |

Campaigner not convinced Government will deliver on its promises of banning semi-automatic firearms

A gun control campaigner isn't convinced the Government will deliver on its promises of banning semi-automatic firearms.

Philip Alpers from the Sydney School of Public Health told TVNZ1's Breakfast, "We've never had the courage to go that far, but we may be very surprised.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we get some sort of mish mash, some sort of delayed 'let's talk about it a bit more before we do final changes'."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that "our gun laws will change" after the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday which has left 50 people dead.

Mr Alpers says, "I'm very proud of the steely tone in her voice and even prouder for Winston Peters supporting her.. ...to see the determination is very heartening."

He says there's a "big loop hole" that needs to be filled after New Zealand decided in 1996 not follow Australia's example with a toughening of gun legislation in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania.

"Australia banned all semi-automatic rifles and shot guns and those are the weapons of choice for mass shooters," Mr Alpers said.

He suggests if the Government of the time had cracked down on guns the Christchurch mosque attacks wouldn't have happened.

"The decision in 1996 of New Zealand not to join that agreement in Australia was absolutely and directly responsible for what happened in New Zealand on Friday, there's a big loop hole or several big loop holes that need to be filled."

Mr Alpers says he doesn't want to see New Zealand police armed.

"I’ve always been proud that we have a largely unarmed police force who only bring their guns out at times like Christchurch.

"The fact is that a gun is not much protection, you’re usually caught absolutely by surprise and it is a total myth that carrying guns makes you safer. Guns are not the solution, they are part of the problem."
 

    Your playlist will load after this ad

    ‘We’ve never had the courage to go that far, but we may be surprised,’ Philip Alpers says. Source: Breakfast