Judge pushes tough new gun control laws

A judge is pushing for much tougher laws on military style semi-automatic weapons.

Justice Thomas Thorp has suggested New Zealand should follow Australia and have an Independent Firearms Authority take over gun licencing and monitoring from police.

But Minister of Police Anne Tolley doesn't believe those measures are necessary.

"There is no evidence to show that registering individual firearms will give greater protection to the community than the current system," says Ms Tolley.

The minister says Justice Thorps' recommendations won't even be taken on board because the government has no intention of changing the current system.

Gun enthusiasts argue New Zealand has a very low rate of firearms crimes and new legislation won't stop criminals accessing guns.

In Australia all military-style weapons need to be registered. Here, gun owners are registered but not the actual guns themselves.

"There are 1.1 million guns in circulation and 236,000 owners which means that we don't know how many guns each owner has," says gun control advocate Professor Kevin Clements.

It also means we are widely quoted as having one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the world.

New Zealand is being urged to follow Australia’s lead on gun control. Source: 1 NEWS

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