Latest gun law reforms a sore point at NZ's biggest hunting show

The gun lobby is ramping up its opposition to the Government’s latest gun law reforms, saying it would need at least $300,000 to get court processes and an education campaign underway.

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Gun control supporters, however, say hunters are being made to appear like victims. Source: 1 NEWS

The new reforms were a sore point at New Zealand's biggest hunting show in Taupo today, with the Council for Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) appealing to the 6,000 hunters at the event, the Sika Show.

One hunter told 1 NEWS at the show, "I'm a law-abiding person, I do everything correctly and I'm being punished seriously for the actions of people who slipped through a system."

Another said, "I love shooting and I'm concerned about my grandkids rights to shoot.”

The first round of changes following the Christchurch terrorist attack saw the banning of most semi-automatic and assault rifles.

But the Government now wants a gun register, stricter rules for gun clubs and harsher penalties for those who break the rules.

The new tougher bill passed the first reading in Parliament on Tuesday 63 votes to 57, with National and ACT voting against it.

Nicole McKee from COLFO said the new reforms “will ultimately see clubs and ranges closing all over the country”.

“This will become a safety issue, a public safety issue," she said.

"We would need $300,000 as a minimum to get any court process underway but we also want to help educate people."

National has said the latest change only targets law-abiding gun owners.

Representatives from the National Party and ACT were also at the show.

National’s police spokesperson Brett Hudson said people were asking why the newest reforms were targeted at them and “not at criminals and gangs”.

“It's something we agree with completely and that's why we've called on the government to repurpose the bill strongly," he said.

However, Hera Cook from Gun Control NZ said hunters were doing well.

"COLFO are just whining and treating gun owners as victims and hunters as victims," she said.

"We need to think about all New Zealanders, being fair and reasonable to each other and doing things like registering our guns and look after each other, guns are dangerous."