New poll: 61% of New Zealanders back gun ban in wake of Christchurch atrocity

The majority of New Zealand voters believe the Government's swift move to enact new gun laws has been "about right" in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks. 

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The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll found that 61% of respondents though the revised gun laws were "about right". Source: 1 NEWS

The changes to New Zealand's gun laws came into force last week, less than a month on from the attacks at two mosques which left 50 Muslim worshippers dead.

They include a ban on military style semi-automatic weapons and a ban on pump-action shotguns with more than a five-shot capacity, as well as a ban on parts, magazines and ammunition that could be used for modification into a semi-automatic.

"The idea that 50 lives could be taken in less than a half an hour is something that shows why it needed to happen," said Aliya Danzeisen, a Muslim community leader in Christchurch. 

In the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, eligible New Zealand voters were asked what they thought of the Government's moves.

Sixty-one per cent thought the changes were about right, 19% thought it did not go far enough and 14% thought it went too far.

Read more: Governor General signs Arms Amendment Act into law

Five per cent didn't know, and 2% refused to answer.

"We owe this to the 50 victims of that terrorist attack to get this right and to go hard," said Police Minister Stuart Nash.

But the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners says the Government has gone too hard. 

"We tend to sit in the 'it's gone too far' basket. But we would be able to relook at that once the buy-back is underway," said Nicole McKee of the council.

National Party leader Simon Bridges said people "need to see details of that, we need to see fair market value for law abiding citizens coming in with their guns". 

The Government has said the next wave of firearm changes will cover licensing as well as a gun register. 

And while it has promised more time for public consultation, some say it should hold off completely until after the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch attacks is complete in December.

"What is the point in changing legislation in areas such as licensing when an inquiry has not yet been completed," Ms McKee said.

Mr Nash said: "We've known the issues for years, so I don't think we've moved too fast at all."

In Christchurch some hope the Government's changes will extent to hate speech. 

"It's not something new. And they showed that they can act quickly on this one," Ms Danzeisen said.

That's a call to action from a community that has lost so much in the mosque attacks. 

Between April 6 and 10, 1009 eligible voters were polled via landline and mobile phone. The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95 per cent confidence level.