Let’s have a quick recap. One month ago the Law & Order Select Committee report was published. The report was written by a team of politicians from National, Labour, Green and NZ First. Although NZ First objected to the findings, the report enjoyed the support of both National (i.e. the government) and Labour (i.e the opposition).
This report was set to be the biggest blow ever dealt to the future of the shooting sports and neither of the major parties seemed to see the problem with it. We thought we were screwed but you all fired up. You wrote to the Minister and to your MPs and told them that it was a joke. You told them to get a clue and demanded that they listen to us.
Well apparently, they did. The Minister appointed two advisors who represented your concerns to her. We are still waiting the final decision but last we heard it sounded promising.
You didn’t stop there though. When Stuart Nash asked for your feedback you gave it to him alright. You told him that he was wrong and you told him why. Guess what…he listened too. In fact he stated that he has never received so much negative feedback on any issue in his political career.
Today we obtained a copy of the report Mr Nash made to the Labour caucus. Here is some of what he had to say to his own party:
———- STARTS ——–
I do think the report over-reached in certain areas and that perhaps the Police used this inquiry as an opportunity to have a conversation about firearms law that was outside the terms of reference of the inquiry.
Criticism that a number of the recommendations (and certainly the contentious recommendations 6, 11 and 16) will not actually stop firearms getting into the hands of criminals and gangs, is valid, therefore the majority of criticisms voiced by most of the firearms community are actually valid.
By and large, the law, as it stands, works well, but it just needs to be enforced consistently, and in hindsight, the report could have summed up the finding by saying so.
———- ENDS ———–
The full report is linked below.
Think about what this means for a minute. One month ago, both sides of the house of representatives were aligned against us. Now, thanks to your efforts we may have turned it around and achieved BIPARTISAN SUPPORT for licensed firearm owners from both the governing party and the opposition.
Don’t get bogged down in the minor details or differences of opinion. Look at the big picture. The man who rightly or wrongly became the public face of the report has acknowledged that our concerns are indeed valid and we are not just a bunch of raving idiots.
He has agreed that, just like we were all saying, the focus should be on enforcing the laws that we currently have rather than making sweeping new laws that will be equally badly enforced.
This is big news. A month ago we would have laughed if we were told that this would happen. Is it a defining victory? Hell no. The fight isn’t over. But it is a small win. And they all add up.
We remind everybody again that FOUNZ is politically neutral. We are not aligned to any party or politician and we are not here to tell you who to vote for. Our only aim is to protect the future of the sport. The point of writing letters to politicians is to convince them to support us, not to put the boot into them. If this forces a change of opinion, that means we were successful. It’s a good thing. If nothing else it puts even more heat on the Minister to make the right decision.
We will see where this goes but if we are not prepared to accept the possibility that the democratic process works, then we are nothing more than an angry mob.
– FOUNZ Admin Team
Stuart Nash MP