Alastair Scott’s proposed Arms Act amendment

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Own a shotgun shortened for pig hunting? Or a “bush pig” bolt action for bush hunting? Want to keep it? Read this.

National Party MP Alastair Scott MP has teamed up with police to introduce an amendment to the arms act, in an attempt to tackle the scourge of sawn off shotguns and rifles favored by New Zealand criminals. And following a familiar pattern, have completely missed criminals and targeted licensed owners instead.

If the private members bill goes ahead with the current wording, you will have a month to hand in your shortened firearms for destruction, or obtain a permit from police with a “special reason” for wanting to own it, or sell it to an approved person, or export it from New Zealand, or keep it and face up to 5 years in prison.

And this is supposed to stop criminals from illegally modifying already illegal firearms?

We cannot emphasize enough how poorly written this draft amendment is and the potential ramifications for every day license holders. Want to shorten your rifle to make it more manageable with a suppressor? Or cut the barrel and recrown? Or add a stock which can shorten the overall length? Taking this as it’s written, you’ll need a special reason. It does not even mention the 762mm overall length requirement, merely shortened firearms, which is unacceptably open to interpretation – and abuse. It adds further confusion to what is and isn’t a “pistol”.

The permitting and “special reason” concept implies that there would be a new class of firearm created, similar to B,C and E category. So how would this effect shooters with regards to security requirements for these firearms, and the use and possession of them by friends and family with licenses? All of which would do nothing to stop criminals from modifying illegal firearms.

With the wet bus ticket approach that our judiciary takes toward firearm offenses, what is the point of more laws on the books for criminals to ignore? Our judges barely use the full extent of sentancing on offenders as it is.

FOUNZ urges all shooters to contact the National Party and your local MP’s now to raise your concerns before this gains too much momentum.

Our politicians just don’t get it.

Click the image below to see the proposed amendment.

10 thoughts on “Alastair Scott’s proposed Arms Act amendment”

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  5. li kun yang says:

    Hi! my name is li kun yang. target shooting and hunting had been my number one favoured sport, i happened to have been shorten one of my bolt action rifles to suite a particular hunting style, for a long time it was a previlege to many kiwis to be able to modify their rifles legally , this proposed amendment is certainly will create a lot of confusions. im very concerned, what’s next! ban all fire arms?

    1. John Simich says:

      Email your local MP now

  6. john langley says:

    why do we the normal people of New Zealand have to put up with people in parliament that should not be there because they have not got a clue what is actually right or wrong and invent a whole lot of inconsistency to tilt the scales of justice so nothing is balanced
    pick on the criminals AND THROW TE BOOK AT THEM no tat every person who owns a firearm LEGALLY for the right reasons !!!

  7. Mac Phillips says:

    Gidday, Alastair Scott.

    Not sure what you’re thinking, to be honest.
    Considering we in NZ already have an endorsement to stop people from owning potentially concealable firearms (B cat. “pistol” endorsement); and having a concealable firearm is the only motive I can think of for a criminal to cut down their illegally owned rifles and shotguns, making up a new rule that stops people (especially law abiding firearm owners) from modifying and slightly shortening their firearms is pointless and a hinderance to licenced owners. If a firearm is shortened, as long as it is still 762mm long, it is technically not conceilable, therefore, not much use to criminals, but making it much easier for a hunter to carry through thick undergrowth.
    Please listen to the group of people with experience with firearms and see the detrimental effects on licenced owners that this change will make. Please give it another thought.

  8. Long time hunter says:

    I have shortened several rifles either to re-cut the chamber or to cut and re-crown the muzzle. I also turned a very long and very tight Spanish side by side into a really handy skeet gun using not much more than a hacksaw and a file. I couldn’t do that under the proposed legislation.

    Who does Alastair Scott think he is representing with this completely pointless Bill. The criminals will still take legal rifles or shotguns and turn them into concealable weapons of the type used for robberies.

    Make concealed carry of any firearm illegal except for police, DPS etc.

    The legal ownership of firearms is the right of law abiding people and we should not have nanny state protagonists further limiting the rights of responsible firearms owners through covert law changes. This is the thin end of the wedge the will see socialism, despotism and bureaucracy imposed over NZ in place of democracy.

  9. Stew says:

    Reading the proposed amendment;
    If a person cuts a piece of one end and adds the same length on the other end, then it is not shortened.
    If one of the above pieces is removable, then it is still not shortened.

    I don’t think this is good law, whatever your intentions are.

  10. paul clarke says:

    sent to a. scott:

    As this reads its completely wrong and there are existing laws to prosecute people who chop firearms down below 762mm (30”)

    Now I would like you to read this rather than send an automated reply as I wish to explain a few things that yourself may not understand:

    Sometimes it is necessary to shorten the length of the stock to enable smaller shooters to shoot safely and more comfortably, this may be only a couple of inches of wood removal as i had to do with my wife’s shotgun.
    Occasionally shooters will take an inch off the wood stock to replace it with a rubber pad to make it more comfortable with recoil.
    As you bill reads, both of these would be a criminal offence.

    I own a 44 lever action “pig gun”, these are available with 12” 16” or 20” barrels all “off the shelf”, but as your bill reads if i shorten my 20” version down by an inch its an offense but I can legally buy one 8” shorter.

    Barrels are often shortened on rifles in order to supress them, both for hearing protection to the hunter and any dogs that may be with him. This would now be an offense.

    I am all for making life tough on criminal uses of firearms, it annoys me immensely when I See criminals get off with home detention etc for having loaded sawn off shotguns and rifles as there is only one reason to own such a firearm and that reason is crime.

    So in conclusion: use the existing laws and up the penalties and sentences for disobeying them. Don’t waste time of drafting bills that will only penalise lawful firearms owners while the criminals laugh at you.

    Yours Truly

    Paul Clarke

    1. paul clarke says:

      and no reply received.

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