NEW ZEALAND- Gun-grabbing, anti-Second Amendment activists have tried to hold up a gun confiscation scheme in New Zealand as a model for the United States to follow, claiming that the government ban in that country resulted in a decrease in gun crime. They may want to rethink that narrative.
According to a new report released by Radio New Zealand (RNZ), it found that the ban had no…zero…nada…impact on gun crime and violence in the South Pacific island nation.
March 15 was the second anniversary of the Christchurch terrorist attack, in which semi-automatic weapons, which were purchased legally were used to kill 51 innocent church worshippers. That assault resulted in the gun confiscation scheme, as well as a firearms buy-back.
That led to a significant decrease in crime, right? Not so much. In fact last year in New Zealand, gun crime hit a new high.
RNZ found that in 2020, 2399 people were charged with 4542 firearms-related offenses, which was double the number of 10 years ago.
In addition, 1862 firearms were seized under two sections of the country’s Search and Surveillance act, which was double the number of 860 seized 10 years ago.
The report continued:
“ACT MP Nicole McKee said the government had made the wrong moves when it came to firearms reform since the 15 March attack.
“’What we’re looking at is a piece of rushed legislation, or two pieces of rushed legislation, that went though so fast that the unintended consequences of doing that are starting to be realized, and of course the effects that we’re seeing are a less safer community.’”
McKee continued that licensed gun owners in the country felt alienated by the ban of military-style semi-automatic firearms of the type used in the terror attack.
She said that gun owners were made to feel like criminals, and that had caused people to be less safe around firearms than they had prior to the terrorist attack.
“I absolutely believe that. And my reasoning behind that is because of the confusion, the blame as well that was put on licence-holders,” McKee said.
“We had Minister Nash stand up and tell the country that if you don’t hand in your guns, we’re going to come after you, so when people are still finding out later that they’ve got what is now a newly prohibited firearm, they’re now too scared to do anything with in.”
It is this very issue that is causing so much concern in the United States with current proposals making their way through Congress, one of which would require registration of all firearms.
Many Second Amendment advocates believe such a program is the first step toward gun confiscation. And they may very well be on to something.
Not everyone agrees with the assessment made by RNZ. A spokesperson from Gun Control New Zealand claims the laws have been successful and are making the country a safer place. Hera Cook says that the laws would make it “virtually impossible” for another mass shooting to take place in New Zealand.
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Cook also is apparently blind to the numbers being put out by authorities, claiming that it was more efficient data collection by the police that has resulted in the higher numbers. She also did acknowledge that there could indeed be an increase in gun crime but laid the blame on people who had been deported from Australia.
“I think what’s probable is both things are happening. What we’re seeing is that the 501s are bringing more organized crime into New Zealand,” Cook said.
“Police are combatting that, and police seem to be being pretty effective. I think we as New Zealanders should feel really good about the fact that police are picking up a lot more gun offenses.”
The president of the Sporting Shooters Association, Neville Dodd said there wasn’t a simple solution to the rise in firearms crime, particularly that involving gangs.
However Dodd noted that police had sacrificed a tremendous amount of trust from owners of firearms over the past two years.
He noted that police never acknowledged their error in giving the Christchurch terrorist a firearms license in the first place, which the Royal Commission suggested may have prevented the attack from occurring in the first place.
“The thing that troubles me most is that police didn’t have the integrity to say right from the outset, ‘we stuffed up, this guy should never have got a license.’”
As a result of the lack of comeuppance on the part of police, they lost a lot of support, Dodd said.
“As a result, 241,900 New Zealanders, who’ve been carefully vetted, unlike Tarrant [Christchurch shooter Brenton Harrison Tarrant], alienated, no longer support the police and that to me is the biggest tragedy of all because we had a very good report with police, and that’s gone.”
RNZ reached out to police, who replied in a statement that there has been a “strong focus” on stopping violence, along with the destructive impact of organized crime groups and gangs, which is where they clam a large number of firearms incidents take place.
The police continued that emphasis was being placed on disrupting the “manufacture, modification and supply of firearms to these groups.”
The apparent lack of success has not dampened the enthusiasm of New Zealand’s ruling class to continue the scheme, rather it has increased the resolve of anti-gun zealots.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “We do have an increasing issue with gun use, particularly amongst our organized criminals so for me that is more rational for the kinds of legislation we already put in place.”
“That includes things like creating a gun register [emphasis added] which we continue to work on in earnest, increasing penalties, as well as of course the buy-back.
“One of the things that we did hear from police at the time…was that guns were increasingly present for the police.
“So yes, we have removed a particular form of weapon from circulation. But that does not mean of course that there are not still weapons in use by gangs, or that they are not available.
“For me, it strengthens rationale for having that gun register, for increasing those penalties.”
Ardern claims that there was “never” an attempt to alienate legitimate gun users.
“What we have targeted is a specific type of weapon, for instance those military-style semi-automatics which we see no good reason for in New Zealand, and of course those who choose to us weapons for illegal activity.”
Coming soon to the US unless some moderate Democrats grow a spine.
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