So New Zealand’s prime minister said today that in the wake of the terrorist attack there, the gun laws of the country must be revised. “I can tell you right now our gun laws will change," she said. “Now is the time.” She vowed to spearhead an effort to change the country’s gun laws, which are already more stringent than they are in the United States, but not as strict as in Australia and much of Europe.
The second link on this page is a summary of NZ gun laws from the Library of Congress. Here’s a portion of the summary of the laws just to provide a little info.
The big question is if they can change more stringent laws, why can’t we toughen up ours? Makes no sense.
All persons in possession of a firearm must hold a license in accordance with the Arms Act 1983. Unlicensed persons may, however, be in possession of a firearm or ammunition if they are under the immediate supervision of a license holder. General rules relating to firearms licenses include the following:
- Firearms license applicants are required to provide a photo, which is displayed on the license;
- License holders are required to produce their license when required to do so by a member of the Police;
- Persons in possession of a firearm must give their full name, address, and date of birth if requested by a member of the Police;
- License holders are required to notify the Police of a change of address (Persons holding an endorsement as described below must also inform the Police of the arrangements made for safe custody of the firearm during the shift to the new address); and
- A person must notify the Police if any firearm is lost or stolen.
The Arms Act and associated regulations are silent regarding the ownership or possession of firearms for the purposes of self-defense. However, the Arms Code (a firearms safety manual and guidance document produced by the Police and the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (NZMSC) and provided to license applicants) states the following:
Self-defence is not a valid reason to possess firearms. The law does not permit the possession of firearms ‘in anticipation’ that a firearm may need to be used in self-defence.
Citizens are justified in using force in self-defence in certain situations. The force that is justified will depend on the circumstances of the particular case. Every person is criminally responsible for any excessive use of force against another person.
A firearm is a lethal weapon. To justify the discharge of a firearm at another person the user must hold a honest belief that they or someone else is at imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm.