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New Zealand Residents Are Not Complying With Firearm Confiscation Laws

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By John Boch via TTAG

Law abiding gun owners don’t appreciate being made to pay for the sins of a few unstable, crazy individuals. Particularly those who openly state that their intent is to bring about more gun control and limits on the right to keep and bear arms. As the Christchurch mosque shooter wrote in his 74-page rambling manifesto,

I chose firearms for the affect (sic) it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states (sic) and thereby the political situation of the world.

Gun-grabbing politicians just can’t help themselves, though. So in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s goverment reflexively moved to give the shooter exactly what he said he wanted.

But a funny thing happened on the way to full and unquestioned confiscation compliance. As Reason’s J.D. Tudcille writes,

Once again, responding to a horrendous crime by inflicting knee-jerk, authoritarian restrictions on innocent people proves to be an ineffective means of convincing people to obey. Specifically, New Zealand’s government—which also stepped up censorship and domestic surveillance after bloody attacks on two Christchurch mosques earlier this year—is running into stiff resistance to new gun rules from firearms owners who are slow to surrender now-prohibited weapons and will probably never turn them in.

Huh. Imagine that.

The Mercury News reports:

…The government, meanwhile, is faced with a sobering set of challenges over how to enforce the new law.

There is no national registry for many of the weapons targeted by the ban, including the AR-15 — a semiautomatic rifle that has been used in mass shootings in the United States and is often at the center of American gun-control debates.

As a result, estimates of the numbers of newly banned weapons vary widely. So far, about 700 firearms have been voluntarily surrendered.

New Zealand’s laissez-faire pre-Christchurch approach to gun regulation means authorities are going to have a very difficult time identifying what firearms Kiwis own.

Traditionally relaxed in its approach to firearms regulation, and enjoying a low crime rate, New Zealand has no firearms registration rule. That means authorities have no easy way of knowing what guns are in circulation or who owns them.

“These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don’t know of their existence,” Philippa Yasbek of Gun Control NZ admitted. “These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead.”

This is exactly why gun rights advocates in the US have argued for years that registration is just a precursor to confiscation. It doesn’t prevent crimes and there’s literally no other reason for it.

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Interestingly, gun grabbers in New Zealand (like many in America) look towards Australia for what they see as the model of a successful gun confiscation. However, the dirty little secret from Oz is that only about 20% of the banned guns were surrendered back in the 1990s.

You read that right. Roughly 640,000 banned Australia self-loading firearms were surrendered/sold/confiscated and about 2.5 million remain in circulation, despite serious criminal penalties for unauthorized possession.

Law-abiding New Zealanders are just the latest population of gun owners to decide that they’d prefer to hold onto their guns after all, thank you very much. The fact that the country’s criminal element had already announced that they have no plans to comply might have played a part in that decision, too.

So, just like firearm owners in Australia (not to mention places like ConnecticutNew Yorkand California) before them, Kiwis are choosing massive non-compliance over politicians’ promises of rainbow-spangled safety thanks to a gun-free future for all.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms sees a lesson in all of this for American politicians (not that they’re likely to listen).

A new report from New Zealand three months after the Parliament there hastily enacted new gun control regulations shows that people are not surrendering their banned firearms, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today that there is a lesson in that for Democrats now vying for the presidency.

“From poll leader Joe Biden down to last place Washington Gov. Jay Inslee,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “every Democrat running has offered some new degree of gun control to include bans on many semiautomatic firearms. But New Zealanders, who don’t even enjoy a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in their constitution, are balking at the notion of turning in their firearms.

“Here in the United States,” he continued, “where we have the Second Amendment as the cornerstone of our Bill of Rights, anybody who seriously believes the citizens will line up to just hand over their guns may be too delusional to be president.”

According to Reason magazine, only about 700 firearms have so far been surrendered, out of an estimated 1.5 million guns in the country.

“When a government starts penalizing law-abiding citizens for crimes they didn’t commit,” Gottlieb observed, “it’s up to those citizens to resist. We understand there are legal challenges in the works, and we support that.

“After the tragedy of Christchurch, our sympathies are still with the people of New Zealand,” he added. “However, it should be no surprise that there are now concerns about a possible black market in illicit firearms.

“Remember,” Gottlieb recalled, “the man now accused of this horrible crime apparently did it in part to stir up a gun control debate and bring about new restrictions in New Zealand and in the United States. Ardern and the Parliament gave him exactly what he wanted.

“If this is what’s happening in New Zealand,” he concluded, “just what do Democrats running for president think would happen here if they followed the same course? We guarantee they would collide head-on with the Bill of Rights.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.

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