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INT’L – GUN CONTROL – Continued delays to firearms law as NZ First sticks to its guns

The Labour party is struggling to get support to pass a new gun law as NZ First continues to dig its heels in. The Arms Legislation Bill passed its second reading last month but NZ First MP Ron Mark signaled the party was moving away from supporting core aspects of the Bill, saying the caucus had some reservations. While he would not go into detail, Mark told Stuff this week there was still “a lot of water to go under the bridge right now”. The bill, which includes a firearms registry, harsher penalties, and a warning system to show if a person is a fit and proper person to hold a firearms licence, had been expected to come back to Parliament this week but has been bumped down the order list. It is unclear how long it may take but the bill is not expected to pass before the first anniversary of the Christchurch shooting on March 15, which had been the Government’s initial preference. Mark said he was still having “constructive conversations’ with Police Minister Stuart Nash on the issues the party wanted to settle. The party was looking for a pragmatic way through that protected the rights and privileges of legitimate firearms owners, he told the House last month. One of those was resolving the question of whether or not police should continue to administer firearms law and a “strong argument” for the need for an arms authority that takes that statutory responsibility.  [full article]

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