A letter from Todd McLay on firearms


Dear Cam

Let me start by declaring an interest. I hold a current firearms licence and enjoy both hunting and range shooting. I am also a member of the Rotorua Deerstalkers’ Association for many years.

I can confirm that the draft bill will not be going ahead in its current form.

The National Party is doing some work around the penalties for criminal use of firearms particularly by gangs.

We want to make it harder for gangs to get firearms and easier to hold them to account when they do. This makes our communities safer and that?s a real focus for the National Party. However we must always work to find the right balance, and we will be very careful not to impinge on the rights of legitimate firearms users.??

As part of these efforts Alastair Scott has been exploring ideas to look at raising the penalties for possessing and using sawn off rifles and shotguns. The feedback coming through from legitimate firearm users and the various associations has been very clear and very helpful and will be reflected in any legislative proposal.

We will listen and we will address your concerns. The current proposal is an idea and has not been discussed by the National caucus yet, nor has any bill been entered in the Parliamentary ballot. The draft that Alistair has circuited for feedback will need to be changed to focus more on penalties instead of a permitting system before we consider it further. We will make sure we get the balance right and we will make sure legitimate users aren?t adversely affected.

Our Police spokesperson is very keen to engage with licenced firearm owners. Later in the year along with local National MPs he will be holding a series of ?National Firearms Forums? where licenced firearms owners will have the opportunity to meet with him and in some cases our Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell. The forums will be a great opportunity for licenced firearm owners shape our policy going into 2020. The sessions will primarily be held in the evening to allow people to attend after work and will be held in as many parts of the country as feasibly possible.

Hon Todd McClay MP
MP for Rotorua