Face of the day

ACT leader David Seymour

ACT leader David Seymour will force Government into urgency to pass gun laws

ACT Party leader David Seymour will oppose the Government’s gun law reforms and force it into urgency to pass the legislation.

[…] Seymour believes the Government is acting too hastily on the proposed gun reforms, when it has “already effectively put a moratorium on semi-automatic weapons for the next year through its regulations”.

[…] The Government planned to put forward a motion that would allow the House to debate the new law for however long it took to pass the reforms quickly. Therefore the Bill could pass without having to invoke the use of ‘urgency’.
But that would require support from all parties in the House: […] So without Seymour’s support, the Government will be forced to pass the law using urgency.

[…] “I understand that many people will be angry at me objecting, even people who have been long-time supporters,” Seymour said.
“But sometimes, when you have the privilege of sitting in Parliament, you must use that to stand up for the institution and the role of Parliament is to be heard and to hold the Government to account.
“I will not allow our Parliament to be steam-rolled into making New Zealand a de facto dictatorship for nine days when there is no proper scrutiny of laws being made.”

Despite an extensive Select Committee inquiry into gun ownership last year, Seymour said the Select Committee did not propose an actual law, which is what the Government is doing now.

“What the Government is proposing is a new law, and as with every other new law that we produce, it should be subject to public input and Parliamentary scrutiny,” he said.

“I absolutely think that there will be changes to our gun laws, I think there will be much greater restrictions, and possibly bans on military-style semi-automatic weapons – but the question is: how do you do it?

“We don’t want to do it in a way that alienates law-abiding gun owners who we actually need as allies in the fight to control guns.”

Seymour strongly opposed the Government’s proposed gun law reforms last month. He criticised the Prime Minister for proposing the reforms even though a Bill hadn’t been drafted.

“By forcing gun law reforms through in three weeks, the Government will ensure there is no real opportunity for New Zealanders to have their voices heard on the proposals. It also risks producing a law that is ineffective,” he said at the time.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Government is responding to the Christchurch terrorist attacks by abandoning proper democratic process.”

He added: “It is important that we maintain our tradition of sober, robust law-making at all times, but especially now.”