Firearms forums about good policy, not ‘NRA-style’ lobbying – Chris Bishop

Morning Talk 12/10/2018
Photo: File.

National Party police spokesperson Chris Bishop has emphasised that his series of 'firearms forums' across the country are intended to help create good policy.

Mr Bishop told Newshub that the next six months of forums are about engaging with New Zealand firearms owners as a part of a “comprehensive policy progress”.

“Our leader made it very clear we need to go into the election with good policy in 2020. We’re going to do the work that Labour didn’t do in Opposition,” Mr Bishop told RadioLIVE.

The first forum was held on Tuesday in Ashburton, where many firearms owners expressed anger over the planned tahr cull.

“There was real anger out there in the hunting community over the national consultation around that,” Mr Bishop said.

The Government is currently reviewing the Arms Act. Mr Bishop anticipates the Minister will propose changes, and the forums will allow response to proposed changes to the Arms Act.

“This is not about throwing the baby out with the bathwater and creating an NRA-style lobbying campaign or anything like that.

“This is about what sort of practical useful amendments can we make to the regime to make sure we remain best in the class.”

In May, the National MP introduced an amendment to give police more power over gangs with firearms while also "not putting unnecessary restrictions on legal gun owners".

The Member's Bill failed its first reading in early September.

The next firearms forum has not yet been scheduled.

Listen to the full interview with Chris Bishop above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.