New Zealand Gun Control: How is that One Going? By John Steele
With all the media fanfare about gun control in the land of the long white, well maybe not white, cloud, how is gun banning going? Any problems, or are things doing a John Howard?
“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. Officials should have seen it coming. "Police are anticipating a number of people with banned firearms in their possession won't surrender them," Stuff reported at the end of May, based on internal government documents. As of last week, only around 700 weapons had been turned over. There are an estimated 1.5 million guns—with an unknown number subject to the new prohibition on semiautomatic firearms—in the country overall. 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." Yasbek's organization advocates registering all guns in private hands. But that won't help with gathering guns already in the possession of owners appalled by the government's attack on the rights of innocent people—government attacks, it's worth noting, that come in response to the crimes of one man who explicitly anticipated just such a response. … That gun owners would, in large numbers, defy restrictions should have been anticipated by anybody who knows the history of government attempts to disarm their subjects—or who just glanced across the Tasman Sea to Australia. "In Australia it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities," wrote Franz Csaszar, professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, after Australia's 1996 compensated confiscation of firearms following a mass murder in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Csaszar put the number of illegally retained arms in Australia at between two and five million.
"Many members of the community still possess grey-market firearms because they did not surrender these during the 1996–97 gun buyback," the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission conceded in a 2016 report. "The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission continues to conservatively estimate that there are more than 260,000 firearms in the illicit firearms market." Just as Australian police named "outlaw motorcycle gangs, Middle Eastern organised crime groups, and other groups engaged in trafficking illicit commodities such as drugs" as beneficiaries of the prohibition-fueled black market in firearms, underground organizations are similarly poised to prosper in New Zealand. Gangs in the island nation announced very loudly after the new legislation was introduced that they wouldn't be surrendering their own weapons. "Will gangs get rid of their weapons? No," one prominent gang leader told Stuff. "Because of who we are, we can't guarantee our own safety." So Kiwis who actually do comply with the confiscation scheme will put themselves at a disadvantage relative to violent gangs that don't intend to obey.”
It is interesting that there are so many illegal guns in Australia, when the mainstream keeps telling us that Johnny Howard’s gun ban was the crowning glory of his career. I guess we will know when complete social breakdown comes to Australia a little way down the track, and the new ruling war lords, get out their illegal guns, and rule the cesspool. After all, in the quote above, they have said that they need their guns, and it is certainly not for protection from the general public.