‘Restrictive’ New Zealand Gun Laws Useless at Stopping Mosque Massacres

Second Amendment

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush holds a press conference on the Christchurch Mosque shootings. (New Zealand Police video screen capture)

U.S.A. – -( “LIVESTREAM TERROR New Zealand mosque shootings – White supremacist gunman videos live murder of 49 at two Christchurch mosques,” The Sun headline declares. “Shocking GoPro footage – too graphic to publish – shows a shooter executing Muslim worshippers at point blank range with automatic weapons.”

“New Zealand mosques’ attack suspect praised Trump in manifesto,” Al-Jazeera followed up. “A suspected gunman behind the Christchurch attacks has dubbed the US president as ‘a symbol of renewed white identity’.”

The press has got all the usual suspects rounded up and ready to blame, right down to indicting Trump, white males, and guns while championing Islamic migrants. In the frenzied and hate-fueled mob-inciting, the politicization, and the media scramble to get scoops before all the facts are in, it would be helpful to introduce some known information into the mix.

“New Zealand gun laws face scrutiny after Christchurch attack,” The Guardian claims. “Unlike UK and Australia there is no ban on semi-automatic military-style weapons.” Disregarding for a moment that The Sun subhead claimed the weapons were “automatic,” reflecting the admitted intent of the Violence Policy Center to sow public confusion, the go-to authority consulted here is Philip Alpers, founding director of

It’s instructive to consult what that organization has to say about New Zealand gun law and to note what the “mainstream” media is deliberately not telling us. Because per Alpers’ website, “The regulation of guns in New Zealand is categorised as restrictive … In New Zealand, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.”

It’s true, as is being claimed, that there is no ban, per se, on semi-autos.  Instead:

“In New Zealand, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a Military-Style Semi Automatic (MSSA) licence endorsement. Each MSSA must be registered to its owner and securely stored when not in use.”


Of relevance:

“In New Zealand, private possession of fully automatic weapons is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘collector’ licence endorsement. Each automatic or restricted weapon must be registered to its owner, and disabled when not in use.

“In New Zealand, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is restricted to police-approved licensed gun owners with a ‘pistol’ licence endorsement. Each handgun must be registered to its owner and securely stored.”

Special license endorsement firearms require a “genuine reason” for possession, “including sports shooting, hunting, and collection. Owning a firearm for self-defence is specifically excluded, and prohibited.”

New Zealand requires criminal and mental health checks with third-party character references. It has licensing and registration “of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition.” It has domestic violence prohibitions.  Compare that to the “Universal Background Check” and “Red Flag/ERPO” edicts demanded for the U.S. as “common sense.” Private sales require a license, and “The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in New Zealand is obliged to pass official background checks before taking possession.”

Yet still, it is not enough, which tracks with experience here. What’s left is a total ban, something “common sense gun safety law” proponents dismiss as NRA propaganda, but which the less restrained in the citizen disarmament movement have demanded on too many occasions to ignore.

Follow updates to this unfolding story from the New Zealand Commissioner of Police.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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