An increase in charges over gun crime in New Zealand – despite sweeping reforms introduced after the Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019 –已表明需要进一步的限制, the government and campaigners agree.
的死亡 51 people at al-Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic centre two years ago led to a sweeping ban on a range of semi-automatic rifles and large ammunition magazines and a gun buy-back scheme, which removed about 60,000 guns from circulation.
但 Radio New Zealand reported on Monday that the reform “has had no impact on a rise in gun crime and violence”, pointing to police statistics that show charges reached a new peak in 2020. 几乎 2,400 people were charged with 4,542 firearms-related offences, nearly double that of a decade earlier, 尽管 1,862 firearms were seized under the Search and Surveillance Act, 和....相比 860 10 几年前.
Nicole McKee of the Act party, which strongly opposed the gun law reforms, told RNZ the legislation had been rushed through and “the unintended consequences … are starting to be realised”.
But Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek, an economist and public health advocate, said the increase in charges reflected police taking gun crime more seriously. “Police are charging firearms offences at a much higher rate than they previously were, which we think is really positive,“ 她说.
“Opponents of gun control suggest that if a single, narrow gun restriction doesn’t show an immediate drop in all gun crime, then it’s a failure,” said Philip Alpers, an Australia-based expert in gun laws and director of GunPolicy.org. “… Sadly, New Zealand police lost control of guns when they stopped registering 96% of firearms. Now it’s those most common, unpoliced firearms which almost invariably turn up in day-to-day gun crime.”
Gang culture is reported to be on the rise in New Zealand, with police figures showing a 13% increase in recruits last year 上 2019 – which has been linked to the arrival of gang members from Australia under the controversial 501 deportation policy.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on RNZ’s Morning Report programme that these new statistics only reinforced the government’s commitment to further firearms reform as well as a crackdown on organised crime. “We do have an increasing issue with gun use, particularly amongst our organised criminals so, 为我, that is more rationale for the kinds of legislation we already put in place.”
Police had told her that “guns were increasingly present”, Ardern said. “We have removed a particular form of weapon from circulation. But that does not mean of course that there are not still weapons in use by gangs, or that they are not available. … These are things that are going to take some time to turn around.”
Yasbek told the Guardian that the 新西兰 government’s steps towards gun control were positive but needed to go further, with cross-party backing. “Our new firearms laws, while modelled on the Australian ones, are nowhere near as strict – we think our laws should be brought closer.”
In particular Gun Control NZ is pushing for the national firearms register – promised as part of the second round of reforms, which are yet to be implemented – to be established more quickly. Under the current timeline the register is expected to take 10 years to be fully populated.
Gun Control also wants to restrict sales of ammunition to registered firearms; for licenses to be renewed every five years, not every 10 年; and some exemptions removed.
Yasbek said the government seemed “reasonably committed” to gun control, but there was a possibility that reforms could be watered down by political opposition. “The prime minister put quite a lot of her personal capital on the line with the law change … Ultimately this needs to be about all sides of the political spectrum, and I think that’s what made the reforms so durable in Australia.”