As announced in this week’s newsletter, the PSJ Group has prepared a formal comment for government on the proposed gun law changes. Brenda has been the driving force in this and is doing an excellent job. It looks like there will be a truncated select committee process to hear public submissions on the drafting of the bill. However, comments have already been called for by the PM and that is what we will be sending to government at this stage.
Although no doubt there will be many comments in support of tightening gun laws, Gun City, who sold four guns to the terrorist, is reportedly urging everyone on its database to send in comments objecting and David Seymour, on behalf of Act, is expressing reservations about the process. So it’s important our voice is heard and that our comment is as authoritative as possible in terms of representing the congregation.
Our comment contains formalities about who we are as a church community and lists seven important points on gun laws that we wish taken into account:
- We support a ban on all military style semi-automatic weapons for the general public,
- We support a ban on all modification parts that enable a weapon to be used as a military style semi-automatic rifle,
- We support stricter rules around gun owner licenses,
- We support inclusion of a robust online check on persons applying for a gun owners license,
- We support registration for all fire arms,
- We support an amnesty for all weapons being held illegally, and
- We support a buy back scheme to remove weapons from the general community.
Part of our comment to government will include how we consulted with the congregation. Our management committee, PSJ Group and a straw poll of members present at our 31 March service all agreed unanimously in support of this submission; and in addition all members who received the weekly newsletter of 28th March were asked to respond as to whether they supported the church’s comment and all replies were in favour.