The future looks bright

Things are looking better with the formation of the new Government. This is going to be a great opportunity for New Zealand to have the best firearm laws in the world.

There is still a large amount of work to be done by both those in and outside of Government. It is not going to be a quick fix, because unlike the last Government the plan is to do it right, which will involve talking to all parties and looking at evidence presented.

This is not the time to rush off and make more laws and changes like those done over the last four years, where feelings and ideology was the basis for them and a deep fear of talking to the experts.

The Clubs and Ranges division of the police have put a huge amount of pressure on club volunteers all over the country, the problem is for all the hoops that they were making people jump through, this was not having any positive impact on safety improvements. Simply, there wasn’t a safety problem to fix.

Yes, occasionally something happens, but in most cases, these are self-inflicted and more to the point very rare. Especially when you take into consideration the number of hours spent by a large group of people, and the number of rounds that are fired every week. An example of this is at our recent IPSC pistol champs in November, more than 85,000 rounds were fired with no injuries.

Clubs are important as they give people a place to practice, test firearms and improve their skills by shooting under a controlled environment. Under the watchful eye of range staff, who in many cases offer the opportunity for further training and advice.

The way forward is to give all groups a chance to have their say, ask them pointed questions and to respect answers, which have evidence backing them or real word experience, because we all want safer firearm laws. I just hope media coverage gives the system a fair hearing and publishes what is said and not put their spin on it.

It has been my privilege to be involved in various groups that give up their own time, to advocate for our rights as licensed firearm holders. This is all done on a volunteer basis and many hours are involved.

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