NZ firearms laws don't make the country safe - Nicole McKee

By Bronson Perich

Act Party candidate Nicole McKee (Ngāpuhi) says NZ gun laws need immediate revision. The long-time firearms trainer and advocate says the current laws do nothing to stop crime.

"I don't think the current legislation (the Arms legislation Act) actually covers or even looks at addressing criminal misuse of firearms," Nicole McKee says.

"So it's not going to make this country safe."

Under the new laws, it is difficult for rehabilitated criminals to get a license. This makes it difficult for them to hunt and obtain kai for whānau.

"Under the new firearms legislation, if you have had a very serious offence, you are unlikely to ever get a firearms license," McKee says.

McKee has visited marae over the years to help Māori become legal firearm owners. She is concerned the new firearms laws would have an adverse effect on Māori.

"If you hold a firearms license and you have committed an offence that could have resulted in a jail sentence of more than three years, then you could have your firearms licence revoked," she says.

"That's whether or not you were jailed."

Anyone being charged with such offences would have their license revoked for 10 years.

Nicole McKee talks firearms and politics - Photo / File

In a recent article, RNZ found documents obtained under the Official Information Act showed despite the ban, firearms crime rates rose in 2019.

The Act Party has two Ngāpuhi descendants in their top 10 list. David Seymour is party leader at No 1 and Nicole McKee sits at third place. She will be taking on Labour MP Paul Eagle for the Rongotai electorate in Wellington.