Report: New Zealand Gun Confiscations Had No Impact On Violent Crime

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

This should only be surprising to those idealistic and gullible supporters of gun confiscation who really believe that criminals are going to abide by gun control laws even though they don’t seem to care much about any other laws on the books. A new report by Radio New Zealand shows that even after the government’s ban and compensated confiscation of tens of thousands of semi-automatic firearms, “gun crime hit a new peak” in the country last year.


Police figures show 2399 people were charged with 4542 firearm-related offences, nearly double that of a decade earlier.

In total, 1862 firearms were seized under sections 6 or 18 of the Search and Surveillance Act, more than double the 860 that were seized a decade earlier.

ACT MP Nicole McKee said the government had made the wrong moves when it came to firearms reform since the 15 March attack.

“What we’re looking at is a piece of rushed legislation, or two pieces of rushed legislation, that went through so fast that the unintended consequences of doing that are starting to be realised, and of course the effects that we’re seeing are a less safer community.”

McKee said licensed firearms owners felt alienated by the government’s moves to ban military style semi-automatic firearms, the type used in the 15 March terror attack.

She said gun owners had been made to feel like criminals and that had led to less safety around firearms than before the terror attack.

“I absolutely believe that. And my reasoning behind that is because of the confusion, the blame as well that was put on licence-holders,” McKee said.

“We had Minister Nash stand up and tell the country that if you don’t hand in your guns we’re going to come after you, so when people are still finding out later that they’ve got what is now a newly prohibited firearm, they’re now too scared to do anything with it.”


Of course, when one gun control law fails to make an impact, gun control advocates inevitably fall back on the argument that the law must not have gone far enough. Their answer, then, is to double down on a gun ban strategy, and that’s exactly what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is demanding.

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, for me, 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.”

The group Gun Control New Zealand is calling for a host of new restrictions on legal gun owners, including fast-tracking a national gun registry and to restrict the sale of ammunition to guns that have been registered with the government. If you haven’t registered a 9mm, for instance, you wouldn’t be able to purchase any 9mm ammo.

Why would criminals pay any more attention to these restrictions, given the fact that they’ve ignored the gun ban? Ardern and other gun control supporters can’t say. Instead, they’re just stuck on the idea that with enough gun control laws in place, eventually it will have some effect on violent criminals. It’s not working out that way in New Zealand, and it hasn’t worked out that way in the United States either. If you want to crack down on violence, you have to go after those responsible. Any attempt by government to ban their way to safety is doomed to failure, but New Zealand’s government appears ready and willing to double down on their failed strategy.



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