Here's Why New Zealand's New Gun Laws Can't Come To U.S.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Right now, the American anti-gunners are applauding New Zealand. They’re thrilled with the country for their knee-jerk reaction to last week’s mass shooting that left 49 people dead.


Many are asking why can’t those anti-gun proposals come to American shores, ostensibly to prevent future mass shootings.

Well, there are a few reasons why they can’t, but there’s one really big one.

Section 3. of the Order (effectively clarifying legislation for New Zealand’s 1983 Arms Act) rules that most semi-automatic firearms are now to be regarded as “military-style weapons.” The order declares that illegal firearms will now include:

[A] semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine (other than one designed to hold 0.22-inch or less rimfire cartridges) that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges [and] a semi-automatic firearm that is a shotgun and that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.

Five cartridges means five rounds. And “a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine,” means the vast majority of handguns relied upon by Americans to protect their families and homes.

This is the key issue. Such a ban in America would explicitly conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the most relevant Second Amendment case, District of Colombia v. Heller. And don’t take my word for it — read Antonin Scalia’s rationale for why most semi-automatic handguns used to defend American homes are constitutionally protected: “There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”


That’s a big issue.

That particular article does point out that while the Court has refused to hear cases involving magazine capacity, this is a bit different. They’re right.

You see, while I argue even a 10-round magazine capacity is unconstitutional, at least those laws don’t ban firearms capable of using a larger magazine. Words matter when it comes to laws, even in New Zealand. It seems that the use of the word “capable” means anything that can accept a larger magazine is soon to be forbidden.

As noted above, that would render most semi-automatic handguns as illegal, seeing as how pretty much all of them are capable of accepting a magazine of greater than five rounds.

For American anti-gunners, that’s a small price to pay. Few of them seem to adhere to the idea that an individual has a right to defend themselves with lethal force. If a few innocent people have to die so that they can live in their Utopia, that’s a price they’re willing to pay.

Luckily for us, they’ll never get that Utopia thanks to the Second Amendment.

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