NZ Man Found With AR-15. How Many More Still Out There?

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Following the Christchurch shooting, New Zealand did what many Americans think the United States should do. They banned AR-15s and similar rifles. In their mind, without legal access to these particular firearms, the shooting simply wouldn’t have happened. It’s the default mantra of the gun control crowd.

So, New Zealand did it, and plenty of people bragged about the success of the effort. To hear them tell it, there wasn’t an AR-15 left in civilian hands in the entire country of New Zealand.

Well, about that

A Southland man aware of the national gun buyback scheme who kept his semi-automatic rifle under a mattress has been sentenced to community detention.

After the March 15, 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack, the Government banned military style, semi-automatic guns, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. A buyback scheme was initiated in 2019.

Christopher McKerchar, 36, a dairy farmer, lost his Class A firearms licence in 2017 but did not hand back his firearms, magazines and ammunition, which he was required to do after losing the licence.

Police found an AR-15, a 12 gauge shotgun, two AR-15 magazines, two Ruger magazines and thousands of rounds of ammunition at his house in March.

McKerchar had earlier admitted charges of unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm, unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm, magazine or part after revocation, unlawful possession of a non-prohibited firearm after revocation and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Honestly, it’s enough to make a guy wonder just how many AR-15s are still out there.

After all, there were groups who flatly stated they weren’t giving their guns up. I’m willing to bet there are a ton of those weapons still out there.

And remember, those who owned the weapons had to obtain a special license in order to get them. That means the government should have had a pretty good idea who had what, and yet they still couldn’t figure out that the guy who thought to hide his gun in one of the most obvious places ever might have not turned his weapon in?

To be fair, this is one area that New Zealand sounds a lot like the United States. Government incompetence knows no borders, it seems.

Let’s also recognize that this is New Zealand, a nation that doesn’t really view guns the way Americans do. If you think a total AR-15 ban wouldn’t result in a lot of hidden weapons. “What AR-15?”

That excludes all of those lost in those unfortunate boating accidents, to be clear. That’s a completely different tragedy.

In the meantime, anti-gunners need to remember that banning guns doesn’t really stop criminals from getting them. All it does is create all-new criminals. A person can only put up with so many laws before he or she finally says that enough is enough. At that point, a person becomes a criminal and no longer cares what the law says.

The best thing for any nation is to not cross that line. New Zealand already did. Luckily, there’s still more than enough time for the United States to completely avoid it.