Booze guns draw fire

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

Glass rifles filled with alcohol for Xmas.

Liquor bottles designed in the shape of guns, available in the latest Chrisco catalogue. Photo / Supplied
Liquor bottles designed in the shape of guns, available in the latest Chrisco catalogue. Photo / Supplied

Christmas hamper company Chrisco is under fire for including replica guns filled with liquor in its latest catalogue.

Customers can choose between muskets, pistols, revolvers and a giant 1.5L rifle, made from glass and filled with rum, tequila or vodka. The products cost between $75 and $300 and will arrive in time for Christmas Day.

Brian Gardiner of anti-violence network Te Ku Penga said the products endorsed the idea of guns being glamorous.

"It's putting the idea of being tough, staunch, cool together with alcohol and weapons," Gardiner said.

"Unfortunately, these are the same connections we are trying to move our young men away from. It's dangerous."

He pointed to New Zealand's record of gun violence. In the past year, police recorded 22 assaults with guns, nine attempted murders and six murders. But Gardiner pointed out these figures were only a hint of the prevalence of gun violence.

There were 82 recorded cases but many more would have gone unreported.

Gardiner also criticised the message the products gave children. "Kids make these connections. When they see their role models sitting there drinking alcohol from a gun-shaped bottle, they think all these things are cool."

The NZ Mountain Safety Council's firearm programme manager Mike Spray said selling alcohol in such bottles was irresponsible.

"It's sending the wrong message. Why are they doing that? It's not good."

In a statement, Chrisco spokeswoman Jill Dryden called the products a collectible item.

- Herald on Sunday

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