The Government's push to ban all military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles is being widely supported by Bay leaders.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last Thursday that military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles would be banned, including all the weapons used during the terrorist attack in Christchurch.

An amnesty would be put in place to allow weapons to be handed back in and a buyback scheme was set to be introduced.

Narrow exemptions would be allowed for professional pest control.


Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president Darryl Jensen said the federation backed the changes.

"We support the path the Government is taking. "

He said farmers did not need military-style semi-automatic weapons - even for hunting and humanely euthanising animals.

While a higher power rifle was necessary for shooting cattle, the weapons the Government was seeking to ban were not needed on a farm, he said.

A shotgun or .22 rifle would suffice when hunting geese, ducks, rabbit or possums, he said.

Former Bay of Plenty Regional Council biosecurity officer Albert Osbourne supported the buyback scheme and said the general public did not need these weapons.

The only people who might need such weapons were professionals employed by the Ministry of Primary Industries to shoot "large feral animals" when testing for diseases that affected livestock, such as bovine tuberculosis, he said.

Farmers had the option of using a "single shot bolt action" rifle when putting down animals, he said.


Aside from the bans, he said changes to the gun licensing process so that people had to justify why they needed a weapon were needed.

New Zealand First list MP and hunting enthusiast Clayton Mitchell said the proposed changes were "practical and sensible."

"In light of what happened at Christchurch, the vast majority of New Zealanders believe change is needed," he said.

Loaded NZ, a Tauranga-based shooting range, head instructor Ric Black said he supported the changes but did not want to comment further.

Fish and Game New Zealand and the New Zealand Police Association both supported the changes in written statements.

Police Association president Chris Cahill says the reforms represent a fine balance between the practical requirements of legitimate firearms users throughout the country, and the need to protect society.

Fish and Game NZ chief executive Martin Taylor said the ban on military rifles and limits placed on magazine capacity were a step in the right direction.

Labour list MP Angie Warren-Clark and gun retailers Hamils and Broncos declined to comment.

National Party leader Simon Bridges, Labour list MP Jan Tinetti and gun retailer Hunting and Fishing did not respond before deadline, nor did gun clubs Tauranga Pistol Club and Tauranga Target Rifle Club.

- Applies to all firearms now defined as military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and will also include assault rifles.

- Also applies to related parts used to convert guns into MSSAs, along with all high-capacity magazines.

- Semi-automatic firearms affected by the changes:

(1) A semi-automatic firearm capable of being used with a detachable magazine which holds more than five cartridges;

(2) A semi-automatic shotgun capable of being used with a detachable magazine which holds more than five cartridges

- Semi-automatic firearms not affected by the ban

(1) semi-automatic .22 calibre rimfire firearms with a magazine which holds no more than ten rounds
(2) Semi-automatic and pump action shotguns with a non-detachable tubular magazine which holds no more than five rounds

Source: New Zealand Government