The Government did not need to compensate people for making them hand over ammunition after the Christchurch mosque attacks, a court has heard.
A High Court justice is this week hearing an argument over gun reform in New Zealand, which not only led to the gun buyback, but also to certain types of ammunition being banned.
The Government "extinguished all property rights of any kind" for gun owners when it brought in gun law reform last year, a court has heard.
The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (Colfo) is in the High Court at Wellington this morning seeking a judicial review of aspects of the Government's gun law reform, made after the Christchurch terror attack.
The hearing is focusing on the ban of several types of ammunition and the assumptions behind it which the Minister of Police relied upon to when making his decision, a Colfo spokesperson earlier said.
"Colfo believes that the banning of these types of ammunition will not make New Zealand safer."
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Colfo is seeking a judicial review of the decision to ban some ammunition types, and to not provide compensation to the owners of that ammunition.
The hearing is on its second day in the High Court at Wellington.
Crown lawyer Austin Powell this morning said the Government's decision to buy guns back from owners was a choice by Parliament, "because politically is seemed unfair to say to what had been law-abiding firearms owners who had purchased their firearms in good faith that you have to surrender them for destruction".
He said there was no obligation for compensation, because compensation was only required when property was acquired by the Government for a purpose.
"If the property is taken for a purpose it is an acquisition and it must be compensated, and in New Zealand law, most often, it is."
Powell earlier told the court the type of ammunition that was banned under the reform included bullets that could penetrate body armour, such as the armour worn by New Zealand police officers.
He said there was no reason members of the community needed that type of ammunition.
Yesterday, Colfo's lawyer Jack Hodder QC said gun and ammunition owners' property rights had been "extinguished".
"All the property rights of value are gone."
He compared the situation to a hypothetical Government ban on motorcycles that could exceed the speed limit, if such a ban made it illegal to own those motorcycles.
He said Colfo wanted to see a clear chain of reasoning in making the decision to ban the certain types of ammo, saying it was particularly important "when public powers are being used to create an area of criminalisation that wasn't there before".
He pointed to an affidavit from the Police Minister, which said the banned ammunition types were for a "predominantly military purpose", and was "intended to hurt people".
"But, of course, any ammunition fired at a person is intended to hurt the person," Hodder said.
"He contrasts that with genuine civilian use ... but the contrast that we're talking about is a lawful use and a use that creates danger by either being criminal or accidental."
The purpose of regulation was to enhance public safety in some way, and he said these prohibitions did not do that.
The hearing has ended and Justice Francis Cooke has reserved his decision.