Gun City owner David Tipple has taken another shot at gun law reforms, stating that rushing the law is causing division.
"Rather than divide us, this tragedy has actually created unity and a beautiful empathy within New Zealand.
"I would like that unity and empathy to be extended to legal gun owners, our employees and our families. Rushing this law is causing division," he said in a video statement posted to social media yesterday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and assault rifles after the terrorist attack in Christchurch.
The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament yesterday with the support of all parties except for Act. The Government wants the bill to be in force by April 12.
The Government is also working on the details of a buy-back scheme, estimated to cost up to $200 million.
However, Tipple believes banning the guns is the wrong move, and instead is advocating for increased education, tougher laws and penalties, and tighter gun controls.
"We didn't ban big white trucks after the Nice murders, we didn't ban school trips because one caused a death, we didn't ban holiday flights because one killed hundreds - instead we look at the causes and we take steps to avoid similar tragedies," he said.
"Every society has guns, and there is no correlation between the forceful reduction of gun numbers and an improvement in public safety.
"Increased education in respect to gun ownership increases public safety. Gatekeepers who are vigilant and wise lead to increased public safety."
Tipple said self-loading firearms, or semi-automatic guns, are "legitimate and efficient tools for hunting and pest control".
"The new law proposes that only Government or government-approved agencies can own them. What can we expect from this? Reduced pest control, more damage to our environment and more poison.
"Farmers need to be able to control their own pest costs effectively," he said.
"We need tougher laws and tougher penalties. We need to tighten controls on higher powered self-loaders which accept clip-in large capacity magazines, and those magazines.
"We need applicants for E-category licence that have a minimum of five years of ownership of A-category firearms. We need mandatory add-on sentences for gun crime.
"The 1983 Arms Act directly identified that the registration of guns was a failure and that vetting the licence holder was the greatest priority for public safety."
Tipple said that New Zealanders were also not being told the truth about the real cost of the gun seizure.
"The massive cost is not a wise use of tax dollars. We need immediate clarification on compensation for seized guns," he said.
"Is the Government going to abuse that like they have the public's right to speak to the new laws? Fast and fair payment will improve the surrender rate."
In an email today, Gun City also implored people to place submissions on the proposed Arms Amendment Bill due to close at 6pm tomorrow.
"All New Zealanders are affected by this and rushed legislation could have serious future consequences. This is especially true for all firearms owners who are affected by the current Arms Amendment Bill," the email said.
"This Bill, if rushed through without proper consultation and qualified expert advice, could turn you into a criminal overnight.
"Last week this was about Military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs). This week a lot more is covered, including pump-action shotguns, silencers and sights.
"We urge you to take the time to write a submission asking for a proper democratic process to achieve considered, intelligent, and effective changes."
Suggested points for submission include timeframe, how the law change will improve public safety, when the buyback value scheme will be made public, and cost-benefit analysis.
The arms dealer also earlier emailed its subscribers and urged them to sign a petition to Parliament.
The Government introduced the legislation on Monday and the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill had its first reading on Tuesday.
Tipple has previously confirmed that Gun City had sold four weapons to the accused gunman in a police-verified, online process.
There are 13,500 known MSSAs in New Zealand, and an estimated 1.2 million to 1.5 million firearms overall.