A gun owner has penned an open letter slamming a lack of democratic process prior to the Government's decision to ban semi-automatic weapons.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the move less than a week after an Australian-born man allegedly used military-style semi-automatic guns to kill 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.
Ardern announced an amnesty period and declared a gun buyback scheme would be developed which would cost the Government between $100 million and $200m.
Raymond O'Brien, along with his wife Victoria, are both active in international gun shooting competitions, and possess B and E endorsed licences.
O'Brien said he felt he had to put aside his grief to pen a letter addressing the "horrifying lack of democratic process" which he likened to a knee-jerk reaction.
In his letter posted on Facebook, O'Brien claims gun owners with a legitimate use for the weapons are being "targeted behind closed doors, without open and transparent investigation of failures that allowed this attack".
"Firearms licence holders are being held up as somehow the reason that this attack was enabled.
"We don't understand why the failure of police and our security services is not the focus in the first instance.
"We have heard a lot about how licence holders will be managed and our firearms confiscated, but nothing about keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals."
O'Brien points to other solutions such banning anyone without a form of permanent residency from accessing guns and cracking down on "gang activity of all types".
He also alleged "multiple failures by police in fulfilling their duties in administering the Arms Act" in terms of approving the alleged gunman's firearms licence application.
"We don't understand why the failure of police and our security services is not the focus in the first instance, rather than the extraordinary measure of creating criminals out of law-abiding citizens at 3pm last Thursday - there are possibly over 100,000 owners of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, that they were lawfully using for hunting and competition, that became criminals for possessing them with the change in regulations .
"There has been no period of grace to allow them to apply for appropriate endorsements, no 'amnesty' has been gazetted other than if these newly minted criminals are only found with their new MSSAs in the act of handing them in, and so all those who are waiting to see what is being offered as 'fair' compensation for confiscating their firearms have nothing to protect them from criminal prosecution."
He asked that the Government supports a more considered approach to legislative change, "just like we were a democratic society".
"Please put an end to the disgraceful behaviour by the entire Parliament in supporting the Government's lack of democratic process and respect for such a large segment of citizens and voters in pursuit of change without logic."
O'Brien told friends on Facebook he had emailed the letter to all MPs.