The editor of a fishing and outdoors newspaper is standing by a story about gun reforms which labels the Prime Minister "dumb-as-a-plank" and calls the Police Minister her "lapdog".

Fishing and Outdoors' April edition takes a not-so-subtle jab at Jacinda Ardern and her call to ban semi-automatic assault rifles following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

Ardern has also been vocal in her support of a gun register which she last week told media, "absolutely makes sense".

Graham Carter.
Graham Carter.

But the decision to ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles, legislation of which is currently being rushed through Parliament, has angered some gun owners.

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Fishing and Outdoors editor Graham Carter stood by an article in his paper today which called out Ardern and Police Minister Stuart Nash.

"Our Dumb-as-a-Plank New Zealand Prime Minister and lapdog New Zealand Police Minister have announced a ban on assault rifles that are and have been banned for the last 'thirty-five years'.

"Comments made by our PM are disingenuous and misleading the general public."

The article, written by John McNab, goes on to say that it was already illegal to fire any rifle which was "full-auto" even if it was a defence force firearm.

"This is what happens when dumb people are put in charge of stuff they don't understand, and who are too dumb to either admit it, or to listen to facts from people who do understand the stuff in question.

"Then we have all the flower powder puffs coming out of the woodwork who know little if anything about the issues here."

The article goes on to state that "many" gun enthusiasts wouldn't hand over their weapons to police anyway, no matter how much they're paid.

The Herald contacted two of the paper's advertisers who partially agreed with the paper's sentiments.

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Mike Flynn of Salt Water Sports Fishing in Te Awamutu said he doesn't own or sell any guns but he wasn't surprised by the paper's provocative language as the paper wasn't afraid to "tell it like it is".

Fishing and Outdoors editor Graham Carter stood by an article in his paper today which called out Ardern and Police Minister Stuart Nash.
Fishing and Outdoors editor Graham Carter stood by an article in his paper today which called out Ardern and Police Minister Stuart Nash.

However, he said "there's no need for calling names" but added that most gun owners were "pretty responsible I would imagine".

Lloyd Darroch, co-owner of Aakron Xpress, Auckland, said the paper's writers were often "forthright" and "didn't mince their words".

"This sort of tone is not unusual for the paper.

"We're happy to advertise because we feel that he is one of the few journalists to call a spade a spade."

He said the paper had called other ministers worse names in the past.

When contacted, Carter defended the story and said it was clear that Ardern and the rest of the politicians were simply "electioneering".

He said all an outright ban would do is create a black market.

He stood by the story's comment that many gun owners wouldn't hand their weapons over. He added that many had already buried their weapons.

"I'm not saying that banning semi-automatic weapons is a bad thing, it's a good thing, but it has to be done properly and it needs to be done by somebody who knows what the hell they're doing."

Carter said he'd been a gun enthusiast for the last 50 years.

He suggested high-powered weapons could be kept in an armoury and made available for owners for a shooting event and locked away again.

"There's guys out there that collect guns and they don't even shoot them ... they're law-abiding citizens, why should they be penalised?"

He said police were the wrong agency to be in charge of gun control.

"They're just hopeless."

Nicole McKee of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, the largest pro-gun lobby group in New Zealand, hadn't read the story and wasn't familiar with the newspaper but said it showed the level of anxiety that was out there among gun owners.

"We're trying to look for more productive conclusions to the events and want to be a part of the solution.

"It just goes to show the anxiety that the licensed firearm owners are feeling and the blame that's been apportioned to them and their being ostracised and this is a person's reaction to it. It doesn't mean that everybody would agree with their sentiments."