The Government's gun law reforms will see dwindling faith in the country's laws and lead to more Dirty Harry-type vigilantes, Parliament has been told.
This morning Gun City owner David Tipple appeared before the finance and expenditure select committee, which is considering the Government's second tranche of gun law reforms.
The Government enjoyed wide support for its first tranche, which outlawed most military-style semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles in the aftermath of the March 15 terrorist attack.
But its second tranche - which would establish a national register and tighten the vetting process for firearms licence applications - has seen broader push-back not only from the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners, but also farming, hunting and fishing groups.
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Tipple told the committee that the reforms would see the opposite of what they intended to achieve in terms of public safety.
Asking law-abiding citizens to do what they thought was wrong would lead to diminishing trust in the Government, he said.
"When we are pushed and bullied to do what we believe is wrong, we rebel."
He called this the Dirty Harry problem.
"It's a common theme of Hollywood movies that the evil perpetrator is dealt with not by the government, but by some superhero or individual willing to break the law to bring about revenge," Tipple told reporters after the committee hearing.
"We are almost hoping that Clint Eastwood will take the law into his own hands. This is what you're seeing in so many of these murders, in America especially, where they have less trust in their Government, less trust in their police and court system, and think they know better."
That same kind of mistrust had paved the way for accused Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant, Tipple said.
"What we've done is actually created a whole lot more people with the same crazy views that Tarrant has - that is, 'I don't have trust in the Government, I don't believe the Government has the correct laws, I don't believe they will enforce their laws.'
"Tarrant took it upon himself to be a vigilante because he had no faith in the system ... Who knows what he was thinking, but did he take the law into his own hands? He did."
He said if the vetting process had been properly done, Tarrant would probably never have been able to obtain a firearms licence.
But that would not be known for certain until the royal commission of inquiry into the events of March 15 reported back, and for that reason he asked the Government to put the reforms on hold until then.
He also questioned whether a national gun register would make people safer, let alone be accurate.
The Police Association supports a national gun register, which was advocated in the 1997 Thorpe report, the last major study on New Zealand gun laws, as a way to track guns and reduce the chances of them falling into the wrong hands.
The Police Association says a register is long overdue, but opponents say it was a costly failure in Canada, and question the practicalities and effectiveness of one.