The Supreme Court has dismissed efforts for a "leapfrog appeal" over a challenge to the ban of most military-style semi-automatic weapons after the Christchurch mosque attacks.

The Kiwi Party, formed after the March 15 attacks to protect free speech and individual rights, contested the validity of the Government's gun law and the expedited process by which it was passed in the High Court last year.

It argued the right to bear arms should be protected as taonga under the Treaty of Waitangi, including "firearms of a nature" for self-defence and resistance.

It also asked the court to forbid the Government from acting on the law until six months after the 2020 election or until a referendum could be held.

Advertisement

The new gun law passed last April after a truncated select committee process, and outlawed most military-style semi-automatic weapons and associated parts.

Justice Edwin Wylie tossed out the challenge of the parliamentary process and the validity of the Arms Amendment Act and also dismissed the efforts to prevent the implementation of the law.

He said it was "alarming" to claim that taonga included anything which could deliver a lethal force such as military-style semi-automatic firearms.

READ MORE:
Legal challenge to Government gun law thrown out
Haste on gun law reform questionable, but no one's going to lose any votes
Judge stops wife of gun lobbyist from importing 20 military-style semi-automatics
Over 50,000 guns collected as buy-back scheme comes to an end

In June last year, the Kiwi Party, which is different to the party of the same name that broke away from United Future in 2007, appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Despite a hearing set to take place on March 3, the party, created by licensed firearms owners, applied last month to "leapfrog" the appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

But Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann and Justices Mark O'Regan and Susan Glazebrook have now dismissed the leapfrog bid and said they were not satisfied there were exceptional circumstances warranting it.

"The Court of Appeal is seized of the matter, the hearing in that court is imminent and it should be permitted to continue the process of dealing with the appeal before it," the judges said in a decision released today.

Advertisement

"In the event that either party seeks leave to appeal to this court against the Court of Appeal's decision, this court can consider the merits or otherwise of granting leave with the benefit of the Court of Appeal's views."

Given the likelihood of a future appeal the Supreme Court justices "refrain from giving any indication of view on the merits of [Kiwi Party's] case".

They ordered the Kiwi Party to pay court costs of $2500 to the Government.

The Kiwi Party's legal counsel, Graeme Minchin, has said the party would fight its case all the way to the Supreme Court if it had enough money to do so.