Hunting victims' families call for tougher gun laws

Hunting victims' families call for tougher gun laws

Just days before his 28th birthday, an East Coast father has been shot dead while hunting near his Te Kaha home. 

Carlos Ngamoki was killed when a gun was fired around midnight, in the second hunting death this week.

Today the family of another hunter killed while deerstalking made an emotional plea for changes to New Zealand's gun laws, but the Prime Minister says that's not on his agenda.

The usually quiet settlement of Te Kaha is now quietly grieving.

"We're struggling, we're taking it very hard," says Mr Ngamoki's family member Paul O'Brien. "We've been feeling for the families who have had similar circumstances just recently and now it's happened on our own doorstep."

Mr Ngamoki's death comes three days after 11-year-old Connor Philips was accidentally shot while out hunting near Reporoa, prompting others who have been in this situation to consider what else can be done.

"I think if hunters knew there were stronger penalties in place, they might take a second or third look," says Cindy McDonald.

Her son, Cameron McDonald, was killed by Christopher Dummer during a hunting trip to the Wairarapa three years ago.

His parents say his killer and people like him should never be allowed to hold a gun again.

"We think a gun licence should be revoked for life… even if you've shot someone and hurt them and not killed them they should never be allowed to hold a gun again," says Ms McDonald.

But John Key says while these are tragic accidents, gun laws aren't on his agenda.

"We'll have a look at the issue if we think we should move but at the moment I haven't seen anything to indicate that should be the case," he says.

Mr McDonald's family believes it will take another tragedy to get something done.

"If it happens to a politician's son I think a law would go through," says Ms McDonald.

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