Gun buyers should prove their intentions - expert

It should be mandatory for people purchasing a gun to prove they will use it for the reasons they say they are buying it, an Australian expert says.

Rebecca Peters told Newshub it would eliminate people who have no real purpose for them.

"If you say you want the gun because you live on a farm and you want to shoot rabbits, well you have to be able to prove that, if you say you want it because you're a sporting shooter then you should belong to a sporting shooting organisation."

People applying for a firearms licence in New Zealand under the current rules must pass a "fit and proper person" test. Self-defence is not considered a valid reason to possess fire arms.

The Government is currently considering changes to New Zealand's gun laws, with a Bill to ban military style semi-automatics now at the submissions stage.

Peters said there could be some loopholes in the proposed changes.

"The period of consultation is kind of short, I guess everyone is scrambling to make submissions. On the other hand it is only a very limited reform that's being proposed to the legislation."

The Finance Select Committee will hear oral submissions on Thursday, with Gun City owner David Tipple expected to fight the legislation.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Federated Farmers and the Police Association will also appear.

Peters, who worked as the head of Australia's National Coalition for Gun Control in the aftermath of the Port Arthur Massacre, believes the rural community will back the changes.

"They can see that it's not an attack on them, it's a measure to protect public health and public safety."

Australia's pro-gun lobby tried to claim that hunters and farmers would be punished when new measures were brought in after Port Arthur.