Residents divided as new Gun City mega store to open in Christchurch

Residents are divided over a new Gun City megastore that will open in Christchurch.

Large signage has gone up on the windowless building in the suburb of Sockburn this week, and it is due to open soon.

While some are frustrated with the look and location of the store, Newshub spoke to 15 locals - most of which aren't worried about the store's presence.

Student Liam Hickman flats with a number of gun licence holders, and is glad to have the store so close.

He said people shouldn't be concerned.

"People who can get access to the stuff in that shop have licences," Hickman told Newshub. "We have referees to get our licence to have access to that sort of thing."

But resident Harry Singh told Radio New Zealand locals weren't told the store was coming.

"They should have at least informed us before, or they should have taken public opinion."

The news of the store's opening comes four months after the Christchurch terror attack, where 51 people died after a gunman opened fire at two mosques.

"We had such a big incident in New Zealand with guns and I don't think many people will be very comfortable around their homes, in a residential area," Singh told RNZ.

Gun City owner David Tipple told Newshub gun shops are often close to public places. He said the shop's stark look was also in line with the rules.

Resource consent was granted to Gun City for the store in January, Christchurch City Council head of resource consents John Higgins said.

"The activity is considered a retail acitivity under the District Plan which is a permitted activity in the Commerical Mixed Use Zone," he said in a statement to Newshub.

"We appreciate the sensitivity around this proposal, particularly in light of the mosque attacks.

"However, at this time the council doesn't have any regulations in place that specifically control these types of activities."

The new store is close to Riccarton Racecourse - where the first weekend of the gun buyback scheme was held. 

Firearms owners in Christchurch handed in more than 500 now-illegal weapons, and received more than $1 million in compensation.


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