Gun City owner David Tipple labels Newshub journalists 'terrorists' over gun reform coverage

The owner of New Zealand's largest gun store, Gun City, has labelled Newshub journalists "terrorists" over coverage of gun reforms in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.

David Tipple was one of 20 submitters to speak on gun law reform at the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on Thursday at Parliament.

Tipple told MPs they were letting the alleged Christchurch terrorist win by banning the weapons he used.

He also took aim at the media, calling Newshub journalists "terrorists".

"You spread terror, you are terrorists," he told Newshub on the sidelines of the select committee.

Taking umbrage with Newshub's coverage of gun reforms in the wake of one of New Zealand's darkest days - the Christchurch terror attack - Tipple said: "Terrorists and liars is what I called TV3."

Police Minister Stuart Nash said he felt it was an "absolute misuse of the word 'terrorist'".

"A terrorist is someone who gets an AR-15 and kills 50 people - that is a terrorist."

Tipple wasn't happy either with the Government's hurried gun laws, telling the select committee: "Rushing this good-feel law is causing division."

National MP Chris Bishop responded: "I think he said good-feel but I think he meant feel-good."

Gun City sold four guns to the alleged Christchurch terrorist, and dozens of guns like them to others after the March 15 attack.

By banning them, he Tipple says politicians are bowing to the alleged killer's wishes.

"If you pass this law in its present form, you will be helping him win," he told the select committee.

Tipple owns the country's largest gun retailer - and he's also had brushes with the law.

In 2002, he was jailed in the United States after importing 29 guns and 340 rounds of ammunition without the right paperwork.

National MP Judith Collins noted how Tipple had a "history in the United States around driving and a prison sentence, I'm told, so I'm not sure about quite how that all works out with those sorts of criteria".

The gun dealer's submission to MPs was a stark difference to those representing the Islamic community.

"We are here basically to represent some of those people who are not able to be here today because they are dead," Dr Mustafa Farouk told the select committee.

Rehanna Ali, of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said: "Whatever reasons might be brought to bear for not supporting this legislation, can never outweigh the 50 reasons we can."

Ali and Dr Farouk watched Tipple's submission to MPs, shaking their heads as he raised opposition to the new gun laws.

"It's understandable," Tipple said. "You know the really neat thing? Which one of us after this event doesn't have a warm fuzzy when we see a hijab?"

He says there's newfound empathy for the Muslim community.

"That's how we beat this mad Australian - when we get together and not divide when you stop lynching me as a gun owner."

Views on gun reform are clearly divided, but not in Parliament - the law will change with a near unanimous majority.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz