Most hunters back Government's proposed gun law changes despite concerns - Fish & Game

Fish & Game New Zealand says most hunters back the Government's proposed gun law changes, but still have concerns.

On Monday, the Government revealed the legislation banning military-style, semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines among a range of other changes to New Zealand's gun laws.

A motion to extend Parliament's sitting hours was passed on Tuesday, allowing the legislation to pass by Friday next week with a limited select committee period for those wishing to submit on the proposal.

Despite some concerns, Fish & Game, a collection of 12 regional Fish & Game Councils, says most hunters back the Government's approach.

"We have got no problem with the intention of the Bill. There are some drafting issues that may make things clearer," said chief executive Martin Taylor.

"While it is quick, we believe that they have the right approach in terms of dealing with the recreational sector and we look forward to submitting at the select committee."

The organisation wants further clarity about magazine tubing extensions and believes a longer amnesty period for gun owners to hand back their soon-to-be illegal weapons is necessary.

There is also uncertainty about a proposed gun buyback scheme, with few details, including the total cost of the programme, announced.

"It would seem to us that there needs to be some coordination between the buyback and the amnesty. Maybe it needs to go a little bit longer," he told Newshub.

"Six months may sound a long time, but it might be quite a bit harder than people think."

Other gun owners from the rural community have expressed concern that the limited time for the public to submit on the legislation may lead to some people not having a voice in the debate.

"For them to actually draft a response and mail it back to the lawmakers in that 10 day period is a pretty big challenge," Game Animal Council chair Don Hammond told Newshub on Tuesday.

"There will be a lot of people sorta saying 'I'm not sure quite what to do yet. The police are talking about a buyback so I will wait and see what the details are."