Rushing 'feel-good' gun laws just 'causing division' - Gun City owner

The owner of Gun City has criticised the Government for rushing through legislation to ban weapons similar to those wielded in the Christchurch shooting. 

David Tipple, whose business sold four weapons and ammunition to the alleged Christchurch gunman, said in a video posted to Facebook that the Government has caused "division" by "rushing" the new firearms legislation. 

"This proposed feel-good law is a distraction from our failures, and pretends that there will be good outcomes. There were no loopholes in the law - the perpetrator broke numerous laws," Tipple said, alluding to the alleged gunman's illegal weapon modifications.

The Government announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles last month in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch attack, after it was revealed the alleged gunman had purchased his firearms legally. 

Legislation brought by Police Minister Stuart Nash was introduced on Monday and the Bill was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday, with the expectation it would become law by next Friday (April 12). 

Tipple felt the legislation had been pushed through too hastily - a sentiment shared by ACT Party leader David Seymour, who on Tuesday failed to force the Government's gun law reforms into urgency to slow it down. 

The owner's anti-gun reform stance is in stark contrast to the Government, which had full bipartisan support - except for ACT's Seymour - to push ahead with the new gun legislation. 

But Tipple isn't convinced the Government has taken the right approach.

David Tipple.
David Tipple. Photo credit: Facebook / Gun City

He claimed there is no correlation between the forceful reduction of gun numbers and improved public safety, even though gun violence in New Zealand is significantly lower than in similar-sized US states where gun laws are more lenient. 

Tipple pointed to other tragedies where the tool that was used to kill wasn't banned afterwards, such as the 2016 cargo truck attack when a man killed 86 people in the French city of Nice by ramming the vehicle into them. 

"We didn't ban big white trucks after the Nice murders," Tipple said. "Instead, we look at the causes and we take steps to avoid similar tragedies."

He said the Government should instead focus on child violence, youth suicide, meth, and "kids being given too much time on electronic devices and being too poorly behaved to take to the supermarket". 

"Is it easier for MPs to attract feel-good votes by discriminating against gun owners?"

Gun City has already urged its supporters to push back on gun law reforms. An email last month asked subscribers to sign a petition requesting more time for consultation. 

Tipple has said his company sold the alleged gunman four A Category firearms and ammunition between November 2017 and March 2018, but said they detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder.