Second tranche of gun law changes won't make public safer - National

Gun law changes won't make the public safer, the National Party says, as the Government continues to reform firearms legislation in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

The second tranche of reforms passed on Tuesday night with the support of the Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First. The National Party and Act did not support the changes.

The next Arms Amendment Bill - following the ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles - will include establishing a firearms register and requiring licences to be renewed every five years.  

It will also "enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege and comes with an obligation to demonstrate a high level of safety and responsibility". 

National Party Police spokesperson Brett Hudson told Newshub the law changes aren't going to have the desired effect.

"They're not going to achieve the primary objectives that the Government said which was keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to make the public safer."

He's adamant the Government should be focusing on criminal use of firearms rather than targetting people already following the law anyway.

"Despite what they've put on the tin, the Bill, if it is enacted, won't keep guns from criminals, instead it will place far more responsibility, regulation and cost on law-abiding New Zealanders."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the time the laws were announced they would ensure better tracking of stolen weapons.

"We know that the majority of gun crime is committed by people without a licence, with firearms that have either been stolen or traded illegally.

"Our focus since March 15 has been on ensuring that our communities are as protected as they can be from the potential of another attack like the horrific one we witnessed in Christchurch."

Meanwhile Police Minister Stuart Nash emphasised gun ownership was a "privilege, not a right".

"The law changes will reinforce the positive behaviour that is required of all gun owners," he said. 

National supported the first tranche of gun law changes, banning military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, which passed in April.

The changes come in the wake of New Zealand's worst mass shooting, where 51 members of the Muslim community were gunned down during Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15.

The man currently on trial for the crime had a legally obtained firearms licence.