Eastern Bay competitive shooter sees flaws in gun buyback scheme

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Unintended consequences is how one Eastern Bay shooter describes the Government's gun law buyback scheme.

The Government called for submissions on the proposed changes in March, which have now taken effect.

The changes make semi automatic rifles illegal, along with any firearm with a large capacity magazine. However, they include a buy-back scheme for banned firearms and magazines.

The ban includes popular lever-action .22 rifles with a built in magazine holding 15 rounds.

They're similar to the old Wild West rifles but according to Whakatane competitive shooter Matt Bullen they're destined for the scrap-heap.

"My 13-year old daughter and 10-year-old son each use the rifles in competitive shooting.

"I don't think the scheme has made the country safer, owners will just replace them with other guns."

He says the government's process of public consultation over the new gun laws has been flawed and a waste of time.

"I was one of many who wrote a submission to Parliament -- but I fail to believe 12 people read 1300 submissions in two days.

"It wasn't a democratic process at all."

He's sceptical over the scheme.

"I think there's going to be a lot of non-compliance because of the pricing structure. Again it hasn't been done properly, it hasn't been thought-out.

"I hate to say it but I think a lot of guns will go underground."

Matt says the whole thing's been bulldozed through in a hurry.

"It's been put through without consultation, without thought, and without due consequences."

Sam Gardner