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Action Alert - Gun Control Meeting

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 6 June 1998

Kia ora, below you will find details for the meeting re gun control laws which is this coming Saturday, also details of the next Waiwhetu/Lower Hutt peace group meeting which is on climate change and peace. Please feel free to pass on through your Wellington area networks.


3pm, Saturday 6th June at PMA, Trades Hall, 126 Vivian Street, Wellington. There will be a meeting with Sam Lee (Australian gun control activist) who has travelled here to organise a symbolic / imaginative protest to highlight concerns about the lack of progress in gun control legislation both here and across the Tasman. The protest will be around the annual Australasian Police Ministers Conference which will be held in Wellington on June the 9th & 10th at Plaza International ( 148 -176 Wakefield St ).

If you would like to join Sam in this protest, please come along to the meeting !

If you cannot attend the meeting, but would like details of the protest to turn up on the day, then please let us know. Cheers, Edwina.

**** see below for background info on the Australasian Police Ministers Firearms agreement ****


discussion on the Kyoto conference on climate change and peace, with Jeanette Fitzsimmons. 8pm at Epuni Baptist Hall, corner Waiwhetu Road and Rumgay Street, Lower Hutt. Organised by Waiwhetu/Lower Hutt Peace Group, contact Arthur Quinn, tel (04) 567 0533.


The annual Australasian Police Ministers Conference is being held in Wellington on June the 9th & 10th at Plaza International. At this Conference the Police Ministers will decide upon changes to the recent Australasian Agreement on Firearm Laws.

The Australasian Police Ministers Agreement on Firearms was introduced in 1996 in response to the Port Arthur Massacre where 35 people were shot dead and 19 injured. This massacre has been referred to as the worst massacre by a lone gun man in Australia's history.

The gunman, Martin Bryant had possession of two semi-automatic rifles which he obtained through a gun dealer even though he did not have a license. In just 16 seconds Bryant shot dead 20 people at the Broad Arrow Cafe in Tasmania.

The Australasian Police Ministers Agreement introduced ‘tighter’ gun laws in the Australasian area to try and minimise gun violence and deaths. Some of the changes to the laws consist of ;

  • banning of military style (automatic and semi-automatic) weapons;
  • the establishment of national license and registration system, whereby the weapons as well as the owners would be registered;
  • raising the minimum age for getting a gun license - to 18 years from 10;
  • need to prove a genuine reason to have a gun;
  • introduction of a 28 day cooling off period to ensure that gun applicants meet certain criteria, such as no criminal record, no history of domestic violence, no tendency towards self harm.

The Agreement hasn’t been implemented in Aotearoa / NZ (and only partially in some Australian states), and we now have the least restrictive gun laws in the Commonwealth - 75% of gun deaths here are suicides, and second highest are homicides.

There are attempts at the moment to water down the Agreement in Australia, including the possible re-introduction of semi-automatic weapons for some shooters - such as clay and field shooters, and reducing the age to obtain a license back to 10 years.

Here the big problem is to have more restrictive gun laws as outlined in the Agreement introduced !

The reason for protesting at the Police Minister’s conference is to highlight the need for tighter gun control laws here; and to put pressure on the NZ government via the Australasian Agreement to legislate in line with it.

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