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Store owners, shooting club representatives, tourism operators, shooting enthusiasts and pest controllers took issue with various sections of the Arms Legislation Bill, telling the sub-committee of the finance and expenditure select committee of their issues with proposed changes to licensing, management of shooting ranges, and the creation of a firearms registry.
Professional hunter Robert Wilson, of Manapouri, told of his frustration with licensing provisions introduced after the March 15 Christchurch mosque massacre.
"We are a nationwide business and I have a limited endorsement, one for the South Island only, but apparently I am not a fit and proper person on the other side of Cook Strait.
"I have to apply on a case-by-case basis for any work I am doing in the North Island ... with delays in processing.
"I don’t see any hope of expanding my business."
Dunedin Clay Target Club president Grant Dodson said while he had always had concerns about access to military-style weapons, he also had doubts about proposed law changes.
"Parliament needs to create good quality legislation that will make New Zealand safer, because, let’s face it, I don’t want to get shot by some terrorist.
"I do have serious concerns that the Bill, as presented, is a significant lost opportunity."
The proposed changes threatened to alienate law-abiding firearms users, impose a high burden of compliance, and make shooting clubs and ranges dearer and harder to run, he said.
While the great majority of those submitting in Dunedin were opposed to the legislation, Ariel Pons was an exception.
The University of Otago student said current gun laws allowed a massacre, and now New Zealand’s safe gun owners had to lose some of their enjoyment and freedom in order to reduce the risk of another.
Speaking for Quaker Peace and Service Aotearoa New Zealand, Stephanie du Fresne said every legally-owned firearm should be registered.
"We see this as a key component among a range of measures designed to keep firearms out of the wrong hands."